Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Life, Love, and Labor

“Breathe. Just Breathe. You can do it. Relax a bit. This won’t last forever. Come on, breathe.”
This is me talking myself through life…with kids.

“Mom, I need a sack lunch for my picnic,” “mom we don’t have anything to eat,” “Mom I can’t find my swimming suit.”

“Just Breathe.”

“Mom, Jackson ripped my birthday paper (tears, lots of tears).” “Mom, GET ME A DRINK!” “Mom, you care about my shoes more than me” (“Not so” I say, “or I wouldn’t have bought you the shoes. Now take them off and don’t wear them until school starts.”)

Keep Breathing, just one day at a time.

The lawn needs to be mowed. We need to de-junk. The laundry needs to be washed and folded. The swimming pool needs to be rinsed so the kids can play in it.

You can do this, it won’t last forever.

“Mom Jackson’s pouring out the gasoline for the lawn mower!!!” “Mom, he is being so mean!” “Mom, why can’t I go play at Emma’s? (More tears).”

Just Breathe. Be patient

The kids need school clothes. I need to email the publisher. It’s Julia’s birthday tomorrow. I need to register the kids for school

One task at a time. One at a time. Just Breathe

Why are the holly bushes painted white? Why is the curtain rod bent? Why is there cereal on the carpet?

My mother gave me wise counsel years ago when I was worried about the pain of labor and delivery for my first child. She kind of smiled and with hidden laughter she revealed life’s truths. “Michelle” she said, “it’s not labor and delivery you need to worry about it’s the rest of their life that’s going to be really hard.”

Just Breathe I tell myself. Mom was right.

So how do we do it?

One hug at a time, one load of laundry, one batch of dishes.


One broken dish at a time, one bed time story, one more poopy diaper to change.


One tender heart to heal, one wide eyed child to soothe, one kiss for that skinned chin.

Breathe. Enjoy it. It won’t last forever.

One creative picture hanging on the fridge, one silly dance with your kids in the living room, one ice cream date at a time.

Breathe. Enjoy it. It’s going faster than you planned.

One two-year old to quietly snuggle, one hour to make beaded necklaces, one afternoon at the water park, one child to love.

Just breathe.

When you deliver a baby the pain is out of this world. You are sweating, cursing, pushing, and giving your all. Labor is miserable, but what you get is so wonderful. You put your life on the line to bring this sweet baby into the world and there is nothing more worth it. The rest of your life with kids may not be so physically painful but aren’t you doing the same thing? Aren’t you working hard, sweating, pushing your kids, cursing under your breath (some days), and willingly giving up a bit of your own life for your children?

Just keep breathing. Don’t give up.

That’s what being a mom is about. It is about doing hard things, sacrifice, and patience. It’s about enjoying the little things, taking extra breaths when necessary, and loving something more than yourself.

1 comment:

  1. Life would be so boring and unsatisfying to do all by yourself. We gain so much with the sacrifice we give for others....something in us grows as we give away ourselves!