As a mom, I know that some days, parenting is just hard. Children can be demanding, cranky, destructive (usually accidentally), disobedient, whiny, messy, and just exhausting. However, I have found that even on those really rough days, there are still moments sprinkled throughout the chaos that remind me that my children are truly gifts from God and being a mom really is worth it.
Here are five of my favorite everyday moments that make being a mother the best calling ever.
1. Cuddles and Snuggles:
My boys are both pretty affectionate little guys, and they both love cuddles and snuggles. Whether it’s climbing into bed with Mommy and Daddy on Saturday morning (so much sweeter when they wait until after 8am!), or just scooting up really closely to us on the couch, our boys are cuddlers. They want to be with us.
Josiah likes to sit beside me as I’m typing or editing pictures, laying his little hand on my lower arm and his head against my upper arm, and just watch me. Elijah’s tall enough now that he can almost rest his head on my shoulder. Even the most frustrating days can be softened when they are being sweet and tender like that.
No matter how bad a day is, my boys will be laughing at some point, those deep-belly giggles that are impossible to resist. They can be fighting and arguing with each other one minute, then laughing with each other the next. And their joy is contagious. Of course, it’s even better when I get to be the one to bring out the giggles in them with silliness and tickles and fun. Laughter is a beautiful remedy for discouragement and exhaustion (I laugh even easier when I’m tired. Haha!) After all, the Bible tell us, “A merry heart does good, like medicine.” (Proverbs 17:22)
3. Unexpected Hugs & Kisses:
Having mentioned our boys’ affectionate natures, is it any surprise that I get treated to random hugs and kisses throughout my day? Josiah’s thing is to give me “all the hugs in the world,” which is basically a really tight, prolonged clinging sort of hug. Even though he will have moments when he doesn’t want ME to give HIM hugs or kisses, he loves to surprise me with them.
Elijah, however, has never rejected a hug that I can remember. He’ll give me a “good morning hug,” a hug before and after school, and hugs “just because” throughout the day, but his specialty is his bedtime hug, where he basically lets you think you’re just leaning down for one last kiss before he goes to sleep, and he’ll latch on, both arms around your neck, and keep you there. (And giggle.) He’s surprisingly strong for 5 years old. He’s also the most likely to come up and give Mom random kisses on the cheek.
4. “I love you, Mommy”:
I don’t know if there is anything more encouraging or refreshing on a difficult day than when your child looks you in the eyes and sweetly and sincerely tells you, “I love you, Mommy.” Even if they are echoing your words with an “I love you, too,” it has a way of refocusing you to how blessed you are to be the mother of that child (yes, that one, the one who just a few minutes ago flushed his training underwear down the toilet – true story. Or that one, who is so driven to create that he keeps ransacking the kitchen junk drawer and recycle bin, even when he’s been told not to, to “make something,” leaving crazy messes and empty tape dispensers in his wake.)
I also cherish their unique compliments of “You look like a princess, Mommy,” or “I like how your hair feels, Mom.”
5. Watching My Babies Sleep:
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “There was never a child so lovely but his mother was glad to get him to sleep.” And when the child isn’t being so lovely, oooh – naptime and bedtime can’t come soon enough! However, even when my kids have been driving me crazy, it’s amazing how precious it is to rock them to sleep and hold them close to you and study their sweet faces.
Of course, Elijah’s a bit too big to rock anymore, but he still melts my heart when I go in to check on him before I go to bed each night. Both he and Josiah usually require an adjustment of their blankets here or a tucking in there, with Josiah sometimes needing to be completely rearranged so he doesn’t fall off his bed (how he moves so much without being awake is rather puzzling). Those last minute checks, with a whispered little prayer over them, are the perfect way to end even the hardest days.
There are many other little moments that I could mention (When Josiah takes my hand tightly to walk beside me; when Elijah’s sense of humor shines through, and he makes a really witty comment; the boys’ faces when they accomplish something they didn’t think they could, when they are being loving and sweet to each other; listening to my boys when they pray and watching their personal relationship with and faith in God grow). I generally get to experience those each and every day with my children.
When I take the time to notice and appreciate those many special moments, how can any day be all that bad?
WHAT EVERYDAY MOMENTS WITH YOUR CHILDREN ENCOURAGE YOU AS A MOM OR DAD?