When I first learned my friend Sarah fell pregnant with her second baby, I was beyond elated for her. Pregnant with my second baby as well, it’s always a fun feeling when your friends are pregnant right along with you. Plus, Sarah was already an amazing mom to her toddler boy. I knew this next addition to her family would be so incredibly special.
Several months later, I was shocked to learn that Sarah’s second baby, whom they already named Daniel, was trying very hard to make a grand entrance well before his due date.
At just 23 weeks gestation, baby Daniel was born into the world weighing merely one pound. He was a fighter, clinging to life as he grasped his mother’s index finger inside the incubator.
It’s enough to take your breath away.
My heart felt heavy.
Thinking about Daniel, I remembered how silly it was that I laid in bed crying to my husband just one week prior over pregnancy of all things.
“I don’t want to do this anymore,” I whispered to him, tears streaming down my face.
It was just one of those days. You know? You reach your limit and motherhood feels heavy. It’s normal to have a good cry over silly things every once and a while.
I remembered he listened intently as I complained about how my hands fell asleep on and off throughout the day. About how I felt like bugs were crawling on my skin. About how I already gained 40 pounds and I still had several weeks of pregnancy to go. About how I had stretch marks webbed across my entire abdomen like a cross-country road map.
Oh, the drama!
I probably continued with my list for a good 10 minutes determined to get it all out of my system. He listened; I cried.
Motherhood is hard.
Some days it’s easy to feel like the walls are closing in on you. Your patience runs beyond empty. You haven’t slept through the night in about 2 years. You try to remember the last time you took a shower without rushing or hearing someone shout ‘Mom’ through the bathroom door.
I get it.
I’ve been there.
But something happened that changed my perspective–about everything.
You see, baby Daniel became an angel after only a few short days outside the womb. It’s difficult to understand why these types of things happen. From one mother to another, I’m not sure that I will ever understand. Knowing that my friend lost her son–a fighter at just 23 weeks–breaks my heart.
Life is not always fair.
In fact, life is rarely fair.
Life is heavy.
When motherhood feels heavy, remember this…
Each day we must choose to connect and savor the moment.
Each day we must choose to slow down.
Each day we must choose to hold our babies a little bit closer.
When you feel like the walls are closing in upon you, or your patience is getting too thin, or you just want to shower in peace or sleep through the night, remember to re-connect a little bit each day and remember the important work you are doing as a parent. And remind yourself of your value. Place positive affirmations for mom all around your house so that in those heavy moments you are reminded that you are always enough for your children.
Look your kids in the eye and tell them you love them.
I remember reading a post a while back and the mother asked, “Did I tell them I loved them enough to last an eternity?” I think when something dramatic happens that offers us perspective, we as mothers, wonder if we really told our children “I love you” enough. Don’t make it a question.
Really play with your kids.
The most amazing way to connect with a child is to get down on the floor and see life from their perspective. Because when you are two feet off the ground life is oh-so much different than when you are five feet, seven inches up in the air.
Hold hands, hug and kiss.
In a world where children often struggle to articulate complex emotions, they all understand physical love. Touch in some way. Maybe it’s a pat on the back. Or maybe it’s touching noses and you look each other in the eye and smile. Or maybe it’s your run of the mill hand holding, hugging, or a kiss on the cheek.
Ask your kids to show you something that is special to them.
Can you guess what your child will choose? Often a child’s choice surprises parents. It might be a rock or an old toy or a piece of clothing. No matter the item show gratitude. Your child gave what they could and they chose to give it to you.
Take at least one picture every day.
I hear it time and time again, life with kids really is so fleeting. I was at the park yesterday and a mother shared she couldn’t really remember much about her daughter’s toddler years. Taking one picture everyday can change that—for all of us. And it only takes a few seconds of time.
Listen to your child’s heartbeat.
One ear to the chest and you will hear the sound of life. The sound of vitality. The sound of mischief. The sound of innocent joy. It’s a beautiful sound that will remind you what life is all about.
Building a connection with those we love is all about laughing together. Turn those frustrating moments of overflowing laundry, screaming kids and all-out chaos into some sort of humor. Make a joke, laugh, smile, chase your kids, roughhouse…anything to lighten the mood when life feels heavy.
When motherhood feels heavy, we all need to find a way to re-connect with our kids.
To remember what in the world we are all really doing here.
To remember to find perspective in the midst of the really, really tough days.
For me, I think about Daniel.
I think about how he fought for life. I think about how we all wished he won. And I think about how it changed my perspective.
I think about how it allowed me to slow down and savor the moment even when life feels challenging…high energy toddler, spilled milk, crying baby and hormones raging.
When motherhood feels heavy, I remember Daniel.
Now when I’m struggling I turn to these printable affirmation cards. They help me turn it all around on the really tough days.
You can find a set for yourself here.
Or, print this free checklist.
This post comes with a free printable checklist to help us all remember what’s important–connecting with our kids.
I always have the hardest time remembering these ideas. This printable simplifies it!
Here is a sneak preview!
Download Your Free Printable
- Download the checklist. You’ll get the printable, plus join my weekly newsletter! Just click here to download and subscribe.
- Print. Any paper will do the trick, but card stock would be ideal.
- Place it on your refrigerator. Check things off as you go and don’t forget a thing!