I have a tendency to place a lot of guilt on myself. Always have.
I used to think that if I didn’t enjoy something to the fullest, that I was somehow failing, was less of a mom, or ungrateful. Have you ever felt that way?
I love Mazy more than that wee little 3 year old will ever know. When I kiss her cheeks and her little eyes squint because I’m pressing my lips so hard against those cheeks, I hope that little girl realizes how much I love her and how annoying I can be with my kisses!
But I have to fully admit, I have not enjoyed every little moment.
I’ve heard it so often as a mom: “Enjoy every moment…” “Time flies, so soak in every minute…”
I’m sure you’ve heard those comments – and not just when it comes to motherhood. I have sat and wondered if I have really enjoyed every moment. Have I really ENJOYED them all?
I’m trying to say this as guilt free as I can, but I have not. The times that I have sat and cried because I couldn’t care for my daughter the way I dreamed of due to my health, made me wish for that time of life to pass by quickly. The times my daughter laid awake at night for hours and hours on end because she couldn’t sleep, I can’t say were enjoyable.
What about those days when your child just won’t eat what you put in front of them? Those days when they are constipated AGAIN? Those days when they throw a temper tantrum for the third day in a row in public? Are those moments really that enjoyable?
It is really difficult to succumb to the advice of “enjoy every moment” when you don’t. And then when you feel like you should be, and you don’t, that’s when the guilt starts flowing in.
Every ounce of that guilt, starts to invade our hearts and makes us feel like we are doing something wrong. Like we should have a better attitude. Like we should be “stronger” and more grateful for those times.
Mama, let me tell you. You don’t have to enjoy every moment. Let me tell you that it’s okay if you don’t.
So what are we supposed to do in those moments when we don’t really enjoy them? When we wish for those days to pass quickly? For that time frame of life to pass by like, yesterday?
I do not have all of the answers. In fact, I am experienced in motherhood x1 (that’d be times one). But one thing I have learned, is that when those un-enjoyable moments come (and they will), we can CHOOSE whether to let them shape us and grow us, or depress us and bring us down. I think when those verses in the Bible say to consider it pure joy when you face trials and to be thankful in all circumstances, it is asking us to have a spirit of grace and a trusting of God’s ways in our lives. We can’t fully understand the purpose behind those circumstances until we are willing to walk through them, look back, and realize that yes, even in that, God was with ME.
In those late nights, God was with me. In those times when my arms and words were not enough for Mazy, God was with me. His grace and love were enough. In those times when Mazy would refuse to eat what she loved the day before, God’s grace and patience with the both of us, was enough.
I struggled deeply after losing our twins, when people would say how hard motherhood was. All I wanted was to BE A MOM. I thought any word of how hard motherhood was, was complaining and an attitude of ungratefulness. How selfish and wrong of me to think that. I was in a low place in life and needed a whole lot of healing to happen in my heart and mind. As a result, I often shy away from that true vulnerability, for fear of offending someone. But I know that that isn’t of God. Fear and silence isn’t what God wants from me. He wants my heart and he wants all of me.
I think the best way to “enjoy every moment” is to enjoy being REAL in every moment. In the hard and the difficult. Choosing to be real in the midst of the chaos. That to me, is “enjoying every moment.”