Real stories of motherhood is all about the ups and downs of being a mum. This month Katy Dodds shares her advice when you find yourself wishing it would all get a little bit easier.
We finally made it to church, a mere 20 minutes late this week. Brandon and I managed to snag two seats at the end of a row, just in time for the congregation to begin making their way towards Communion. Perched on my shoulder, Audrey was in her favorite spot. From there, my little baby could take in all the sights as we made our way to the front of the church. As usual, that girl was dressed to the nines—gold polka dot onesie, a fluffy pink tutu, overpriced baby shoes, and a precious white bow adorning her full head of dark hair.
Also as usual, I was—well—dressed. At two months postpartum, little clothing fit well nor made me feel particularly good about myself. And with no spare time for hair and makeup, it’s safe to say I was looking a little worse for wear. While waiting our turn in the long Communion line, I heard a voice from behind me, “She’s beautiful”. I turned to see a fellow mom, a mom just a little further down the road of motherhood than me. “Congratulations,” she whispered. I managed an exhausted smile “Thank you. We barely made it this morning.” She laughed quietly. “Oh yes, I remember those days.” We continued in our line down to the front of the church, received bread and wine, then journeyed back to our seats.
I never learned that woman’s name nor heard her story, but that interaction stayed with me.
You see, Brandon and I waited five years into our marriage to have Audrey. Long enough for people to ask, “Do you want to have kids?” and even (to my aghast), “Are you having trouble getting pregnant?” We waited, because we knew it would be a huge change in our lives, and we wanted to be ready. Wanted to be ready. Oh my naive pre-baby wisdom.
Calling motherhood a HUGE change is quite the understatement. I don’t think there’s a word in the English language big enough to describe just how much your life changes when you become a mom. Every action and reaction is now viewed through the lens of how will this affect the baby. Your time, body, money, and sanity all go towards keeping your little person alive and well.
So that’s where I am now, spending my days at nights at the mercy of one tiny, absolutely adorable human. The well-known adage “The days are long, but the years are short,” is recited to almost every new mother. Most days I hold my daughter close, with the fiercest confidence that there’s nowhere else on earth I’d rather be. Then on other days, the long days, I feel tempted to wish this difficult season away.
It will be better when she starts sleeping through the night.
I can’t wait until she can walk on her own.
When she can tell me how she feels, it will get easier.
And while I’m wasting time dreaming of some “easier” future that may never come, Audrey’s childhood is passing by right in front of me.
I mean, I blinked and a month had passed. Then 2. Then 3. Already? She was just a newborn! Soon, it will be a year. Then 5. Then 10. Then it will be her college graduation and her wedding day, and I’ll wonder why on earth I ever wanted this time to go by quickly.
The days are long but the years are short, so today is a great day for me to enjoy being a mum. And even though I really have no idea what I’m doing, I’m going to give this motherhood thing my best shot. Especially on those long days. And one day—not so far in the future—I’ll be the woman commenting on a young mother’s beautiful baby, and reminiscing about “those days”. She understood just how little time we have with our babies. And at three months in, I think I’m beginning to understand it too.
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