Motherhood is filled with memorable milestones: baby’s first step, your preschooler’s first day at “big kid” school, graduation from 5th grade, your middle-schooler’s first band concert, and prom. But what about the small, special, still-of-the-night moments of motherhood? Will you remember those?
I became a mother to a beautiful little girl in November of 2016. In June, we will be welcoming her baby sister to our tribe. If, and when, my daughters ask me about a memory I cherish from their childhood, I hope I can recall this special moment that happened two nights ago with them:
I woke up to the sound of my daughter’s scream emanating through our baby monitor.
Her scream wasn’t one of pain, but of frustration and possibly fear at waking up to a dark room at 2:30 in the morning. My husband and I mumbled to each other—should we wait to see if she can calm herself down or should one of us go get her? My husband moseyed around the room, trying to bide his time in hopes that he’d be able to go back to bed—but my mommy-intuition knew she needed comfort and I’d have to be the one to come to the rescue. I rolled my big, pregnant self out of bed and waddled down the hall to her door.
I walked in and saw a distraught little girl. As soon as I picked her up, her tears stopped and her body eased. We maneuvered ourselves into her small rocking chair and I nestled her in close. Her growing toddler form, less baby and more little girl, draped across my chest and belly comfortably. I smelled her head, listened to her breathing, made sure she heard the calm beating of my heart—and then the kicks started.
Not from her, but from her little sister growing inside me. In that moment, that beautiful moment of motherhood, all I could do was sit in awe. Both of my little women were in my lap needing me. I prayed over them, not wanting the moment to ever end, hoping that I’d experience this with them throughout many years of their lives.
Those are the moments I want to remember. I know that I’ll remember all the big milestones, but I want to remember the moments in the darkness of night—the moments where the love I have for my daughters and the love they have for me changed chaos into calm.
I could have walked in, rocked my girl quickly, put her back down, and waltzed off to bed (which I do often); but instead, I allowed the majesty of motherhood to gift me with a moment of intentionality, a moment where I didn’t take my child for granted or think about my lack of sleep, but rather a moment where I cherished the role I’ve been gifted in raising these beautiful beings.
Make motherhood memorable.
Let it wash over you in those middle of the night feedings, those moments of illness when all that helps is mommy cuddles, those moments that are hard to love them and those moments that are extremely easy. Take a step back, look at your child who will grow up all too soon, and choose to make it memorable.