There are days when motherhood feels overwhelming. Days when the to-do list seems too long and the time too short. Days when I feel like I am trying to juggle too many balls in the air. Days when tempers flare too easily; when the small irritations feel like last straws. Days when it feels like the simplest of tasks takes forever to accomplish and the demands of small children feel relentless.
Parenthood can be intense and overwhelming at times.
There are days when I fall far short of the mother I would like to be. Days when I want to run down to the end of the garden and just scream; days when I want to run and hide and just be alone – just for a moment. To be able to think and breathe and have space – and a hot cup of coffee. Days when I reach the end of my tether by 9am and still have to try and find a little patience within. Days when bedtime comes and I breathe a sigh of relief, looking forward to a little slice of me time.
But just as I settle down on the sofa and make myself comfy, I hear a cry from upstairs. My first reaction is irritation at the me time lost, the lack of opportunity to get jobs done. With a sigh, I lift my child into my lap for a cuddle. And then something shifts. As my child falls asleep in my arms, the anger melts away and I suddenly see clearly. In that moment, I know that the to-do list can wait. Right now, this is the most important thing – to hold my child close, and cherish a moment that has become increasingly rare.
I listen to her soft breathing, see the way she holds her toy close and gaze upon her sleeping face. For a moment I close my eyes, trying to capture this moment and hold it forever in my heart – the feeling of her head resting on my chest, her small body warm against me.
These are the moments when everything makes sense. When I suddenly realise that these days are fleeting; that my children are growing up quickly, that they will not be small forever. There was a time when I would spend almost every night sitting up like this, with a small child asleep in my arms. Now it happens only now and then and the moments are more precious because they are so few.
Tomorrow, the juggling act may well begin again and the challenges and stressful moments of parenthood may still feel overwhelming at times. But right here, right now, right in this moment, the things that have stressed me out no longer matter. Here in this moment, I am just mummy and that is the most important thing in the world.