There is a joy in mothering that can be hard to find. At least for me, anyway. It hides behind sleepless night and tantrums. It fights for air beneath feelings of inadequacy and fear. Clingy, grabby hands threaten to steal it. It is masked by a sense of loss over figure or freedom.
For some, the joy of mothering is as easy to come by as Cherrios on the floor. For others, it takes intention.
But I promise the joy can be found.
It is present when your little one greets you with the gummiest grin after a sound nap. It’s in a wisp of fine hair. You can hear the joy in a budding baby giggle. You might catch a glimpse of it in adoring eyes.
Joy feels a lot like a baby’s head resting softly on your chest, your breaths chasing each other. It feels like being flashed a smile of complete satisfaction, just before a tiny head buries deep into your neck. Count your blessings.
Count those delicious, chubby fingers. The joy of mothering just might overpower you when you realize this precious creature is yours.
Joy drives you around hairpin turns. In the wild squeals of a playdate the joy of mothering bursts like a sunbeam. It makes your cheeks ache from laughing so hard. It throws dance parties. Joy spills over like a sippy cup.
“It hurts me when you hurt,” my husband says. He could hardly bear to look when my body labored in childbirth. Since then, he has smoothed out stress lines in my brow and wiped tears of frustration from my eyes. Why won’t she stop crying? He doesn’t know, but he wishes he did. He wants to take away the pain, the difficulty, the hardness of motherhood.
And that’s often the only side I show to him: the tough stuff.
Is my joy buried so deep?
O! There are such glimpses to be found.