Finding Joy through Moments of Pain

Being a mother to four small kids is hard. Like, hard-hard-hard-hard (four times over, hard). And I oftentimes get down on myself because in my mind, I’m not measuring up to where I should be in the mothering department.

I’m quick to find faults with myself, and wonder if I’m doing something wrong because things in my mind, aren’t going the way they should be.

and then nothing else matters

For instance, my baby isn’t crawling or pulling himself up like other babies his age are crawling and pulling themselves up. And my baby isn’t sleeping through the night, like other babies sleep through the night. And then there’s the food thing. Baby Paul is picky and doesn’t like bottles, so I worry that he’s not getting enough to eat everyday. I fault myself and wonder if I’m the problem because I’m offering him the wrong types of meals.

But this weekend I had a reality check that brought me to my knees and put countless tears in my eyes. Today, it’s clear that none of this little stuff I’ve let consume me, really actually matters at all. Because in the big picture:

My kids are healthy, despite a small bout with the stomach flu last week.

My kids are loved to the max, despite that little argument we had over potty training this morning.

My kids are well fed, regardless of how much food baby Paul’s food throws off his plate.

And even in those early morning hours, when I wish I sleeping but instead find myself in the quiet corner of the nursing, rocking a baby that refuses to rest, I am thankful for the opportunity.

It’s unfortunate that sometimes it takes unspeakable pain and tragedy for me to realize just how fortunate I am to parent these amazing little children. And even in the days that feel four times over hard, it’s really not that difficult to find those tiny glimmers of beauty and magic. Because they’re all around us, each and every day.

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