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The Simple Way I Became a Better Mom

This week was one of those weeks that saw more heartbreak than I thought possible. 

One of those weeks that you think won’t happen to anyone close to you, one of those stories you hear about in the news, that makes you shake your head and say, “That’s so sad…”

Except then you move on.

You forget. 

But this week, I can’t seem to move on. I’m stuck, overwhelmed with the sadness and heartbreak and pain that as parents, any of us are opening our lives to the day we first fall in love with that heartbeat on the screen or hold a miracle in our arms.

And through it all, I can’t help but wonder, how can I do better as a mother?

Image via j&j brusie photography 

It’s so hard to reconcile the very real fact that while other mothers are losing their babies too soon and wondering how they will put one foot in front of the other to keep going…

I am losing my patience with my kids. 

It’s so hard to reconcile the fact that while others mothers are longing to hold a baby in their arms, I am struggling to hoist mine up over my ever-growing belly and complaining about the pain in my back.

Sometimes, I feel defeated by the crushing weight of the sadness that we can find all around us; the stories that we gallantly share on Facebook, hoping to ease the burden of another parent’s pain, fearing deep down, what if it was me?

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And through it all, I wonder: why can’t I do better?

Why can’t I remember how lucky I am? Why do I ever, ever complain when I have so much?

I get that I am human.

I get that every mother needs a break, a breather, feels overwhelmed by the constant demands of the baby and toddler life.

And I know eventually, that the sadness will pass, the story will fade, and all that will be left is the lingering talk of, “Remember that one story…? So sad…”.

I know this. I know that I will falter and fail over and over again. 

But that doesn’t change the fact that I can change, right here and right now. Today. I can make today a little brighter and better for my babies–and for me. Because I can. Because we are here.

And I can choose to take that blessedly simple fact to heart, even if it’s just for today, and really live

I can take my kids out to breakfast and we can snuggle in the booth together and watch the rain fall, giggling when my son smiles widely at me, a stray sprinkle on his cheek.

I can pack them up for a spontaneous trip to the library, where I don’t check my phone the whole time and let them linger among the shelves for as long as they want, nary a five-minute warning from me.

And I can ignore the fact that the dishes need to be done and the laundry folded and dinner prepped and the rug vacuumed when my son pats the couch and calls for me, just asking for his mama to snuggle down next to him.

I can feel the warmth of his body curled next to me and breathe in his delicious baby boy scent and hold back tears when I watch his older sister sing in her spring recital and marvel at the blessed, blessed simplicity of it all.

Because they are here.

And I am here.

And that is enough.

And recognizing that–just for today–makes me a better mom.

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