Fifteen years ago, on a beautiful October day crisp with the brilliant orange and yellows of fall, I secured my newborn beautiful son into his car seat ready to leave the hospital. I remember thinking “Are you actually going to let me leave with this new soul without asking if I’m at all capable of taking care of him?”
The golden morning light filtered through the window surrounding both of us, and I sat on the edge of the hospital bed and cried.
My favourite nurse walked into the room.
I was embarrassed and quickly wiped my tears away with the sleeve of my sweater.
Surely this was supposed to be the most exciting morning of my life! I was about to take this perfect baby home and shower him with love. I dreamed of this day since I was a little girl.
But I was scared beyond belief. I was responsible for his happiness and security, and I felt completely unprepared.
The nurse walked over to me and tenderly placed her hand on my shoulder. In a calm and reassuring tone she said “You will do just fine. Don’t worry. When you have your first child, no one ever tells you that you may not feel how you think you should. Just go home and love him.”
And then she prayed for me while I bawled like a baby.
I will never forget her kindness. It was probably something she did often for new Moms she cared for, but to me it was the most unbelievable gift of encouragement during the time when I needed it most.
To all you Moms out there, whether you are new to the role or seasoned veterans…
You are amazing.
There is no right way, just your own way.
For every unsolicited bit of advice you will receive about how to “properly” care for your child, simply listen to your own voice that instinctual knows what is best for your child.
Your children will flourish in your love. They will remember it.
When you rest your tired eyes at the end of a busy day and think about all the things you could have done better, remember that the memories your children will treasure most when they grow up are the happy ones.
They won’t remember that you burned the cookies, they will remember that you took the time to bake them cookies.
They won’t remember that you were a little late for their school play, they will remember that you sat on the edge of your seat with pride-filled eyes waving back at them when it was their turn to perform.
They won’t remember that your floors were dirty with watery footprints and sand, they will remember running with reckless abandon through the ice-cold sprinkler in the heat of the day and squishing the sand between their toes in the sandbox.
They won’t remember the hours of overtime put in to save for a holiday, they will remember the amazing family vacation where their laughter floated on the summer breeze.
They won’t remember the me-time you took away from the family to feel like yourself again, they will remember the happy Mom who returned with a revived spirit.
They won’t remember the days you couldn’t get away from your responsibilities to attend their school field trips, they will remember the school events you did make it to.
And they most likely won’t remember the expensive toy you caved in and bought after weeks of their insistent begging, but rather the refrigerator box you magically transformed into a space ship.
They will remember family dinners around home-cooked meals, and family dinners around take-out.
They will remember:
~your strong spirit
~your loving embrace
~your encouraging words
~your soft heart
Sometimes us Moms need to give ourselves a break, and focus on the areas we excel, rather than the areas we lack.
Because our children will remember all the brilliance, magic, and good that lived within those precious childhood years.
In the words of a favourite artist Mindy Gledhill…
It’s all about your heart.
From my soft-Mom-heart to yours,