Last night I had a not-too-unusual experience that perfectly encapsulates what a friend has recently called “the weirdness of motherhood”. I had never thought about how weird motherhood was until I heard that phrase and since then I’ve been recognizing it in everything!
At around 4am my son came to me crying about a spider in his bed. Agreeing with him that yes, that is indeed terrifying, but reassuring him that it was a dream, I encouraged him to go back to bed. (Actually it was more like “huh? Dream! Bed!”) But instead, he climbed into bed with us, and I was too tired to argue.
What happened next is a perfect example of the weirdness of motherhood. Let me paint you a picture.
Not shown in this little cartoon is that at one point, I was actually missing my daughter and wishing she would join us in the bed! And literally the next second - almost simultaneously even! - I was wishing my son was back in his bed and I could go to sleep. It’s like wanting to be thin and wanting to eat an entire tray of brownies at the same time! (Another oxymoron in my life.)
Whatever stage of motherhood we are in, we want them gone and we want them back. We want snuggles and we want our own space. We want to hold them forever, but we are training them to leave. So I suppose in the end, we have to concentrate on the good stuff and roll with the bad. I’m thankful that my son kept me up last night and I could capture a beautiful sleeping boy picture. But I’m also thankful he doesn’t do that most nights. I guess that’s the key: being thankful whatever the circumstances.
1 Thessalonians 5:18