I Actually Really Love This

I know it’s good to get away now and then, and I do. I slip out to Starbucks and write, or just stare out the window. But sometimes when we have a baby-sitter and we are at an adult-only party, I’m laughing along at some joke, and somewhere during that laughter, my mind drifts away to her. I feel the pink rubber hairband around my pinky, and think of how like it, I’m wrapped around her finger. I open my purse to pay at the coffee shop and as I pull out my wallet, so does Mr. Potato Head’s arm. My ear bud is wet; she sucked on it this morning under the computer desk.

How is it she goes with me everywhere? How is it, she has become my obsession? I’m tired and moody and yet, I can’t pry myself away. I feel naked without her.

My husband’s home this week on Christmas break, and I will grocery shop tomorrow as usual. And he will probably offer to keep her home with him. And that will sound like a great idea, until I am there. Alone.

I’ll push the empty cart, without her in it. I’ll easily grab the produce and cereal I want without having to pry anything out of little hands. No one will snatch my shopping list from me, or crumble it up, or throw it on the ground. No one will open the dryer sheets and blow their nose on them. No one will scream at the top of their lungs or tell me they have to go potty as I begin to check out.

The secret is: I actually love to have her with me. Even though it can be hard, and stressful, and chaotic.

Life is more fun with her.

I want her with me. I want her smile. I want her voice to fill up the car. I want her blonde head chattering in the rearview mirror. Even when that blonde head will start to scream and whine. Because, even as I’m wrestling her off the bathroom floor, (who knows what they are thinking in the stall next to us), and grabbing her from touching the nastiest box of feminine napkins that is bolted to the wall–I actually really love this. I love her. I love her with me. And I wouldn’t trade it.

That moment she left my womb, on a cold night in January, she entered my heart–never to leave.

I’m not saying taking breaks, or time away is bad. In fact, it is very good. I guess I’m just realizing, it’s not what outsiders would think it is. Those aren’t the moments I live for. They are the ones that help me keep living.

It’s like when you were a kid, on a hot summer’s day, running around playing freeze tag, sweating, screaming and laughing. Then your friend’s mom comes outside with a giant pitcher of Kool-aid. Someone screams “Time-out!” and you pause for a moment, gulping down all the cold liquid you can. And then you stand there, breathing hard, and wiping your mouth, and catching your breath. And the moment you do, someone screams, Time in!” And you run wildly back into the yard.

That is what we mom’s live for. The exhilarating game in the grass, the one that makes us sweat, and scream, and laugh. Not the crumpled paper cup on the picnic table. That was just so we could keep going.

Because underneath all the noise and chaos as we tote around little ones, underneath the shirt stained by ketchup fingers, underneath the the hands cramped from buckling, and unbuckling car seats, is a woman who whispers in her heart,
“I actually really love this.”

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24 thoughts on “I Actually Really Love This

  1. I feel the same way. Thanks for putting that feeling into words so nicely. I just realized it the other day when two of my four kids were eating dinner at a friend’s house & we only had the little two at table. My husband and I realized that as nice as the quiet was it was boring. Something was missing our kids were missing. We were so glad to have them in our family.

    • So glad you shared your perspective here. And I’m glad you can relate, even though you have four and I have one. My parents had five kids and often when they would plan short getaways together, they would just end up bring all of us with them because they just enjoyed having us around so much. 🙂 I’m glad your kids have parents who want them around (even if it means additional craziness!), and feel it when they are not. For all too soon, they will be grown up! Thanks for reading and I’m glad you can relate to this feeling. 🙂

  2. I never fully knew the meaning of the word “bittersweet” until motherhood. Those maddening moments you describe have so many times brought me to tears and closer to despair than I ever wanted to be, where the words from my mouth were “I actually really hate this”, and at the same time, through some Divine miracle, yes, “I actually really love this.”

    Thanks for putting it into such beautiful words.

    • Rebekah,
      I appreciate your honesty! And I agree, it’s not always full of those glowing wonderful moments! A lot of times it’s also really hard. Often during those moments away, even if they’re few and far between, is when I realize how much I miss her, and I’m able to see the purpose in what I’m doing, and renewed strength to go back in. You are right, it can be bittersweet! And it can take divine perspective to taste that sweetness.:)

  3. I LOVE this, Rebekah. I don’t know if I could love it more. It resonates with every part of me. Your analogy was perfection. Every time we get a babysitter, I’m happy to leave–I need the rejuvenation, the cold glass of koolaid–but when we get home, I just want to scoop that little boy up in my arms and kiss him all over. Really, being a mother is a beautiful, happy life. I’ll be sharing this on my Facebook page. BEAUTIFUL, Rebekah! 🙂

    • I don’t even need to get a babysitter to feel that way. Right before nap time I’m thinking “Why did I have kids?!?” But when they wake up I always say “I missed you. I’m so glad you’re awake.” as I hug & kiss them.

      • Lol. It is funny how drastic our feelings can change. That little bit of refreshment does make a BIG difference! Not just for our kids, but our husbands too. 😉 Thanks for sharing!!

    • Marla,
      I am so honored you liked this one and shared it too. It truly is a pure joy, even with the chaos, to be a mom. May God grant you all the refreshment you need to come back each day recharged and ready to go. I know it can be wearisome and feel like there’s not much to show, but I’m so glad that you too “actually really love this.” 🙂 Rebekah

  4. I feel exactly the same! There have been times when I imagine holding my baby tight, so tight that I have got scared of having pressed you so hard. I miss him when he is not around..but I miss it more yo not have him inside me anymore..

    • I’m so glad you can relate to this. I too remember after my daughter was born thinking, “Can I hug her too much?” I probably gave her at least a hundred kisses a day, and still it felt like not enough. I think part of being thankful for our kids is expressed in our enjoyment of them.
      Blessings to you!

  5. My son is 14, and I have struggled with secondary infertility since. We are still longing for a child, and at times I wonder if it would be worth it to start over again….and the answer is YES!! Wholeheartedly yes!! Because I too actually really miss this!! Thank you for sharing your heart and helping me to feel less alone in my feelings and struggles. Thank you.

    • Rachel,
      So glad to have you here! This blog is for you, being that is about both infertility and motherhood! It gives you such a unique perspective to know the longing of infertility, and yet the joys of motherhood. Truly, I think both the cries of sadness and joy bring us closer to God. I am glad to hear that you would welcome another child with open arms and an open heart. That is beautiful to me. 🙂 Feel free to check out any of my TTC posts (which are all about finding joy during seasons of infertility.) I know the waiting can seem forever long! But I pray you find beauty even in the barrenness. 🙂

    • Autumn,
      I know the feeling! The breaks are necessary and refreshing, but they also prepare us to come back to our little ones more full of joy than when we left. One of my friends and her husband told me they once left the movie theater just because they missed their new little guy so much, lol. I’m glad to hear that you too “actually really love this.” 🙂

  6. My husband and I have been arguing about this lately. About how our daughter gives me such a hard time and about how I should take more time for nyself…but you are right, I feel alone without my girl! My life is better, even with the chaos and headaches, when she’s with me! Thank you for giving me words to describe my feelings to my husband!

    • Rachel,
      My husband is at times shooing me out the door (and he is gracious to do so!) Sometimes I don’t want to leave, but when I do I am able to return with more perspective and refreshment than when I left. But, I admit, it’s sometimes very hard to pry myself away! Because at the same time, I really love this. May you get away, just enough to get that little bit of refreshment you need, so you can come back and love your girl even more. Thanks so much for commenting and relating. I’m glad to hear that you too “actually really love this.” 🙂

  7. Beautifully put. Hubby and I don’t often get out, but when we do…all I think about is how my oldest would get such a kick out of the restaurant decor, or which of his dozens of favorite Dr. Suesses is my youngest reading with Grandma, or, I look at the time, and think, oh, six o’clock on a Saturday night. The kids are gathered round the TV to watch old school Batman, just like my brother and I did. And, then, we hurry home so we don’t miss warm good night hugs and silly bedtime songs. Because the night is absolutely incomplete without them. Mad as our existence can be, they are the heart and soul of it.

    • Yes, I know the feeling well! We’ve had gracious friends and relatives offer to keep our daughter overnight, so we don’t have to drive an hour or more round trip to get her and bring her home when she’s already asleep. But typically by the end of the night, we both miss her so bad, we go get her anyway. And the few times we have let her sleep over, we both miss her terribly! And the sight of her empty crib is just too much for me still. I just really love her. And I’m so glad to hear that you feel the same about your kids! They really are a part of us. The refreshment is great, but the game is better.:)

  8. I love your points of view. It is true. Even though going grocery shopping is pretty much a nightmare with twin 2 year old boys, I do miss them when I go to the store without them. I miss making them happy with their free cookie! For better or worse, my boys are my life and my heart for sure!

    • I love how you said that, “My boys are my heart.” It is true! I can only imagine what two boys would be like in the grocery store!! At the same time, I’m sure it feels so eerily quiet in the car without them.;) I’m happy to hear you too “actually really love this.” P.S. I loved getting my free cookie as a kid when I would shop with my mom! That’s great your boys are making such fun memories with you!

    • Sasha,
      Thank you so much! I am glad you can relate to this. 🙂 And yeah, about “me time,” just starting to realize what it is, and how to see it rightly. May you have times of refreshing this year, that just make you love this job all the more. 🙂

  9. Absolutely so beautiful and so unbelievably true. I really do love it all! It makes me so sad when people say things to me like, “Oh I’m so sorry!” or “You poor thing!” when they see me in the grocery store with my 3 guys. I wouldn’t trade it for anything! Such a beautifully written post…as always!

    • Thank you so much for reading! Also, wow, I can only imagine what it is like to have 3 guys with you (versus my one girl!) Thinking back on my childhood, I was the middle of 5 kids, and I’m pretty sure my mom took us ALL to the grocery store all the time! (My respect for her just grows and grows.) I remember often riding underneath the cart…(is that even legal anymore? lol) Anyway, that is awesome that you love your three boys so much and embrace having them with you.:) <3

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