As a mom, you have those days when you feel on top of the world, invincible even. You clean the baseboards, do three loads of laundry, pay the bills and cook your husband a fancy steak dinner, all the while reveling in the fact that you have the happiest, most well-behaved baby on the block.
Then there are other days. The days when you crack your tooth and spend all day searching for a dentist who won’t charge an arm, leg or any other body part to repair it. The days when you attempt to file your taxes and then realize that your hospital never sent your child’s birth certificate and social security number so the Child Tax Credit you were expecting to put towards your cracked tooth isn’t happening. The days when your child cries for three hours on end for no reason in particular and you want to yell in frustration “Would you please just shut up?!” As per Murphy’s Law, these “days” all actually tend to fall on the same “day.” For me, that day is today.
I’ve been realizing more than ever lately that when you become a mom, all the other duties of life don’t stop. When you add “mom” to your job description, all the inconveniences and details that demand attention keep-a-comin’. When they come too fast and with too much fury, it can make you feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders and everything is falling apart. (Of course, it’s not really.)
For me, a couple of frustrating circumstantial events coupled with my nutso woman hormones and a fussy baby has made today seem like the end of the world. Or, rather, that I wish it WAS the end of the world so that all the craziness would end. But I know that “this too shall pass.”
If all of the mothers in the world were ever to unite and choose a motto, I have no doubt that it would be “This too shall pass.” Since Jacob was born, remembering that phrase has gotten me through many tough situations and also helped me consciously appreciate the wonderful times even more than I might have otherwise.
As a parent, the tough times and the sweet times all pass so quickly. The long, sleepless nights with a newborn, the pain of nursing, the bouts of colic—for me and Tom, these days are all but gone. We are still enjoying the sweet, gummy smiles, the joyful gurgles and the total and complete dependence of our little guy on us, but we know these things won’t last forever. They, too, shall pass. (Sigh.)
Remembering that nothing lasts forever makes days like today easier. It also helps me appreciate each and every moment with my little one—even the stressful ones. When I take a minute (okay, five) to collect my nerves and think calmly about it, even three hours of crying can be cherished when you know that someday you won’t be able to snuggle your child close to your chest every time he needs comfort.
Still, I wouldn’t be human if I said I’d rather snuggle a hollering baby than a sweet, silent one. So, for now, I am clinging to the bittersweet reality that “this too shall pass.” Today, tomorrow can’t come soon enough, but of course, by tomorrow, I may want the day to last forever. I suppose that’s the delicate mystery and beauty that is motherhood. “This too shall pass” is at once a reason to tear up and to smile.