Unwrapping Motherhood

They proudly bring me gifts painted in garish colors, fling arms around me in wildness of affection.

I iron their clothes and help with buttons and fix piggy tails in baby hair.

And I wonder if mothers a hundred years ago doubted themselves as much as I do now. If the Native American mother with her infant strapped to her back agonized over her choice to wear her baby. If Ma Ingalls thought even for a moment that she had spent too much time that day doing housework and not enough time reading books or doing fingerplays with her little girls.

Sometimes I think that our society just overthinks everything. All the conveniences of my home have done nothing for me but give me more reason to dwell inward.

God would not have me dwell inward.

He would have my thoughts fixed on Him, on the work He has given me to do, on the sweet moments of joy He has given me the leisure to savor.

I do not think that if a pioneer woman were given a microwave and a dishwasher and a gas dryer that she would spend all her extra time thinking of all the things she had done wrong. I think she would know the preciousness of her time, thank God for an extra moment, and go out and dance in the tall prairie grass with her little ones.

Or maybe not.

I really don’t know. I just know this:

This moment of skinny boy arms flung around my shoulders, of bruised boy knees kneeling beside me on the bed for a kiss, of fat little girl hand curled trustingly around my finger– this moment is a gift.

And I choose to unwrap it, to savor it, and to enjoy all their undeserved trust and love.

Because this motherhood thing, it does have its perks. By grace I learn to just accept the gifts.

tuesdays unwrapped at cats


17 thoughts on “Unwrapping Motherhood

  1. What a gorgeous photo of the four of you!!! 🙂 Love it!
    And yes… I do think we overthink things too much at times. And we should play more. I know that 🙂

  2. First of all, an entire family wearing glasses is just entirely too endearing. And second? Thank you for reminding me of the very reason I started Tuesdays to begin with – because i was afraid I would miss it all if I didn’t take the time to stop. Because the truth is, we can’t always stop. Sometimes, we have to do, go, work, produce. But those small graces are gifts, and we can accept them as such without fretting over the times when the work has to get done. Great post.

  3. I know it.
    It’s hard. I’m fretting over some guilt , some I should have and will this come back to haunt me, her, us.
    it’s steps forward not back .

  4. You had me at “skinny boy arms.”

    What could be better? I think probably nothing. Good for you for stopping to savor. And for sharing the moment with us!

  5. That photo is so very frame worthy.
    And yes, let’s make a pact to stop stressing and turning inward and just enjoy the gifts as they come.
    Seriously, that photo is awesome. (Did I say that already?)

  6. Pingback: Tweets that mention Unwrapping Motherhood « Together for Good -- Topsy.com

  7. Oh, Erin, the picture and the exquisite writing just made my heart rejoice. It has been a number of years now since I have “danced in the prairie grass” with my little ones but the memories are oh so dear and oh so precious. Enjoy them, sweet one.

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