Jumping into my car the other day, I caught sight of myself in the rear view mirror. Both kids were buckled into their overpriced car seats and we were heading somewhere distracting during a cold Canadian day.
I stopped a few seconds longer to study the woman I had become.
Familiar blue eyes still looked back, but they were cuddled by dark shadows and tickled with both heavy and delicate lines extending from every angle. I realized I truly looked as tired as I felt that morning and sunk deeply into my seat with a sigh that mourned the shadow-less face I once knew.
These thoughts of exhaustion shining through kept nudging my mind that day, and I caught myself intentionally trying to look in windows and mirrors to see if my appearance magically transformed to one of refreshment and not one that proved I hadn’t slept through the night in over four years. No such luck...I looked like someone working hard. I looked like a mother.
That evening, I closed my eyes while sipping my wine and reflected on the daily actions that deepen these lines for parents everywhere.
Getting up every night to the calls of “Mama” or “Dada” to feed, cuddle, comfort and soothe our children back to sleep. It’s really a precious treasure to be the one who meets our little ones’ needs in the darkest hours.
Frowning as we watch our children practice a skill that could easily be expedited with our help, but understanding their need for independence and autonomy to become their own person...especially a stubborn 2-year-old!
Laying in bed, unable to doze off, thinking about our children’s current challenges. Trying to think of ways we can change as we are often the ones with a problem that they have sadly started to model.
Smiling at our kiddos, or smiling when thinking about them...because man! We do this a lot, don’t we?
Laughing along with our little one’s nonsensical jokes and their sweet sayings.
As the list grew, my mind reached a verdict.
I am a mother.
I sacrifice. I love. I laugh. I cry...sometimes a lot. I think. I hardly sleep. I worry. And I smile...once again, a lot.
Motherhood influences me from the inside out. My heart is showing on my face and my heart looks worn, it looks tired, it looks weathered and like it puts in a mega-load of hours...because it does. Hours of care, hours of concern and hours of cuddles.
I am OK with my heart being visible. I am OK with fine lines showing my love. And I am OK with shadows declaring that my nights are spent nursing and nurturing. I may try to drink more water and use a better moisturizer, but next time I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror I want to remember my motherhood first and foremost. I want to appreciate the proof of my full heart displayed around my eyes.
So Moms—be encouraged! Your motherhood is showing...and it is beautiful!
Love in wrinkles and in lines,
*Hashtag no filter*