No one said this parenting gig was going to be easy. Seriously. No one I knew who had kids before me ever said, “Don’t worry so much about how it will be. This stuff is easy peasy.” Those words were never uttered.

Wonderful? Sure.

Wild? Definitely.

Exciting? Yes.

But easy? No, never heard it.

Something that falls under this exciting-but-not-easy umbrella of motherhood? Making memories.

Even though “Chief Memory Maker” sounds like an awesome job—and it is—it also comes with stress.

There’s the stress of thinking of fun activities to do, then the stress of planning said fun activities.

There’s the stress of piecing together and paying for parties. There’s the stress of documenting celebrations and adventures—and sometimes even getting super fancy and creating a photo book after the fact to have proof that these memories happened. (Or at least posting a photo on Facebook or Instagram, because let’s be honest—if it wasn’t on social media—did it even happen? #RealTalk)

Then there’s the stress of packing all the things, and traveling, and stopping to go potty, and figuring out where to change a diaper, and finding places to eat, and figuring out when (if) nap time will happen, and soothing the crying, and negotiating for the whining to stop, etc.

And it turns out—making the magic happen isn’t
all sparkles and glitter.

But you know what it is? It’s worth it. It’s so worth it to me.

It’s so worth watching my children’s face light up every time they see the dinosaurs at the museum. Even if a complete meltdown just happened over getting into the stroller to go into the museum twenty minutes prior.

It’s so worth hearing my babies squeal with joy whenever they visit the animals at the farm. Even if we spend a longer amount of time between getting ready to leave for the farm and getting in the car to go to the farm and driving to the farm than we do actually visiting the farm.

It’s so worth it to watch my mom and dad hold their grandchildren’s hands at church. Even if we have to pack snacks and books and a few more tricks up our sleeves to get our kids to sit quietly for (at least some of) the service.

It’s so worth feeling my kiddos excitement as we wait in line to meet Santa or to go on the ride or get an ice cream cone. Even if there’s whining about how long it’s taking or how bored they are. (And even if I’m silently doing some whining on the inside, too.)

It’s so worth hearing my children clap and cheer as we pull into grandma and grandpa’s driveway. Even if we had to stop five times on our three hour ride to their house and even if there was fighting and crying and lost pacifiers and snacks needed and blowout diapers in the car seat.

It’s so worth laughing with my husband as our perfectly planned day trip turns into a perfectly beautiful mess. Even if we *may* have snapped at each other once or twice. And even if we’ve both been sweating the whole time because we’re on high alert keeping track of everyone.

It’s so worth making the time to be with family a priority as we celebrate baptisms and birthdays and recitals and weddings. Even if it’s really hard to schedule events with how busy everyone is and even if it’s hard to please everyone with all the little details of each event.

We, as mothers, have the privilege of making their childhood magical. My children only get one childhood, and I want to help make it fun

But please know that I firmly believe that not every moment needs to be magical. Because that’s not realistic or attainable.

But there’s a lot of opportunity for magic in the everyday.

There’s magic in finding a small flower growing from a crack in the sidewalk.

There’s magic in dancing together to your favorite song.

There’s magic in cooking a meal together.

There’s magic all around—if you stop to notice it, embrace it and create it.

Childhood is when their imaginations are creative and wild. When going to the post office to send mail can be seen as an adventure. When holidays and family celebrations make them feel so special and loved that they may burst with excitement.

The other day my daughter randomly said to my husband, “Dad! Do you remember when we went to that football game—just me and you?” and it warmed my heart.

These little moments are things our kids remember, and they can make a big impact on them.

I’m grateful to be able to look through a family photo album or pictures I posted on Facebook and remember all the feelings I felt during that outing or party. Sure—the photos may also remind me of stressors from that day, but they also remind me of the laughter, the love and the joy. Of being together and sharing experiences with one another.

No special activity or trip or holiday or party of ours has gone off without a hitch in the history of our family. But these things don’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. As I’m continually learning—there is so much magic to be found in the chaos of this life.

I just have to be willing to find it.