Several years ago my husband read the following quote on the side of a Starbucks cup and emailed it to me because he liked it so much. I think of it every now and then:
“The day my son was born, I simultaneously died and was reborn. Every day before that day, my life had been about me and what I wanted the world to give me. Every day since, my life necessarily has been about what I can give to someone else. And that, I think, is why the world needs more children—and more parents.”
Number four is arriving in a month or so. Life is busy. With three children, four and under, and one on the way, it can be easy to be overwhelmed — but life is so much bigger than fleeting frustrations. Because the thing is, I have a kicking human swimming around in my belly right now in the most mysterious and miraculous way.
I have a 17-month-old who loves to fall asleep holding my hand.
I have a 3-year-old who makes me belly laugh with her dance moves — and a 4-year-old who asks questions that make me look at the world with child-like wonder.
I have a messy house, but an incredibly happy heart.
Are there tough moments? Yes. Are there frustrating days? Of course. But within that is the life-changing, heart-growing, good stuff. It is, as the Starbucks cup read,”what I can give.” And it’s the joy of serving others — whether as a parent, a caregiver, a friend, or otherwise:
Just when we think we’re doing all the giving, we realize how much we’ve received.
I love these recent words of Sarah over at the blog, Clover Lane:
“I know that I am not perfect for sure, far from it, no parents are. I have had my days when I can’t find even that little bit of patience. I for sure have had days when I’ve complained about my children and their endless needs. And when I’ve had a sleepless fussy baby, I’ve cried about how hard it is to have a sleepless, fussy baby. But I’ve also learned over the last two decades that when I find the joy in mothering, yes, even when it requires every ounce of me, when I look through the world from the eyes of those who call me mommy, when I stop thinking “oh, this is hard” and started thinking “oh, I’m so lucky,” I’ve fully enjoyed all the aspects of parenting.”
Today I am a bit sleep-deprived. Walking with a waddle. Wading through loads of dirty clothes.
And so very grateful.