moments of motherhood

I fuss over the layers of laundry that are left steps away from the shower. I sweep up clots of dirt that are trekked in from walks to the mailbox and the barn. And our days are full with school and chores and meals and activities. Mothering almost feels easier in the daytime when it’s mixed with the busy and hectic. But it’s the hushed evenings, when the front doors are locked and the nightlights glow that my thoughts commence. Did I love them enough today? What are they thinking when they’re tucked in bed, comforter to chin?

The guilt tiptoes in.  

Did they remember that I kissed their foreheads before breakfast? Or that the clicking of the keys was too constant? I nursed the computer today. Stories for the newspaper sit, waiting to be written and a deadline for devotions loom.  “Just a quick phone interview,” I say over my shoulder. And half an hour later, the probing questions continue.

And these little ones of mine, they pay no mind to twitter or blogs or comments or what a distant friend had for dinner on Facebook.

My daughter catches me in the kitchen. We have whispered conversations about the boy she daydreams of. She comes to me when there is nothing in my hand but a spatula. Her heart pours when the modem rests. How many times did I miss these chats while thinking I could cook and check emails at the same time?  

And he prefers his feet off the ground. Scratches and band aids are the tattoos that don’t wash off nine-year old boys. “Please stop getting all scraped up in those trees,” I say with my elbows deep in suds. “I don’t want girl legs,” he quips back with a furrowed brow. I jot it down because it makes me laugh. He is comfortable weaved among the limbs. Soon enough he’ll be lured back down with the rest of us.   

 

I’m beginning again with this young baby child, the child of my 30’s. Motherhood seems sweeter with age. The tugs on the leg and the concentration that requires sounds of moo and quack. And Winnie the Pooh and Elmo have found their way back into our den. At night they peak through fabric lined baskets.

Years ago I lugged the video camera out when they were dressed in their Sunday best, shiny shoes and monogrammed bibs. But it’s the ordinary I’m recording now. It’s the grass stained jeans and the tousled ponytails that are worthy of capture.

And these are the pieces of motherhood that I don’t want to miss. And these are the people who make motherhood worth writing about.

She Speaks

I’m submitting this for a scholarship entry to attend She Speaks Conference in Charlotte July 22-24. I almost didn’t enter, but my sweet husband said, “How can you win a game when you don’t even try to make a shot?” (He’s full of basketball analogies this ACC weekend!).  But the truth is, I entered last year and didn’t make it. And rejection stings a little. But since then, I’ve blogged more, continued to write for a weekly newspaper, sold a couple more stories and contribute devotions for Zookeepers Ministries. Motherhood and writing make my heart swoon. I feel a great tug to write words that encourage and strengthen mothers and feel as if I could greatly benefit from the She Speaks conference.

For more information about the She Speaks Conference this July 22-24, visit shespeaksconference.com  

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15 thoughts on “moments of motherhood

  1. Oh yes, and you cherish each of those moments because you know these moments will slip away replaced by others that will be just as precious but different. Enjoy them Mom why you can. You are a great mom and as blessed as you are to have them God has surely blessed them with a mom who understands and cherishes these precious moments of motherhood.

  2. Oh, you captured moments of motherhood so well here…and are holding them deep in your heart as you encourage us to do the same. Thanks so much for sharing…

    Blessings,
    Cindy

  3. amanda… you have no idea, no idea how this resonated with me. i work from home too, as a freelance journalist, and aiden, my 16 month old son, has learned how to say no, and he comes to me, and he shakes his head and says, “no, no, no” when i’m on my laptop writing articles, and he takes my hand and tries to pull me away. and it’s so hard, so hard, to know when to go with him and when to say, “wait, honey” and always the guilt, always. sigh. but you’re right. at the end of the day, if i lost him, i’d have nothing–NOTHING–to write about. and no will to write it with. thank you for this perspective, friend. a beautiful, honest piece.

  4. Yup, I have the guilt, too. I’ve actually heard one of my sons sigh loudly behind my back and say: “You’re always on the computer.” Knife through the heart, I tell you. It’s hard to balance it all — the eeking out of a writing career, passionate pursuit, and the loving on my children and husband and family afar. I need 400 hours in a day.

    I am giving up multi-tasking for Lent. It scares the pants off me, because I multitask everything. But it suddenly came to me a few days ago: give up multitasking. Concentrate on one thing. I don’t say this often (in fact, I don’t think I’ve ever said it), but it seemed like a message straight from God.

    Really good post, Amanda. You write straight into my heart today.

  5. This is a beautiful heartfelf piece. That tension. When can I keep working and it is fine and when should I drop everything and read Winnie the Pooh. Every mom has felt it. I don’t think there is a way to be a perfect mom . . . but lots of ways to be a good one. And it sounds like you have a fun home, too. Listening to your kids, reading etc.

    Thanks for your recent visit to my blog and for your comment.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

  6. This has really been a repeating theme for me this week, embrace the beauty of the ordinary moment. Don’t sail through in a rush. Worship now, notice now, serve now, love now, sleep now, not later.

  7. Great post Amanda. You are a beautiful writer. Came across your blog through the She Speaks/Writes contest page…best wishes on your writing/mothering journey…it’s not easy…for sure, but God does know the desires of our hearts. Your kids are really cute…

  8. THRILLED for you, Amanda! As a mum of three twenty-something’s now, your post brought tears to my eyes. My 6’5 son left at 5am this morning to return to college in Kansas. Oh, how I long for those days when I was “jotting” notes down in the “in-betweens” of homeschooling life with three active children. It goes by fast. I am so happy you will be going to She Speaks. I attended way back in 2004 and have sinced published my first book and am hoping for more! Don’t be in a hurry. You have LOTS of time to do the work God has called you to do, but only ONE time to raise your children. You are doing a great job……ENJOY the conference!!!! Blessings, Janell Rardon

  9. Love your post!! As a mother of 4, soon to be 5, I need to be reminded to enjoy the moments even when the work piles up. Thanks for doing just that!! You will be blessed in ways you don’t even expect at She Speaks – I was fortunate to attend in ’09 and am still being impacted by all that took place there. With our due date July 28th, I won’t be making the trip back to NC this year, but someday I hope God takes me there again. I will be praying for you – may God prepare you for all that’s in store and work in and thru you with this scholarship!! Blessings, Jill

  10. Amanda,
    What a beautiful post! I didn’t make it over here when I was going through all the posts last week, but this really touched my heart. If we get a chance, I would love to meet you at the conference!

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