Starting at the very beginning, my most favorite joys of motherhood were meeting each of my three children. All of my kiddos arrived via c-section, so our first meetings were rather sterile, but oh so perfect at the same time. After months of anticipation, day dreaming and getting sneak peeks through ultrasounds, the moment of meeting each child face-to-face for the very first time will forever be burned in my memory. When my daughter was born (the first of three babies) I was certain there was something “wrong” with her because the nurses bundled her up in a blanket right away and the only thing I could see was her tiny face. I thought they were hiding something from me. (They were not.) When my first son was born (baby #2) a short fifteen months later, the doctors made sure I got to see him all squirmy and slimy before wrapping him up and bringing him to my husband who held him next to my face. Finally, when baby #3 arrived we were all laughing… we had not found out the baby’s gender this time around, and I was certain she was a SHE. Well, he was a HE and he was a BIG he. The anesthesiologist announced, “Get that kid a paper route!” Each arrival holds a very special place in my life. I will never forget the first time I laid eyes on each face, whispered into their tiny ears, and stroked their smooth, chubby cheeks.
I’m not sure if I can put the rest of my favorite joys in any particular order, but the next one that comes to mind is the deliciousness of a baby/toddler/preschooler after bath time. In our house, we do bath time pretty much every night. There’s something so sweet about snuggling with the little babe who smells like lavender and is all cozied up in clean pajamas. As the little one grows, post-bath time continues to be pretty wonderful. The toddlers are no longer sticky, usually a little bit calmer and a lot more snuggly in preparation for story time and bed time. Even the pre-schoolers are fresh and clean (aside from those temperary tattoos that seem to stick to my kids for an incredibly long time!), ready to settle down for the night, and full of sweet kisses, hugs, and noses. Bath time seems to not only wash away the dirt and grime, but the crankiness, tantrums, and stress from everyone’s day. I love me a fresh baby!
I absolutely love watching my little munchkins explore and learn about the world we live in. Seeing them feel sand and snow for the first time, watching them explore national parks, taste new foods, and just “discover” the world around them brings me such joy. I am reminded of how wonder-filled our days are. My kids help me to slow down and experience life with my eyes wide open. I am thankful for their enthusiasm and curiousity to learn and try new things.
Perhaps some of our most wonder-filled moments happen during the Christmas season. We like to keep our Christmas holiday Christ-centered, but we also celebrate the “magic” of Santa Claus and the fun of exchanging presents. One of my greatest joys of motherhood happens on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. Our family has created traditions that the kids look forward to with great excitement. I love the anticipation of Christmas morning and thrill of seeing the goodies beneath the tree for the first time. Almost nothing beats the joy of Christmas in our house!
Right after the joys of Christmas, I also want to add the joys of Disney! Taking my kids to Disney World a few years ago was one of my all-time favorite motherhood moments. To see their faces light up with excitement and awe of Disney magic was totally awesome. My daughter was filled with pure bliss to meet her favorite Disney princesses and characters. My husband and I couldn’t help but feel the joy and excitement too. Living life through the imaginations of my children is my most fun part of motherhood.
While time is definitely flying by and I will wish I could relive these moments over again, I also love, love, LOVE, watching the kids grow-up into the people they were made to be! I love see them learn new skills; first steps, first words, first Lego creation, first two-wheel bike are moments that I treasure for each one of them. I love to see their personalities bloom as they grow and mature. I love to know that each day they are becoming more of the wonderful person they were created to be.
Not only is it completely amazing to watch your little ones grow into big people, I find it even more amazing to watch my husband grow into a most wonderful father. I watch him teach our children to play fair, to tell the truth, to have self-control, and to be respectful. I watch him play ball, have tea parties, race cars, ride bikes, and camp in our back yard. I watch my children wave to him when he leaves the house and hug him when he gets home. I watch my family grow stronger because of the father that he is. I fall in love with him a little more every day.
And speaking of love…. there is nothing more enthralling than the feelings of love I have for my children. To have these little people in my life who have captured all of my heart is sometimes more than I can believe. They are my heart, and my life. Though they bring me tears on occasion, they bring me smiles daily. My life is full because I have been given the most precious gift of being their mother. I am thankful every day. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. that I get to be their Mom, MaMa, and Mommy.
P.S. This post and photos has made me realize I need someone else to take photos of me and my kids. Almost all of the photos that include me are “selfies” from my phone!