02 Mar Dear Moms
I see you.
I see the way you look at your little baby girl with such love in your eyes. You can’t believe that you could love any person this much.
I see the mess on the floor. The dirty dishes in the sink. The guilt at knowing that you should probably get up and clean, but you were up all night and your little one is finally happy just chewing on a toy in your arms. The effort involved in cleaning is simply more than you have right now.
But, I hear you calling yourself names in your head. Lazy. Not good enough. I see you comparing yourself to your friends who make this whole parenting thing look so easy. They say that it is hard, but when you go over to your friend’s house in the middle of the day for a playdate (which you feel guilty for doing because lets be honest, at this age, your daughter barely recognizes that there is another human near her who is not her mommy so really, this is just time for you to feel like a grown-up human with another grown-up human even for an hour) it is spotless.
I see you worry that you are not giving your daughter the right toys to play with, the right interaction to grow her brain. I see you listening to your podcasts on low since you read that children shouldn’t listen to electronics, but you know that if you don’t listen to another adult’s voice, you might just go crazy from boredom. That’s the biggest paradox of motherhood isn’t it? Being simultaneously bored and completely overwhelmed.
I see you treasure each little sticky finger, carefully wiping it down before giving it a kiss. Soaking in the chubby knuckles and sharp fingernails (you should really trim those). Trying to kiss every inch of that child so you can somehow express to her just how much she is loved.
I see the way you study her face: trying to memorize every curve and dimple because tomorrow she will look different, older. So, you grab your phone and snap some pictures frustrated that it doesn’t really capture the wonder that you are seeing. You think that you should call a photographer to captures these moments before she gets any older, but you haven’t bathed in three days and you are still sporting 20 extra pounds that just won’t go away. Plus, the whole process sounds stressful. Maybe tomorrow you’ll think about it some more.
I see the joy and doubt you feel when your husband gets home. It is so exciting to see this man who you love dearly, but the house is still a mess and even if he doesn’t say anything about it, you know he is thinking about it. But he doesn’t understand what it is like to be at home all day. You’ve tried to tell him, but nothing you say can really sum up the experience. He is a good man though. He never criticizes or judges – he picks up your daughter and tosses her in the air. Just like you see her with such wonder and love, seeing your husband become this amazing father fills your heart with even more love for him.
I also see what you don’t see. I see the way the your daughter reaches for you even when she is giggling with her dad. I see the way your husband looks at you when you sooth her tears. I see the pride he feels when he comes home and sees you – unbathed, heavier-than-you’d-like you. You are perfect to him. Your daughter is perfect to him. Your messy wonderful life is perfect to him. He tried to listen when you explain your day knowing he won’t understand, and that’s ok, because he KNOWS that what you do is more important and more difficult than anything he does at the office all day long.
I see you because I was you.
Because I was you, I KNOW that one day you will want these photos. Photos of not only your little girl but the two of you together. One day it won’t just be you who wants those photos. It will be your daughter.
Exist in photos with your child.