If you had told me before I had children that one day I would be taking four of them down to a swimming pool on a regular basis, and ALSO returning home with four of them; I would have laughed in your face.
If you had told me that I would move into a two bedroom apartment with my husband and one baby, and that we would also stay there until there were four babies; I would have declared that impossible.
If you had told me that I would one day be able to teach one kid math, while breaking up a fight between two other kids, AND stop the baby from independently “cleaning” the toilet all at the same time; I would have shaken my head in disbelief.
What seemed unfathomable to me back then, has become the regular now.
Oh, growth. The process of increasing, maturing, and developing.
My boys experience growing pains on a regular basis.
Their knees hurt, and their legs hurt, and then suddenly their pants are too short and we need to hunt for new ones. (God bless the summertime when shorts are the most forgiving of all.) Sometimes growth is painful, but necessary, and often inevitable.
Often with growth, comes change. Motherhood has changed me. My hair colour and shoe size specifically, but also surprisingly, my personality and character.
I didn’t really think about how much it would change me when I excitedly announced, “I’m having a baby!” I didn’t realize that I should have also exclaimed, “I’m going to go through an intensive growth program where I become a better human being!” It caught me by surprise, like a small face lurking in the dark beside your bed at night while you’re fast asleep, type of surprise.
For me, motherhood has been the fast track program where my character is forced to be refined, and skills must be learned at an accelerated rate. Often these skills and capabilities are grown out of necessity and urgency, rather than interest or choice. And often, these skills are weird. Like when you suddenly discover that a spatula is the world’s best tool for scraping fresh vomit off of your area rug… That’s a skill I didn’t want, but have now honed against my will.
Motherhood. It makes you do things you didn’t want to do, and things that you thought you never could do.
But guess what. Gradually over time you’re going to realize:
I am more patient than I used to be.
I’m more gracious towards others.
I’m more compassionate.
I am capable of operating out a severe state of exhaustion, simply because I must.
And, I can make dinner with almost zero ingredients in under 8 minutes.
Doubt will be replaced with confidence.
Fear will be replaced with faith and trust.
Failure will be replaced with determination.
You will accept and understand, that control must often be replaced with surrender.
And patient endurance will have an entirely new meaning for you.
Look at how much you’ve grown already, and remember that you don’t even know all of the things that you’re GOING to be capable of, a week, a month, or a year from now. Every time you clean up the shattered bowl, scoop up the wailing toddler, take care of the sick somebody; remember that it is all contributing to the God designed process where you become the very best version of yourself.
Let that truth propel you through the good days, and pull you through the hard ones.
So mama, like I said before, you don’t even know what you’re capable of yet.