I am not the most patient mother.
I have a temper, I have a limited capacity for dealing with noise and activity, and I have zero tolerance for whining. (Seriously: we have a “no whining near Mommy” rule in our family. You may either whine or be in Mommy’s company, but you may not do the two simultaneously.)
So I go through lots and lots of seasons when my primary attitude towards motherhood is resentment or annoyance or a strangled sort of desperation.
But right now? I am just in love with my children.
I always love them. The love is nothing new. What’s new or different or fresh in the feeling is that I’m mostly feeling it free of the things that pull it down. Often I love my children with a sort of “You’re driving me crazy, so I’ll remind myself over and over again how much I actually love you!” Or, “I love you, but do you have to be so difficult?”
Lately, for whatever reason, I’ve been looking at my children and only feeling the love.
I glance at the baby and my heart does a big, cheesy leap. The toddler tugs at me, wanting my attention, and I smother him with kisses and tickles. I pick up my sons from school and I’m so happy to have them back with me that I cup their faces in my hands and smile kisses onto their soft cheeks.
That may sound saccharine sweet. It may sound manufactured. But I’ll tell you what: It is such a relief to feel this way.
Too often, my feelings toward my children are a tug-of-war of love, frustration, anger, pride, enjoyment, resentment, and more. This is difficult work. It wears on a soul.
So moments like these – days, weeks, minutes when the peace and joy and love of parenting somehow overshadow everything else – they are so welcome. They are so important. They fill me up; they give me something to draw upon when times get hard.