Rather flippantly, I responded “Little warm bodies curled up on my lap as the sun rises, dancing to toddler tunes in the middle of the kitchen, and the fact that a rainbow popsicle can make the whole day special."
The questioner raised an eyebrow, and then said, “So what do you dislike about being a mom?” I thought for a moment, and with a chuckle replied, “Little warm bodies curled up on my lap as the sun rises, dancing on a sticky kitchen floor to toddler tunes and the fact that the biggest highlight of our whole day may be a rainbow popsicle.”
The soon-to-be bride nodded politely and moved on to simpler topics like the weather and the dilemma of where to hold her rehearsal dinner. Perhaps she made a mental note never to engage sleep-deprived moms of five in conversations that require introspection. But for once, my circular response wasn't due to the thick mental fog that seems to stunt my ability to articulate intelligent adult thoughts without utilizing highly-descriptive and mature terms like "Yucky," or "Poopy." This time, my perplexing answer was simply an honest acknowledgment of the surprising paradox of motherhood.
Motherhood is a brightly wrapped contradiction of marvel and monotony, beauty and boredom, dancing and drudgery. Ironically, the pieces of mommy hood that I once imagined would be my greatest blessings can also feel like my greatest burdens. If I'm not careful in this season of incessant needs and simple joys, monotony can overshadow the marvel, boredom can tarnish the beauty and drudgery can halt the dancing. I'm learning that the invisible line that separates my blessings from my burdens is the condition of my heart. Am I grateful or grumpy? Content or complaining? Is my heart anchored in the Word or steeped in thoughts of the flesh?
The Creator of toddler dance moves and early morning darkness declares, "Children are a blessing from the Lord." That same Creator is both the Lion of Judah AND the spotless Lamb; the King of Heaven AND the Suffering Servant, One who extends mercy AND judgment. He is the First AND the Last, the Beginning AND the End, a God of perfect paradox. And so, on the days when my blessings grow heavy and my heart is drained of gratitude, I need only to lift my eyes above the stickiness on my kitchen floor and fix my gaze on the One who understands this paradox called MOTHERHOOD. When, I do, I'm prone to agree with His declaration. Children are indeed a blessing even sweeter than a rainbow popsicle!
The Overflow: Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. Psalm 127:3