This week we took a jaunt to that special place where the serene connected threads of our beautiful earth, the turquoise crests of the ocean, splash up against the soft powdered sands of a nearby beach. It had been too long, and the waves were calling, luring us back with their lapping anthems.
It also was a chance for me to spend some extra time with this sweet little boy, our middle child in the making. Since my return home, little man’s been attached to my side and asking for more and more attention. I think between the inevitable changes happening in our lives and the time I was away, someone is looking for a little extra security.
Our time at the beach was beautiful, with wisps of salty breezes, sandy bodies and cold splashes woven into the sweet moments of cute little conversations, cries over dirty fingers and stolen kisses.
A different kind of day than, say, today. A day when the “mama, mama, mama” got to be a little redundant after I worked myself too hard and skipped naps, because come four o’clock in the afternoon, the previously referred to mama was tired, hungry and cranky. Cranky enough that as we sat down together for dinner, as a family, I couldn’t let the first bite of the meal begin without apologizing to my family. We all have days, pregnant or not, in a hormonal hot mess or not, that can seem to get the best of us. And whether our outrageous hijinks be a few moments or a few hours, as mothers, we effect the entire tune of our home. It’s rhythm relies on our inhales and exhales, it’s very breath a mirror of our own. When I see my wee ones affected by the day, I know that I’m the one that can change the course I’ve set, because even if the course we’re on isn’t intentional, I’m the matriarchal captain of my family’s boat. No matter what kind of storms our family faces, with everything I’ve got I’m sailing them out to clear skies and a calm, turquoise sea… we’ll have plenty to weather together, mama doesn’t need to add to it.
“…Each day is, in a certain sense, a complete life by itself. It has its own duties, its own trials, its own burdens, and its own needs. The very best we can do for the perfecting of our life as a whole, is to live the one day well. We should put all our thought and energy and skill into the duty of each day, wasting no strength, either in grieving over yesterday’s failures–or in anxiety about tomorrow’s responsibilities.” ~J.R. Miller
So many times, as mothers especially, and even just as women, we can tend to compare our worst days, the low moments or the hormonal split-decicions that didn’t end so well with the sweetly picked and edited version of someone else’s high point. The fact is, we all blow it, we all mess up. We all will have times we need to apologize as we pass the ketchup or say we’re sorry over sleepy-time kisses. It happens. Some days our Instagram feed is full of sunshine and unicorns, and some days we just avoid the internet all together, because glancing through another’s feed of smiles and perfect moments reminds us of the failure we were in our own moments. And that’s the trap of comparison… because even on our best days, we’re looking to see if we measure up, if our own success is as good as someone else’s. Our job as mothers, and as women, isn’t to scrutinize ourselves to our own rose-colored view of other mothers, but to find success in the eyes of our own children, the ones whose heart and tender little souls rely on us for their guidance and direction.
Tonight, we’re all sleeping well, knowing that tomorrow is another day. Another day to navigate together, not to be spent in regret for moments past or wishing for time to move any quicker that it is, not to compare our failures to another’s success or shortcomings to someone’s strength. As I grow, finally, into this role of motherhood, I’m realizing that we’re already equipped with everything our family needs, it’s there… the direction, the excitement, the strength to about-face the day if needed, the humility to accept when we’re the ones knocking it off course and the fortitude to high-fives someone else’s success without waiting for the exhale of their imperfection to show. Dude, we’ve all been there, in the good times and the hard times… and it’s time to live our own day well.
Aye, aye, Captain.