When you first dreamt of motherhood, you likely had a beautiful picture painted in your mind of what you hoped motherhood would look like. You likely dreamt of quiet, still moments with your tiny babe, their soft baby skin nestled against yours, those sweet tiny eyes looking up at you, and the world standing still for just a moment. You likely dreamt of carrying your baby in the wrap for their first walk around the neighborhood, the joys of cheering them on as they would take their first steps, and the first time they would run into your arms and say, “I love you, Mama.” While all of these dreams will someday come to fruition, there is also a whole other side of motherhood that no one can truly prepare you for, which is the mess and mundane in raising our sweet babes.
As I sat at the table with my son during lunchtime, his sweet little body smothered in avocado from head-to-toe, I just looked at him, thinking about all that motherhood is and how so much of motherhood looks a lot like this. It’s the sticky hands, dirty diapers, three-day-old messy bun, middle of the night tears, spit-up stained clothes, picking up toys for the umpteenth time, running late to every appointment, hitting the pillow at the end of the night with a sigh of relief, that comes as a surprise. Motherhood often feels a lot like messy, mundane, everyday “doing,” that we lose sight of those dreams we once had. But, in all of the mess and mundane, motherhood is also filled to the brim with magic, all of this is motherhood, and we wouldn’t trade it for the world.
If we can transform our perspective to allow our hearts to find the magic in all the mess and mundane of motherhood, there is immense joy to be had in each simple moment of raising our children. This job of raising tiny humans is one of exhaustion, of feeling like we are doing or saying the same thing over and over again without hardly ever seeing the fruit of this labor of love. As mamas, I think we all have seasons that feel a lot like this, stuck in the mess and mundane, feeling far from any sort of magic.
Mama, I see you, in all that mess, all that mundane, all those overwhelming, down, anxious feelings that fill the pages of your motherhood story. In all of that, you are not alone. Even in those hard seasons of motherhood, the ones that feel like the tallest mountains to climb, I’m still convinced there is ordinary magic to be found in each tiny moment of the day. I believe that seeking magic, shifting our perspective, and embracing motherhood for what it is, not what we hoped it would be, can change the entire atmosphere of our home, our relationship with our children, and how we are encouraging and loving our children to become the very best people they can be.
For what seemed like forever in the early months of our son’s life, I would spend hours rocking our sweet boy to sleep, for naps, nighttime, in middle of the night, because teaching babies how to sleep is no joke. Now, after months of our sweet boy putting himself to sleep, he woke up one recent night, crying, crying, crying, unable to fall asleep for the night. I went into his nursery, picked him up, took him back to the rocking chair, and just rocked my sweet baby. Something that had been so mundane, so exhausting, something I had begun to wish away in early motherhood with him now felt like magic. My baby wrapped his tiny hand around my thumb, and as I rocked with him, I felt his little body fall asleep in my arms, and wished I could have stayed there with him forever.
In all of the mess and all of the mundane, I believe there is ordinary magic to be found in each day of motherhood. I believe that when we change our perspective, press into gratitude, embrace the gift of being their mamas, we will find every day magic of raising our littles. When we learn to find and embrace the magic for ourselves in motherhood, we get to pour out every day magic back into the lives of our children.
We live in an era of sharing the beautiful moments of our lives that we often don’t see the mess and mundane that lingers behind every mama’s story. As a lifestyle and motherhood photographer, my heart finds immense joy in capturing and sharing the beautiful moments of motherhood, but I’ll be the first to tell you that these moments are just tiny snapshots of the big picture. While most sessions start with mamas joyfully embracing their sweet babes, filled with laughter and kisses and moments they wish could last forever, many sessions end with screaming, hungry, overtired babes. While I do believe that sharing our stories with the world can be such a gift of connection, encouragement and inspiration, we have to remember that we are seeing just a glimpse, that even when things look beautiful, put together, and filled to the brim with that joy and embrace, we don’t always see the mess and mundane that fills every mama’s life.
If I’m being honest, as I look back at the past seven months of raising our son, I’ve missed many moments of magic because my heart became tired and weary from all the mess and mundane. But, rather than finding this as defeating, I find it as encouragement to live intentionally in motherhood, to seek magic each day going forward, and I encourage you to look back at your motherhood story and do the same. Whether it’s adding a few sprinkles to snack time, pulling out the bubble machine in the middle of winter or adding bath paints to your bathtub routine, a little thing like this can go a long way in filling our children’s lives with moments of magic. They need that everyday magic just as much as we do, and with a perspective shift, I’m convinced that we will open our eyes to find it. We have the power to change our perspective, to allow our hearts to find the magic in every messy and mundane moment of motherhood. Let’s make it our aim to look back and remember these years for all that they were, messy, mundane, but filled to the brim with magic. All of this is motherhood, and it’s our story to write.