A couple of months ago, I was reorganizing drawers in the kitchen, and it struck me just how much of Caleb had creeped into our neat, pre-kid lives. It was something silly. I opened the utensil drawer to take stock of what we had and do a little spring cleaning, and the contrast of our dark-handled flatware alongside all of Caleb's brightly colored utensils was just really poignant to me.
Obviously I have children. I know this because there are toys strewn about the house, and the laundry is filled with tiny socks and tiny underwear and because I spend more of my days talking about superheroes than I ever thought imaginable. But it was in that utensil drawer that the scope of motherhood really hit me. It was then that I realized just how much motherhood had changed me.
That drawer represented our lives before Caleb, and with Caleb in it.
Before having children, everything was neat, and uniform, and orderly. We picked up the house and it stayed picked up for longer than 5 minutes. We made a schedule for the day and we could stick to it. We made plans and didn't have to throw them out the window because a little one woke up sick. I could get home from work and watch whatever TV shows I wanted, or go to the gym, or take a nap. Generally, I had my life together. But eventually, that life was a little bit empty, and our souls ached for something more. I remember watching TV with Eddie one day and saying to him, "Our house is lovely, but you know what's missing? The sound of tiny feet on the wood floors."
And after kids? Like the drawer, life is colorful. It might be messy, but it's filled with joy and color and laughter. Life has changed, and so have I. I've learned to embrace the toys and the color that appear in every corner of the house. I've learned that every day will be different, and that most will never go exactly as planned. I watch shows that make my child happy. I make a fool of myself to make my child laugh. I am stronger than I have ever been in my life - not because I go to the gym, but because I spend all day running around after a toddler, and carrying an infant seat around town. I don't nap most days, but I do value my rest like never before. Once highly insecure, I now know that there is nobody in the world who knows my children better than I do. I feel emotions with more intensity, and I am more fiercely protective of my family than I have ever been of anything. I have learned that our hearts can expand immeasurably, and love multiplies when you need it to. I am different, because my children have changed me. The house is filled with the sounds of little feet and little voices, and it was exactly what the house needed to feel full and complete.
It took a silly drawer to come to that realization, but I'm so glad I did. Because instead of wishing for the life I once had, it made me recognize how much I have grown. And that drawer? I'm not quite sure I'll ever have the heart to reorganize it.
Did you enjoy this post on motherhood? If so, be sure to check out the posts linked below. These ladies are all amazing and they have their own thoughts on motherhood that I'm sure you will enjoy!
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