Life is made up of moments. Some that are forgotten nearly as quickly as they occur while others take your breath away and stay with you for the rest of your days. These moments, the ones that you commit to memory and hold onto forever, these are the ones that matter.
Shared laughter with close friends over good food and a bottle of wine. Your wedding day. Moments of grief and vulnerability. Moments in time, held close to your heart for the emotions they make you feel. But nothing has brought me more of these moments, the moments that truly matter, than motherhood.
When you first hold that tiny baby of yours in your arms after labouring for hours or perhaps a cut that will take weeks and months to heal. Feeling that little person’s soft, slimy flesh against your own. A moment that defines you as a mother and changes the course of your life forever.
Moments of fear and sleepless nights. A crying baby bringing uncertainty, questioning yourself and your ability to do this whole parenting thing. Tired, alone and helpless. But then the fog lifts. Clarity creeps in. The first time you hear the word “mama” uttered by your precious baby.
Teething, sleep regressions, wonder weeks. More phases and frustration, doubt and anxiety. But this too shall pass. From each stage they emerge with new skills and new words. Rolling, crawling, walking. Moments of laughter, tiny hands reaching out to grab yours as they stumble forward, growing more confident with each step.
And then the tantrums. Hands on hips, the constant NO. Daily battles over the smallest of tasks, perhaps even nothing at all. Breathe through it and know that tomorrow your sweet angel will return, caressing your cheek or saying “mummy, I love you”. Moments of tenderness in amongst the terrible.
At the school gate waving your baby off for the first time. The oversized uniform only accentuates their tiny size. A few tears, most likely yours. Watching them follow the teacher, a little more independent than they were yesterday. And then moments of joy as they recount their day, new friendships formed, their little minds full of new words and skills.
The days and weeks roll into years. High school approaches. Independence grows. But they still need their mummy. Moments of witnessing maturity and a vulnerability they would never want their friends to see.
Adulthood appears, seemingly out of nowhere. Moving out, new friendships and careers. Where did all that time go? Once a babe in arms, now a grown person. Moments of pride at achievements, weddings, and then babies of their own. New life and new moments to be cherished and remembered.
These are the moments that matter. But what matters most, is to live in each moment. To be present in the now, not worrying about the future or living in the past, creating moments that will last a lifetime.