Day 6 – A Marathon, not a sprint.

This is Day 6 of my 30 day writing challenge 🙂

Mother’s Day is celebrated yearly, every second Sunday of May. I have been blessed enough to have seen four of these since my son was born in 2012. I say ‘have seen’ because in retrospect, the first two were too hazy. Instead of celebrating, I took time to wonder aloud how much longer I would have to endure a dark phase, cloudy judgement and short fuse temper which, sadly, was vented at my little man.

Today I had the chance of meeting my pal at church, mummy to a six-month old handsome boy, all shades adorable. Proud of this girl for many reasons. Carrying her son gave me the inspiration to reflect on my own experiences at the time when my son was the same age. I recalled the different things that stood out in the period between 6 -12 months: when his first teeth appeared, when he started weaning and I made the mistake of giving him raw carrots to nibble on (he almost choked, it is not advisable to sooth teething this way as little pieces of carrot can find their way to baby’s throat), messy potty training which I hint at in this post not to mention the sleepless nights.

There are amazing moments in motherhood, yet it is also fraught with some of the most trying moments. Moments that test willpower, patience and courage. Moments filled with awe and angst, packed with tears and trepidation, a rollercoaster of sorts. I did not have it easy during my pregnancy (I knew I was gonna be a single mom at 5 months or thereabout, and at 8 months, I was officially jobless), and this predisposed me to Postpartum Depression (PPD) which manifested after my son’s birth. The number of times I felt like banging me head on a wall, or jumping off a cliff, or just driving off recklessly… made me realize that motherhood is a marathon, not a sprint.

Well said.
Well said. Image: Run Home

It is a long journey, and it is arduous. It requires physical, emotional, mental and spiritual strength to endure. Some days are thankless, no matter how much effort one puts. Many days, it seems like one is running on empty, a frenetic pace that easily leads to fatigue and mental exhaustion. It is easy to zoom into this hurried pace and feel weary. I did feel weary, still do on more days than I can count. But this I can attest to, gentle saving grace. I look back at all the morbid thoughts I had in my PPD, and much as I put effort to pull myself out of that phase, grace kept me. Grace in the form of friends who would take time to visit; grace in the form of friends who watched over my son while I enjoyed a day a couple of hours to myself, sweet grace in the form of friends who would pray for me. When mommy woke up at 3AM to soothe a teething baby with no complaints, that was grace. When I was kept from stabbing him, that was grace.

I may never have realized it then, but I look back and reflect on the journey, and I am grateful. Today, I am looking for grace in my days, opportunities to hug my little man tighter, a chance to speak words of affirmation, time-out to play with his Lego blocks and doodle over the day’s newspaper, the walls, mom’s diary, his scrap book, a moment to share the truth that he is indeed loved and treasured. Because these moments are fleeting, and in the marathon that motherhood is, these are the moments I will hold dear to me when he is a teen, deep baritone voice, mustache and all. A gentle reminder that today, and everyday is Mother’s Day, and grace will meet me here.

Featured Image Photo Credits: Ripped Jeans and Bifocals

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