You Can't Really Enjoy Your Children, Sorry.

You've seen this. I know you have...

It's a portion of a rip-your-heart-out-flood-your-eyes-throw-down-your-to-do-list poem. It's specifically designed to make all your Martha-like tendencies curl up in a corner and die while you play blocks and make-believe with your children for the rest of the day.

I know who this poem is written for. It's written for those mothers who want to get things done, who care about checking off to-do list items, who are in perfection type-A overdrive. I know those mamas. Many days, I am one of those mamas.

But more often I run to another ditch. 

At the end of the day, I stand sobbing outside my child's room, scared that I've wasted some small part of that day with them.

I get mini-panic attacks, mid-cuddle session because I'm not sure I'm soaking up the moment enough.

I try to memorize every curl, every hug, every little toothy grin.

Babies grow. Toddlers walk and then run. Kids get taller, smarter... they become adults.

And while every mother needs a reminder to stop, to enjoy, to soak up the moment they're in... I'm here to tell you that you can't possibly do that.

As I stood, again, in a darkened hall outside my little boy's room, tears streaming down my face, I came face to face with the reality that I am finite.

I cannot enjoy everything in its fullest.

I do not have the capacity to memorize and devour a precious moment to its fullest.My powers of enjoyment, love, and motherhood are limited.

I will never fully enjoy and appreciate my children.

And I'm not meant to.

I live in a world where I am bound by time. God knew this. He created me this way. I am gridlocked by my own humanity.

He wanted me to look to something bigger for my enjoyment.

Someday, I will be in a place where there is no time, where I can enjoy the good gifts God has lavished on me without the constraints of time. I will have an eternity to soak up the goodness, the joyous moments, the perfection. 

I'm not meant to enjoy that as a mom. I can't possibly enjoy my children to the fullest. There's no way.

And that's okay.

Because there are bigger, better enjoyments coming. I'm just praying my life points to them in such a way that my children follow my example and are there to enjoy eternity with me. 

So, feel free to scrub that kitchen floor (perhaps with a puddle-loving child in tow... my siblings and I used to "ice skate" across the kitchen), and don't feel guilty for not "soaking up each moment." Yes, please enjoy the blessings of the now, but don't forget to look forward to the limitless delights of eternity.

After all, the goodness I'm soaking up from these moments is wonderful, albeit finite. I love my babies.