With droopy eyes and body covered in the scent of motherhood, I sat on the floor praying the Lord would rain down relief. Over an hour of listening to him cough and whimper his way to sleep was not music to my mama ears. I had done everything I knew to ease his layers of discomfort, from a trip to the doctor to medicine to a misting humidifier…
I had yet to eat dinner or much of a real meal because nothing about our day was our normal, and I had guessed wrong that he would doze off into dreamland quickly because his eyes cried exhaustion. He fell asleep in his playroom late in the afternoon, but still seemed energy depleted when I tucked him in bed for the night — and he was, but that cough wouldn’t leave him alone.
Exhaling fatigue, I sat waiting for that first sign of sleeping child. I sat right in the middle of real motherhood.
Almost five years now, my name has been Mama, Mom, Mommy — often a combination of all three throughout the day. Almost five years now, I’ve spent my days being a laundry folder, peanut butter and jelly maker, floor sweeper, boo-boo kisser, runny nose wiper, activity planner, coffee-fueled multitasker, bedtime whisperer, hand holder…
And yet sometimes, I feel unworthy to talk about my motherhood journey. Because I only have one child. I’m not grocery shopping with a cart full of kids, problem-solving through sibling arguments, or taking care of two sick kids at one time.
I thought I would be, I still have faith.
But in this place, God is teaching me, always in the language of love. Even if I my son were the only one on earth, Jesus still would have come for him. My one little boy matters greatly to God, because every life matters to the Creator.
Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love…
~ Ephesians 1:4 (MSG)
The enemy is a master thief who tries to steal my joy — the joy of being a mom. It is him who tries to lure me into the comparison trap so that my lungs can’t inhale the beauty of each moment with my son. It is him who lies, telling me that my worth is defined by how many little mouths I feed at the dinner table.
To be a mom to one isn’t easier; it’s different. Every motherhood journey is unique, whether raising one child or ten, and celebrating is a much kinder road than comparing.
I don’t know what life will be like five years from now, one year from now, tomorrow…but I have been given this moment and the gift of being Mama to one amazing boy who has changed my life in more ways than even I know.
And so, I will lift up my eyes to One who defines my worth and has entrusted me to be a mother. I will build blocks with my son, make food to feed his belly, cuddle him close when his heart hurts, clothe his growing body, curl up together and read books, calm him when he awakens frightened in the middle of the night, and enjoy fresh air at the park while listening to his playful giggles.
To raise even one child is Kingdom work.
So when sickness invades, I will sit on my son’s bedroom floor in the midst of my own weariness, believing that my mama presence is healing balm.