It occurred to me recently just how very physical being a mom is.
Lifting, moving, rocking, nursing, holding, dressing them.
No one ever quite tells you about the physical marathon that is motherhood. And lately, a dull ache in my back has been testament to that truth.
The kids are getting bigger, yet here I am every day, still moving them about the world with my arms and my aching back.
Lifting them into my bed. Crouching down to hug them when they fall. Wrapping my arms around them as they crawl on my lap on the couch. Putting on and taking off shoes. Bathing. Lifting my daughter to look in the mirror after I’ve done her hair. Wrestling on the bed.
All these precious, physical moments. Moments that are catching up to my body in ways they haven’t before.
And yet I can’t stop getting into it like I do. Participating in my kids’ lives like it’s a full-on tackle sport.
Then I realized: I’ve got to lift them up any way I can.
There will be days in parenting when it takes all you have to get yourself out of bed and put your feet on the floor. You’ll discover nooks in your body you never knew existed until they begin to ache, because you’ve carried your kid so much that day. Lift him anyway.
They will start to get too big for you to pick up and carry. Lift them anyway.
There will be people who tell you you hold your baby too much, that you’re spoiling her with all the cuddling. Lift her anyway.
There will be times your back aches in a way you’ve never felt before from all this lifting, all this holding and all this curling around their little bodies to snuggle and to love and to comfort.
Lift them anyway.
Because one day they will decidedly be too big for you to pick up. These days when we can hold the world in our arms? They are short.
So when life tells you to slow down or sit down but all you want to do is get in one more embrace, lift them, mama. The pains will go away, but the memories won’t.