By Angela Williams Glenn
I could stand in these days forever with Scottie McCreery’s “5 More Minutes” blaring through the house while your laughter echoes off the walls as you chase each other in circles and the two of you delight in every new thing your brother masters on those short little legs of his that he just learned how to work. I would keep laying here listening to you read without a care in the world that the minutes are ticking by. I would keep letting you drag out every art utensil we own and letting the mess of the house be because there’s no big rush to get anywhere anytime soon. I can see the messes, I can hear the ridiculous loudness that I swear could bring the house down sometimes, I know the list of everything around here that needs to be done, but for now I’m just going to enjoy being here on the other side of motherhood. In this crazy journey that can weigh us down on some days, stop our hearts in fear and worry on others, and test our patience and endurance like no other there’s incredible beauty and joy in slowing down the clock and just watching and being with you.
No, motherhood is not all unicorns and rainbows. It’s a splattered canvas painted with the sporadic chubby hands of young babes. There’s no rhyme or reason half the time to the way the days unfold but the final product somehow turns out to be a beautiful painted canvas splattered with all the bright and dull colors that make up our days.
But when you’ve stood as I have in the middle of the storm where the chaos of my working mom life whirled around me like an F5 tornado and have twice found my way out of the red haze of depression there’s a dawning light of motherhood I want to breathe in like it’s my lifeline to the surface of regaining my life back. Because in those angry panicked moments of depression I was too blind to see through the haze that was engulfing me. I was afraid I missed too much. But here on the other side of depression I can see more clearly again.
Maybe that’s the beauty of depression- the amazing high on how wonderful life can be when we make our way out of its darkness. Thankfully I’m not one of the unfortunate that live there permanently but I’ve also spent too much time in the land in between worrying when it will engulf me again so for now I just want to stand here high on the joys of motherhood.
I wish I could convey what it’s like to stand on the other side of this moment. When you’re there in the grips of depression, the red haze clouds your vision, obscuring your view of the beauty that stands just in front of you. It’s like you’re flailing around in the darkness trying to find the light switch. Just as your fingers brush it and hope sparks in your chest, you flip the switch to only discover you’re still bathed in darkness to a light that’s burned out. You think about calling out for help, but you fear others’ criticism of your fear of the darkness so you stumble around, constantly clawing for a sign of the light. You’ll see it flicker in the distance, and it gives you hope that you’re getting closer to crawling your way out.
Then here you are where I stand now, wishing for “5 More Minutes” in the sweetness that makes motherhood the ultimate joy that it’s meant to be. I stand here on the other side of motherhood after depression, thanking God for the return to myself, breathing in the chaotic beauty that surrounds me in the loudness of children running crazy through the house and in the splattered mess of paint and leftover dishes and discarded toys. I will stand here a little longer and take it all in and love it fiercely because this is where I’ve been trying to make my way back to for so long, and here I finally am back in the beauty of motherhood.
Angela Williams Glenn writes about the struggles and joys of motherhood on her website Stepping into Motherhood. Her book Moms, Monsters, Media, and Margaritas examines the expectations verse the realities of motherhood in our modern day digital era and her book Letters to a Daughter is an interactive journal for mothers to their daughters. She’s also been published with Chicken Soup for the Soul, That’s Inappropriate, Her View From Home, and Perfection Pending. You can find her on her facebook page Stepping into Motherhood.