How 1 Mom Learned to Enjoy Motherhood Right Now -- Even When It Sucks

Bree Gravener - The Birth Story - Bendigo Photographer/Facebook

Practicing mindfulness and gratitude is a challenge for anyone, but especially for moms of little ones. A photographer from Victoria, Australia, named Bree Gravener recently took to Facebook to explain just how much she was struggling with this very issue, and her post is hitting home with moms around the globe.


"I fell into a mental trap late this year," she confessed in the post from December 29. "Day in day out with two little boys and a baby. So constant, so tiring. I started to feel that I just had to get through it, pass time, and the reward will come for raising them later ... perhaps much later. I wanted them to be more independent of me, stop calling my name so often, and stop being at each other. It was much harder to see the good parts, and my mind was frazzled constantly. But what is my reward? Is it being left alone? Of course not. I love them."

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Gravener went on to wonder if a "solid night sleep" (aka "a wild fantasy") is her reward, but "of course not, I did that before children," she wrote. 

She then joked, "Will I be completely satisfied when they finally pick up their own mess? No. I still have a husband."

Which lead her to ask: "What is my reward? What am I waiting for?" And her realization occurred: "I saw them laying in bed after I got out recently and my eyes nearly welled up. Look at them. Right now is my reward. Today is my reward. To have them. To hold them. To be wanted. To be loved. To be needed. To be cuddled. To never feel lonely."

Bree Gravener - The Birth Story - Bendigo Photographer/Facebook

Of course, she still acknowledged that "yes, it's so hard at the moment and many of my own desires are on the back burner but I'll do my best to stop waiting for my reward of motherhood and acknowledge I'm living a lot of it already."

Of what precipitated her story, Gravener explains to CafeMom: "I was getting exhausted from how constantly my small children need me -- month after month. There didn't seem to be a light at the end when I'd feel rested. Even as I type, there is an 8-month-old at my ankles crying because he wants to be picked up and a 3-year-old asking for a cuddle so he is wrapped around my lap." 

And yet, she says that though she didn't have a "lightbulb moment" about the "reward of motherhood," she did have "an observation, over time, of older mothers of grown children." And she realized how important it is to treasure your children "in the present despite the challenges."

One of the best ways she's been able to do that -- and she thinks other moms can, too -- is by leaning on others. "It's one day at a time for me, but having a positive community around me is vital for me to be able to love my children well," Gravener notes. "If you don't have that community, seek it out! Play groups, church groups, mothers' groups, family. Reach OUT!"

We couldn't agree more with her healthy, pragmatic, compassionate take. Realizing that the joy and peace of mind you seek is actually right in front of you in the present moment will always be a challenge. But if there's one thing we can all take away from Gravener's observations, it's that it's actually far from impossible. 

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