“But for a long time, for those first few months, it was mostly emptying. I suppose that’s where the love fits in.” Erin Loechner, Chasing Slow
Erin Loechner, in her book Chasing Slow, talks about the filling and emptying of motherhood — the filling of the soul with baby giggles, the literal emptying of the body of breast milk.
And although I am removed now from my babies as newborns (they turned one and four last October), the emptying of this season is as real as the sleep deprivation continues to be. I actually found myself jealous of a friend whose 3-week old gifted her a solid two hours of sleep. What I wouldn’t give for that kind of sleep.
I have learned that motherhood, in all of its adding and multiplying, hides even more subtracting and dividing — parts of ourselves are emptied, washed away, laid bare, only to be replaced, made new, filled again, and transformed.
- When my children empty out every bin and basket in the playroom, I release control and gain creativity in the beautiful chaos.
- When my energy runs out far before that my boys, I dig deep and seek life in their moments of curiosity.
- When I am called for a dozen times in the middle of the night, I am grateful for quiet, undivided time spent with my children.
- When I am stretched thinner than I thought possible, I find space to stretch a bit further and still not break.
- When I am anxious and overwhelmed, I hold fast to the sanctifying, transforming power of motherhood.
I am not the same person I was when I became a mother. Luckily. It has made me better.
And while much was added when I became a mom, even more was emptied: comfort-zones, personal space, the belief that I thought I had to do it all, a perfectly clean home, clothes without snot stains. Yes, parenting empties you of so much. But how else would the love get in?