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Mom on the Physical Aspect of Parenting

Mom's Bittersweet Perspective on the "Physical Marathon" of Motherhood Has Us in Puddles of Tears

Reheating your coffee three times per morning, dealing with a tantrum your 3-year-old is throwing in the middle of the supermarket, refereeing sibling fights over toys, sleep-deprivation — those are just some of the struggles parents face daily. And though Sonni Abatta feels those struggles, too, in a recent post to Facebook, the mom highlighted another familiar strain on her mom life — a physical one — and added why she's actually attempting to see a silver lining, rather than the negative.

"It occurred to me recently just how very physical being a mom is. Lifting, moving, rocking, nursing, holding, changing them," she wrote. "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."

With her kids growing older and getting physically bigger, Abatta has noticed that the lifting, crouching, and reaching haven't really stopped — it's all just more of a strain now.

"The kids are getting bigger, yet here I am every day, still moving them about the world with my arms and my aching back," Abatta wrote. "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."

Upon reflecting on all of this physical energy she puts into parenting, she realized something: that she needed to keep lifting her kids in any and every way she 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."

Please excuse us while we mop up our puddle of tears.

Image Source: Sonni Abatta
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