As moms we hold an incredible power. Through the hustle and bustle of the day it's easy to forget that we wield this super power. This power is one that passes from generation to generation transcending time. The day we become a mom we are given an incredible gift to make moments matter.
Moments can be a commodity if we let them; they can be magic if we hold them.
Parenting can be very hard work for what seems like very little "pay." What moms have to realize is the reward comes in 'moments'. Sometimes those moments are calm, silent, and stationary, where you witness your child's confidence radiate in the safe space you have created for them. Sometimes those moments are loud, obnoxious, or indignant, where you experience the raw emotions of your kiddos in all their glory, and still see grace at work. You may be at home lounging in PJ's on a weekend and notice that they’re growing so fast that those leggings are creeping up a little too high. You may be outdoors experiencing nature, and your children's sense of wonder gives YOU the gift of seeing our beautiful world from a whole new perspective. You may be in the grocery store trying to juggle between accomplishment and the delivery of "no" to the relentless grabby hands and requests of "can we have this?". You may be in your car adjusting the volume of your favorite tunes to the ebb and flow of fighting, crying, laughter, and singing. Whatever the moments bring, this is a reminder to take a quick snapshot in time when you realize that your children are healthy, happy, enlightened, intrigued, and loved. It is then you feel success and fulfillment like no other job can offer.
Yes, with motherhood comes a lack of sleep, no official sick days, and no time clock. Your needs, desires, and sense of accomplishment get put on the back-burner while your children's every need is placed on a pedestal. The official job role of being a mom has no end date, you will forever hold this title. But our hope is that our interviews of everyday parents put a spotlight on the fact that you are important, you are worthy, and you are appreciated regardless of whether you are given the incredible gift of gratitude from your child in the moment.
Meet Jessica Helgeson. She is a mom of three littles ages seven, five, and three. Let her stories be a reminder and an inspiration for us all to slow down and soak it all in. Don't feel defeated by the circumstances you’re in, but rather empowered by the power you wield. You are a momma and no-one will ever take that badge away.
Jessica, tell us how many kiddos do you have and what are their ages?
I have 3 littles. Ages 7, 5, and 3. Girl, boy, girl.
What does your current morning routine look like?
Well currently I am in a season where my space isn't my space. Let me explain.
Last night it started at about 2 A.M. I was sound asleep in peaceful dreams when I awoke to the pitter patter of feet by my bedside made by my three year old. With one eye opened I looked up to see her arms full of stuffies trying to keep them from falling while trying to climb up into my bed. My husband is fast asleep beside me - he looks comfy - but without fail its my side that she climbs into. After snuggling in tight I close my eyes and dose off again. By about 4 A.M. I awake this time by my son - he’s a bit more aggressive about it and wiggles his way in-between his sister. Once again - it sure looks peaceful over on the other side of the bed with plenty of pillow space. 6:30 A.M. rolls around and now its my oldest, though she wants to come start making breakfast for everyone, which is probably perfect timing at this point because my other two have about had it with each other and their hands and feet in each other's faces all night.
My kids have a habit of chocolate milk with breakfast in the morning, its like their coffee - they don't function until they have it (don't judge me). The process of chocolate milks is pretty basic, grab the chocolate milk out of the fridge, pour chocolate milk into a cup, warm in the microwave for 30 seconds, and serve. But mom's chocolate milk is so much better... and when served by my husband, or anyone else for that matter, it creates a ripple effect of boycotting and protest that turns the morning mood sour, so I just do it because its easier that way. After breakfast (my coffee is cold at this point) a shower sounds pretty great, its the simple selfish pleasures that fuels me. However, as if it's a cue that mom is not available, the bathroom door closes and immediately I hear knocks; "I need to go potty", or "Millie needs you," or the mountain of other excuses that aren't urgent in reality, but extremely urgent in their minds because mom is trying to create some barriers of separation.
Sometimes I just want my bubble back.
What have you learned from the first newborn until now?
Let's face it; for me and a lot of moms I know motherhood has been and continues to be a roller coaster of emotions. Some emotions good, some not so good. It's been a journey of loving, learning and being humbled every single day. It's messy, complicated, and real. Unfortunately, it all takes place in a world that loves to look at life through a filter of perfection. It has taken my breath away with the depth of love that I feel every day. But also juxtaposed with that love are feelings of guilt and regret. It's amplified anxiety, it's concern for their future, it's constantly asking myself if I'm enough or have ever been enough to have been gifted with this enormous, beautiful, messy, complicated task of being a mother. But then I'm reminded that for them its not about perfection, its not even about the extravagant experiences. They gauge life on being present and intentional and I have learned so much from that innocence mindset.
If you could turn back the time and have a newborn moment back what would it be?
Believe it or not it would be newborn cuddles. Those went way fast and I was way too exhausted to truly soak them in. The time goes in a blur and before you realize what your even doing, they are crawling and the time takes on a new dimension from there. It didn't matter how many warnings I received from other experienced moms, or my own mom, I still feel like those newborn cuddles and coos were never soaked in enough before they were gone.
What keeps you up at night?
I guess the two emotions that can sometimes consume me in the quiet, darkness of the night are guilt and regret. Being a mom can sometimes be so heavy, and not because of the power struggles or the emotions, but the thought that little moments can create grave consequences for this human life I am responsible for. I'm sure other moms can relate but its like my head hits the pillow and the thoughts begin to swirl in the same direction, "Was I a good mom today?" It feels like a seed that gets planted in your head and the root system grows to your heart if you let it.
What is the best compliment you have ever received from your kids?
"You are the best mommy I've ever seen."
Tell us about the first time your kiddos had a loose tooth?
The first time my kiddo lost a tooth I was totally unprepared. I had no idea it was even loose! She came to me with a little closed fist and said "look mommy, I lost my tooth". I was like, she's joking me, there is no way! I pried open her hand and saw the cutest little white tooth. I ran and screamed and danced around the house. I had no idea I would be THAT excited. I was just so caught off guard.
If you asked your kids "what is magic" what would be their answer?
Magic is something you can not see or hear. It is something that makes your heat beat fast and you want to see more.
What is the hardest part about brushing your kid's teeth?
Everything when they are little. Nothing about brushing their teeth is fun for me honestly. The best trick that seems to help me is to sing a song or count as we do each quadrant.
What is your favorite children's story right now?
The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld. It is the most enduring story that illustrated how sometimes the best of friendship means not having the right answer, but simply listening and being present when someone you care about needs you most.
Jessica you inspire us. Thank you for sharing your highs, your lows, and your memories.
Moments matter, and every moment can be magical if we simply hold on to it.