The Motion of Motherhood

Why are you swaying? You know you’re not holding the baby, right?

I laughed and stopped moving.

But only for a minute. I found myself watching my oldest son dig in the dirt in right field rather than watch the boy up at bat. As I bit a nail and tried to telepathically tell Eddie to stand up, I realized I was swaying again.

I do this a lot–the swaying with no baby in my arms. It’s like my body has become accustomed to a small one being there.

The Motion of Motherhood

Charlie Bird

If I am standing, I am swaying.

If I am sitting, I am rocking.

When we stand to sing a hymn in church, I sway or bounce regardless if Alice is in my arms or not; it has just become habit.

During “wait time” in my classes, I sway back and forth in front of the room.  I have a bounce in my step when I am walking around reading.

I bounce my leg or shake my foot when I am in  meetings.

Something is always moving.

Something is always looking to soothe.

The Motion of Motherhood

Eddie Bear

The other night I found myself stroking the blanket next to me because I was used to Charlie’s arm or head nuzzled next to me during before-bed-shows.

When no one is in my arms or in my care, I find my eyes wandering to find my children. Where are they? What are they doing?  I do this even when I am somewhere without my kids. It’s like a reflex. No one in my arms or hanging on my leg? Find them.

I smile more at other moms and other children in stores.

The Motion of Motherhood

Alice Beans

All of these movements are new to me since I became a mother six years ago.

I used to actually be able to stand still.

I used to be able to sit without leaning in to each sound or bouncing a baby who is not in my arms.

Not anymore.

Now I move to the motion of motherhood.

Because my children are always with me.

The Motion of Motherhood

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. This is so beautiful and while reading it, I started swaying in my seat. I know just how it feels, that motion of motherhood.

    Such a lovely way to describe it.

  2. Gorgeous. Love this post.

  3. I love this! It’s so true, all the movement and the swaying. Now my movement is more pacing becasue you know teenagers, lol. But it’s still movement and love and my kids always being with me.

  4. YES. All of this, beginning to end. Ervin is four and I still do this. And always scanning for them. Love this.

  5. I still catch myself swaying from time to time – though admittedly less often now – and my youngest is nearly 6. It never goes away. We are always soothing, always watching, always loving. Love this, Katie.

  6. This is gorgeous Katie. I love it. And it’s so true. I still sway, especially when I see someone else holding a baby…I sway with them 🙂

  7. I know this. All of this.