Sometimes I have to come out of hiding and write something. I would actually like to write more often, but alas, I’m in a perpetual busy season of life. I once thought when my homeschooled children grew up, and graduated from homeschooling, got married, etc., things would start to slow down a little.
If you are a young homeschooler, I hate to break the bad news…things may NEVER slow down for you. Don’t be too discouraged, however. There are many good things in store for you in EVERY season of life, even if they are ALL busy!
I just entered a new phase – Grandmahood (yes, my spell check is telling me I just made up that word. It’s okay; I like it, so I’m going to keep it). It’s a wonderful season – I’m saying that in faith really, since my granddaughter is only five weeks old, but I trust it will be true for the next 20-30 years, if I live that long!
Holding my little granddaughter Jacquelyn brings back memories of holding my own tiny infant children in my arms, smelling their intoxicating baby scent, melting when they smiled at me for the first time, feeling the incredible softness of their baby skin, and tasting pure sweetness when kissing their slightly pudgy cheeks. It’s a little like reliving those sweet baby days all over again.
And yet, it’s so very different. I’m not Jacquelyn’s mommy; my dear daughter Bethany is. It’s time for her to enjoy the sweetness of her own tiny, flesh and blood daughter, and savor the thousand memories being made, moment-by-moment of each day.
I am surprised that keeping my daughter and her daughter at arm’s length, so to speak – so as to not rob mom of the treasure of getting to know her daughter as she cares for her – is not as hard as I thought it was going to be. I am so very happy for Bethany being a first-time mother!
It’s true, that being a new mom is rather commonplace (how many millions of mothers have there been since Eve?) Yet, it is simultaneously as wonderfully unique as each snowflake that falls from the sky. No two moms, babies, or experience moms have with their babies are exactly alike.
I want my daughter to discover the things I have loved best about mothering a new child
Besides the smiles, sounds, smell, and feel of a little one in your arms, there’s learning to understand how your baby communicates what she needs, and then feeling fulfilled knowing you are meeting her needs. Making her laugh when you play with her, watching her learn new things almost every day, and seeing herm move from fear or pain to feeling secure or comforted because you are there are not insignificant moments.
I also want my daughter to know that the hard times – sleepless nights, physical exhaustion, and time spent trying, yet failing to console her baby in her distress – are important and do not go unnoticed by our heavenly Father. Her sacrifices are met by His gentle smile, and He is there with her in these moments, eager to offer His compassionate grace and help when she turns to Him.
Our involvement with our babies, in all their moments, even from their earliest ones is life-shaping and immensely meaningful.
I want my daughter to know this, even as I remind myself of this truth.
Why? Because I think today’s mothers are more tempted than ever to diminish the significance of their role in their child’s life, perhaps more so when their child is a baby. The world shouts to them through every possible means, that a mother’s identity, purpose, and fulfillment are to be found more outside of the home than in the home.
The message that being out there in the workplace is where a mom can change the world and make it a better place may be hard to resist, especially when a new mother’s days are filled with changing diapers, feeding, burping, bathing, etc. By themselves, these activities can be mundane, even for the most content, happy-to-be-at-home mom.
A mom who is aware, however, that God has given her a baby with a heart and soul and mind – a living being made in God’s image – can find purpose in every moment of her life as a mother. By her love and care of her infant, she is helping shape that wee one into the man or woman her baby will one day be.
That baby, before she knows it, will become a busy toddler, followed soon by growing into an eager, active child, and will all too quickly mature into a young adult.
It is impossible for us to know ahead of time just how much the moments we invest in our children’s lives will make a lasting impact on their hearts and minds. We aim for faithfulness, and leave the impact to God. Thankfully, He is always creatively and intimately at work in each of them, even when they are tiny babies.
Young mom at home – giving your baby the precious gift of love and care, day in and day out – you are changing the world and making it a better place. This is the message I want my daughter to hear, the message I pray she hears with all her heart and soul.