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Archive for January, 2016

Dear Mom Trying To Figure It Out

Dear Mom Trying To Figure It Out,

I see you at the store, juggling your crew. You look sort of tired – but I won’t mention that to you. I see how you bounce along the aisle as you wear your baby in a wrap, and hold your toddlers hand. I see your cart full – but not full of food – full of a 4 or 7 year old, which leaves a little less room for groceries, so you’re playing food tetris….you might even be losing the game 😉 but as long as the eggs make it out unbroken you’re still winning in my book. You do this all with a smile on your face, trying to keep your tone in check for the moments the energetic one wants to dart for another aisle or rushes towards all the breakables (because they will never rush towards something as harmless as cotton balls, right?). I see you make it to the car, and as the final child and bag is loaded in, you breathe deeply – the marathon is over for the moment, until the next time you need milk.

I want you to know you’re seen, and you’re doing a good job. I want you to know that long after they are grown and making their own trips to the store, they will remember these moments that you took them along on the adventure of the ordinary. (After all, I still do – If you’re reading this…I could go for a breakfast pizza, momma 😉 )

 

I see you at the doctor’s office. It doesn’t matter if you’re waiting for your appointment, or one for the kids, you have a full crew and I watch you receive the comments: “wow your hands are full, don’t you know how ‘those’ happen?” said with a snarky smile, or “look how blessed you are!” said so sweetly. I watch you show the same kindness to each person. I observe how you know what maintains the sanity of each kid, and it’s never the same thing. A book for one, a snack for another, mommy’s hand or lap for yet another. I visibly notice how tense you get when one is crying, you feel like they are disturbing everyone around you – and they might be – but that’s okay.

I want you to know that it wasn’t just me who saw you respond to a critic and complimenter with the same gentleness, your children saw this, too. I want you to know that the way you handle each of their needs in the “maintain sanity” part of waiting, you’re showing them that each of their needs is just as important as their siblings and likewise their siblings are just as important as they are. You’re validating each of them while at the same time reminding them to think of others. I want you to know that even though you feel like your screaming baby is grating the nerves of the onlooker beside you, you’re an example to the general public that we all have different things out of our control, some as visible as an inconsolable child. So let them look, just as much as your child’s cries are out of your control  – so is the onlookers response to you. It’s not you, it’s them. And I know, it makes you all the more patient the next time you see or hear an upset little one or experience people from different walks of life. Don’t let rude people let you grow cold, let them make you softer in judgement towards everyone you meet.

I see you in church. Walking along the halls while everyone else is learning and partaking. I know you seem a little unsure of what you should even be doing, should you participate in everything even though the baby might cry? Should you keep to yourself so you’re ready to console quickly? I know this is especially true if this is your first baby, everything is new – even your experience at church. I see your struggle and I want you to know, even in the moments away from the “big gatherings” you’re teaching your little one(s) about worship and commitments and what matters to you. You’re showing them that a hushed lullaby in a quiet, empty church room off to the side is just as worshipful as a hymn in corporate worship, so long as they are both lifted to the glorification of Jesus. I see you, but more importantly He sees you. You are quite literally living out Romans 12:1, your body isn’t as free to go to this bible study or that class, you are sacrificing the very placement of your body in the church building in the interest of getting down on your child’s level and showing them that their presence at church is just as important to God as yours. That the smallest of minds and tiniest of souls matter to God.

I see you in all of these places because I am you, and I’ve been there – and will continue to be for as long as I’m raising these little souls.

There are lots of women I know who have gained the title “Mom” recently, but this is true for all the tiny years – whether first or fifth time Mommy, you’re seen. I know you’re not trying to be noticed, but we are collectively in this together – trying to do the best for our littles, and so I’m standing with you in solidarity in the good times and the hard times and the times they both intertwine. I know you are in the process of figuring out this Mom thing, in my opinion it’s not really something to be figured out – but something we’ll continue learning and growing in for as long as we have the privilege to.

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