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young mothers

by Shawni

I have been thinking about young mothers lately.

Perhaps because sometimes I feel like I still am one.

And then I get shocked when I look at my towering babies, FaceTime my married kids, and happen to come across old posts that talk about the old days (like this one complete with discipline tactics, fav. mothering books, sleep help, and also the stages of motherhood in this one, and this one).

Oh man, this motherhood gig is such a journey.

A friend sent this little young-motherhood-rendering to me a little while back and it actually made me tear up:

It made me emotional because it’s a little slice into what motherhood takes. The busy-ness, the physical exertion, the emotional resiliency, the mental awareness. And the sheer beauty of “being there.” The things that get done that no one sees, eye-to-eye, heart-to-heart, all in the jumble of a day’s work.

It reminded me of mornings with my own little babies, where the hoopla of the “getting ready” ritual had become so common-place that I would forget that what I was doing was almost holy and in a way…a kind of love ritual. My mother muscles working like clockwork, a well-oiled machine. A scoop of baby food in one mouth, opened to me like a baby bird. A correction of grammar over my shoulder, a wipe-up of a spill, a wipe-away of tears. And of snot too. Cheering at first steps, fretting over first teeth, at wit’s end with tantrums, trying to remember to breathe (more thoughts on that back HERE).

And it reminded me of this beautiful instagram post from my friend Emily Belle Freeman a little while back (that also made me tear up, she is such an incredible writer):

All you mommas out there, I just want to say this…I see you.
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The need to have 8 binkies on hand at all times so you can hopefully find one at 4:00am.
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The whispered prayers with eyes half closed and tiny arms trying to fold.
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The “hold you, nana, hold you” that sometimes makes me tear up because I know it only lasts these short few months.
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The four year old wisdom you can barely keep a straight face through, because it really does make so much sense except it doesn’t. Really.
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So many trips to the potty. So many chicken nuggets. So many clean ups.
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Oh, you darling mommas. I hope you know you are beloved. Watched over. Prayed for. This work in the trenches? No one was better cut out for it than you.
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You are courage in the darkness and hope in the storm and life.
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You are life.
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And on those days when you have given every last bit you have to offer, I hope you know this…
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There are prayers being offered on your behalf…both earthside and heavenside. This work that captures all your waking hours and even the sleeping ones sometimes is greater than you know.
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You are making a difference.
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And as much as you feel alone in this, you’re not. Heaven is just as invested in these babies as you are.
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Take a deep breath and try to remember that for this season of your life this is your most important work…and how God will hold you through it.
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You will find that binkie at 4:00am.
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And those little arms will learn to fold and those tiny voices will learn to pray.
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Because their momma does.
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Oh, I wish I could describe to you how much you will miss this.
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Instead, I pray that you will settle into the “I hold you” moments, and snuggle late on some mornings, and invest in those four-year-old wonderings, and that you will take those few minutes you have to look into that little ones eyes as you change those diapers again, and again, and one more time to remind them that they are good, and loved, and yours.
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And in those moments when you wonder if you are doing it right, I hope you’ll know you are.
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You are exactly the right momma for those babies. They are so lucky to have you. And God is on your side.

Oh I love that so much.

Because really, although this “motherhood diagram” and also quote from Emily are aimed at young mothers, they are balm to my older-kids-mother-heart as well.

I think in every stage of motherhood we need to remember that WE are “exactly the right momma for those babies” of ours. And that God really is on our side. There is holiness in motherhood even in the chaos.

Oh God of second chances, here I am again.” (anonymous)

And again, and again. No matter how many times we need those second chances they are there for the taking.

And somehow that has the power to make all the tricky parts soften into gold.

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5 comments

Erika Covarrubias/ Bearika_Ballerina March 18, 2021 - 4:48 pm

I teared up at this. I haven’t commented in awhile but I have a 6 week old now it’s going by way too fast! Thank you for sharing this.

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Shawni March 19, 2021 - 9:23 am

Oh, there’s not much better than a 6-week old baby…the stretches, the breathing, the curling up on your shoulder. I’m a little jealous right now:) Soak that baby in a little extra for me.
xoxo

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Erika Covarrubias/ Bearika_Ballerina March 19, 2021 - 11:36 am

Will do! It’s my first biological baby. His name is Fable and I’m obsessed. Even though being pregnant during a pandemic was lonely because I had to go to every appointment alone and even recover in the hospital alone, I’d do it all again and can’t imagine life without him. <3

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Jenny March 19, 2021 - 11:38 pm

This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

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Morgan March 20, 2021 - 8:18 am

Ah, thank you for the reminder this morning and for the tears that accompanied it. I find it so easy to get lost and stuck in the moments of burnout grumpiness. It’s so hard raising little humans. Sometimes I worry that I’m going to ruin my kids, but it’s also such a joy to be their mom! I love my kids so much and I hope that trumps all of our hard times. I find myself wanting them to stay little even though it’s hard but then also loving their personalities as they continue to grow up on me. Which has made me think a lot about your IWANB and it makes me tear up every single time I snuggle my youngest whose already 9months old! Why does time have to go by SO fast!?

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