Congratulations to all of the new babies and babies to come out there, including ThreeLittleLadies, TwaddleMeNot, and WomanofGod, to name just a few, I’m sure! I have had the opportunity, through several different, but all recent, experiences to reflect on my own transition from being a DINK (double income, no kids), to having someone refer to me as Mom. Life has recently placed me in the midst of younger moms who seem to be so quickly irritated and frustrated by the volume of responsibilities that come along with parenting. When I say younger, that is less of a statement about chronological age and more about a state of mind. Then I read a great post from AHappyHome on the calling of motherhood, and another from HomeSchoolDaddy (www.homeschooldaddy.blogspot.com/) about the home being a sanctuary, a place of rest. So even though I am editing a response to AHappyHome’s post, it almost seemed Spirit-led to write about my own experiences as a not-so-young mom.
I began having children when I was almost thirty. I have three children, and in this day and age, I still get the "how do you do it?"-type comments, but I find myself more sensitive to the comments that I sometimes get about being an "old mother". I am very much at peace with the decision to wait for children; I was far too selfish in my twenties, and my children would have been simply another bit of icing on my own cake. Placing my wants, needs, and selfish impulses on a back burner to loving and ministering to them, and to my husband, would have never occurred to me. Everything in my life revolved around me—my career, my marriage, my agenda, my, my, my….you get the picture. Now I sacrifice for them not because I have to; I want to and it feels good way down deep inside. Furthermore, our home is a sanctuary. The children who play here enjoy themselves, and their parents know they’re in a place that’s safe, spiritually and physically.
I feel sorry for mothers who are constantly looking for someone to take their children and "give them a break," as they say with great relief. (Notice my use of the word constantly; I’m not referring to the occasional breather that we all need, but instead, one who desires to, abdicate the throne, so to speak). I know that they need God’s grace, and the grace of those around them, which I still sometimes struggle to give. As a mother, you don’t get the time back once they’re grown and being right under Mom is no longer cool and comforting, and children are truly a gift from God. It only takes hearing the heart of a barren woman to realize how blessed you are to have children.
So, how do we do it? As parents, we pray, pray, and pray some more. We have boundaries. We set rules and reward or discipline accordingly. We hug and kiss and tickle excessively, especially when the kids roll in the floor and yell, “SSSSTTTOOOOOOOOOPPP!!” More than anything, though, we welcome it as our job, our season. We create the space in our own lives to be parents, we don’t grumble about it (well, maybe every now and then–smile), and we’re not looking for escape routes. Let us never doubt what an awesome responsibility God entrusts us with when He gives us ten little fingers and toes to help become another of His chosen ones.