Gifts from Motherhood: 6 Months
Life since February 14th has changed me, that’s for sure. I always heard it would… and it’s true. Mothering this squishy little boy has proven to be a bigger gift giver, teacher, and game changer than I ever imagined.
These days, I’m living happily with lots of pots stirring and none ever finished. Motherhood is like cooking fifteen different entrees, all at the same time, every day. Some days, the laundry pot gets the extra stirs, and some days the bookkeeping pot gets them. But none of the entrees are ever “done” – they just keep simmering until the next stir. And if you’re waiting on everything to feel complete, you’re going to miss out on today’s beauty. Life is happening right where we are, with all the moving parts, and joy is for NOW. Even when cleaning is overdue and laundry is sitting in the dryer. Joy is NOW.
As a momma, I’ve realized that sometimes, simply getting the groceries is more important than looking my best while getting the groceries. I’ve grown quite fond of the no-makeup grocery outing. Just the other day I flaunted my fresh-faced glory at Trader Joe’s. It was awesome.
Motherhood is giving me a high value for people who parent out of humility. People who have found “the one right way” to do this stage or that are a dime a dozen. But then there are the mommas who are thriving in their role, yet feel no need to push their philosophy on me. They’ll share away if I ask, but they give me room to find my way as a mom. These are the voices I value in my life, and this is the kind of voice I want to be.
I’ve gained serious respect for the breadth of the pregnancy-delivery-recovery journey. The physical process of bringing a life into the world is just that – a process. And a pretty long one. Everything starts changing at the moment of conception, and for nine months you watch your body yield – and stretch- as it hosts this budding life. And birth, while definitely the crescendo, is not the end of the process. Months of shrinking down, snatching whatever rest possible, and regaining strength lay ahead. And if you nurse, the physical process continues until after your baby is weaned.
It’s about a two year journey. Worth every moment, but costly for sure. [Can we just pause for a moment of silence honoring the body of every woman who has carried children in rapid succession? Father, have mercy on them!]
As a momma, my sensitivity to language is heightening. “Were you a good boy today?” “Is he a good baby?” This idea of attaching our son’s goodness to his “performance” on any given day is simply not something Andrew and I are buying into. Yes, Landrum is a good boy – because he’s made in the image of God and his identity is rooted in Jesus. Not because he never has a hard day or a developmental stage through which he needs shepherding.
The Father always calls us by who we really are [loved, chosen, worthy…], even when our “behavior” seems to say otherwise. This is exactly how we desire to think and speak of our son. Words are important, and we want to partner with Heaven in how we use them.
Parenthood has made me more aware than ever of how fleeting time is. “Enjoy every moment. They grow up so fast!” I’ve heard it said my whole life. And there’s no way around it. It’s true. I feel like Landrum was just born. I really do. Everything about him is still new and fresh to me. How can he already be more than half of a YEAR old? How is he already so big?
Most of the time when parents talk about this, I see a twinge of pain in their eyes as they say it. And I get it now. Each new season of a child’s life brings its own beauty – so watching them grow and change is boundlessly joyful. But there is something unique about the newborn and infant season. The newness and sweetness of it all makes Heaven feel especially near. I liken it to romantic love; there’s something so precious about its beginning. So I think that twinge of sadness in parents is simply because your child’s growth means that time has passed and carried you a little further away from that moment you first fell in love.
So I’m doing what all of the mommas ahead of me have said: I’m squeezing every single drop from this precious, squishy season.
*All professional photos by Laura Hamon Photography*