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My baby turned 19 this year.
He no longer fits on my lap.
He no longer keeps me up at night or cries to be held or snuggled.
I no longer get frustrated when my children argue, misbehave or act childishly.
I don’t have to change diapers, potty train or help my children into their car seats any more.
Those days are gone. Forever.
How did that happen so fast?
I still remember the day he was born like it was yesterday!
In fact, I remember all my babies’ births in vivid detail and the powerful emotions that I felt when they were finally placed in my arms!
I also clearly remember the joys and challenges of each pregnancy, birth and 4th trimester.
I still love telling my birth stories whenever I get the chance, too.
How Did I Survive Those Days?
Although the days as a new mother often seemed to drag on… the years unexpectedly flew by!
I remember “the days”… and the nights…
They were mixed with laughter and tears. And sometimes just tears.
I remember how tired I felt when I was getting up with babies and sick children.
Some days, I was so exhausted that I could only lay on the couch playing videos to keep my children out of danger while I napped.
The fatigue of pregnancy and breastfeeding lasted ten straight years for me.
If I wasn’t pregnant during those years, I was breastfeeding and up often with babies and sick children.
How did I survive those days as a young mother?
I often get asked this question.
My answer… through the grace of God!
There were also those who helped me and were the hands of God reaching out to me!
This is why I became a postpartum doula.
I still remember!
Motherhood is Sometimes Bittersweet
Those days and years of being a young mom were rough.
But they were also glorious… and joy-filled!
There is nothing quite like bringing a new life into the world and nothing in the world compares with being a mother.
Motherhood is the greatest gift a woman can receive.
It is also the greatest challenge for most women who are lucky enough to be called “mom”!
How can that be?
How can something so beautiful as motherhood, so awe-inspiring as pregnancy and childbirth. be so difficult?
Why is it that we moms can push through the pain and inconveniences of pregnancy, childbirth and our “mommy duties”?
How can many of us return to have more than one child? Even though we know the suffering that awaits us?
Love is the answer…
It is the reason… the inspiration and the determination…
Love is what gives us strength to sacrifice and suffer for our children…
Love brings us to our knees for our families…
Sometimes we need to be reminded again… why we have chosen motherhood… but we would do it all over again, wouldn’t we?
Yes! We absolutely would!
Babies Don’t Keep
If you are a young mom, you know all about the sacrifices, sleepless nights, and anxieties of life as a mommy.
You are in the midst of it right now.
But you are also surrounded by love!
Don’t miss the love around you…
Embrace the hugs and cuddles with your baby.
Don’t miss the snuggles and tears with your toddler.
Appreciate the inquisitive moments with your questioning preschooler.
Remember, that nose you wipe today may be the last nose you wipe very soon, or the diaper you change tonight will one day be the last.
Your child will grow up. And it will happen before you know it.
One day, that child will no longer be in the window waving goodbye as you head off to work or errands…. and you will be missing his waves.
Before you know it, that preschooler will no longer be asking annoying questions… and you will wish that he had more annoying questions for you!
In a few short years, that toddler will no longer fit on your lap or want your snuggles… and you will long for those toddler snuggles and kisses once again.
Babies don’t keep!
Remember to Love
This past week, I attended a funeral for a very young child who died suddenly and unexpectedly.
His death was a tragedy, but the family turned this terrible situation into a beautiful witness of love!
They used his memorial service as an opportunity to remind families to keep loving each other.
“Don’t miss the chance to tell someone you love them,” they reminded the congregation, “live in the moment and love in the moment.”
Babies Don’t Keep!
Mothers, don’t miss these moments with your children… the hugs, the tears and all the little “love moments” of motherhood.
Embrace the sufferings, too, for suffering accompanies love.
“Cleaning and scrubbing can wait ’til tomorrow… for babies grow up, we’ve learned to our sorrow. So settle down cobwebs and dust go to sleep. I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep! “
Isn’t this a sweet reminder to love our littles? Here’s a link for this wall plaque reminder that babies don’t keep. Enjoy!
How have you embraced this special season of life with young children? Please share your thoughts and inspirations in the comments. Thanks so much!!