Saturday, March 19, 2011

To Mothers of Young Children

I often get the question from mothers of young children, "How do you do it?" and I often wonder myself how I DID it. You see, my life now is very different from the way it was just 8 or so years ago. I don't really remember how I did it when I had so many little children and no big helpers, except that it wasn't perfect and, only by God's grace, did I make it through to the current season I'm in.

I think that particular season of mothering, when absolutely everything is on your shoulders, when life is nothing more than waking and serving others all day long, is the most difficult and the most bone-weary time. And as you totally give of yourself and die to yourself when they are so little, you grow personally and are then able to deal with patience as they enter young adulthood. God knows what He is doing and He is preparing you now for future battles.

The frustrations and constant interruptions of our daily rhythm during this season of life serves to break our will. Our entire life becomes a prayer and a penance. When St. Paul states that women will be saved by childbearing, he is talking about the whole package deal. Midnight prayers with nursing babies. Imposed fasting while helping young children eat instead of feeding yourself. All of it!

We enter this thing called Motherhood as very, very selfish people. And we very quickly realize that life is no longer all about us. And then we realize that we need to give much, much more than we have and that is when God steps in and makes up for what we humans lack.

And what you put in now is what will come back to you when they are adolescents and young adults. Your time and effort, your patience, your prayers, your suffering, will all be rewarded when those babies are just a little bit older and are laughing while washing all the dishes you used to have to wash. When they are folding the mountains of laundry that you had to do yourself. When they are taking the babies for a walk so that you can have a bit of quiet. It is a happy, close family when everyone realizes they play a part in making a house a home.

So, the point. HANG IN THERE! It gets easier. Really, it does. Pray hard. Laugh alot. Train the children.  Have patience with them. Have patience with yourself. And LOVE THEM every minute... because it goes fast.