I’ll state the obvious: I don’t have children. However, for the past five years, almost all of our friends have had them. In that time at church, we’ve seen first children born to third babies come. I didn’t grow up around many children, so motherhood is both terrifying and interesting to me. I have regularly babysat since our move here, and my level of comfort around small children has increased as I’ve seen my friends grow their babies from tummy to chatty toddlers. I’ve learned many life lessons from my mommy friends, and I’m excited to share some of them.
1 | CHILDPROOFING IS A JOKE
I can’t figure out how to open anything childproof, but I’ve seen toddlers open them like champs. Also, I have learned children are very quiet and stealthy when they are escaping.
2 | EXPENSIVE CLOTHING SEEMS POINTLESS
For baby and for mom. I’ve been well loved with food and covered in spit up. I’ve stopped wearing most of my jewelry and dangly earrings out of sheer fear of what could happen. Am I going to get choked, or is my necklace going to snap? There are some legit concerns here. Also, see header below.
3 | ANYTHING CAN BE A WEAPON
Anything. It isn’t intentional, but it just happens.
4 | TEETHING IS THE WORST
Teething turns a small child from a sweet thing into a very, very sad and hurting creature. I’m learning that teething is basically the cause of any bad mood, running nose, fever, or drooling that babies do.
5 | KIDS ARE ALLOWED BAD DAYS TOO
Adults don’t always have days that are excellent, and sometimes kids are the same way. Life is hard for kids: everything is absolutely new, communication is hard, and movement is clumsy.
6 | EVERYONE IS DOING THEIR BEST
Just because someone doesn’t do something the way you think they should, it doesn’t mean they aren’t doing it the way that is best for their child or them. I try to keep this in mind, and I’m sure people will think the same thing of me when we have our own children; I just hope people are kind in the way they assert their opinions because I’ve learned that people aren’t always so lucky.
7 | MOTHERHOOD IS NOT AN INSULT
I once heard through the grapevine in graduate school that a classmate said of me: “Autumn will only be good for motherhood.” The insult to my own person didn’t bother me; it bothered me that motherhood itself was something that could be used as an insult. I often feel very sad when I realize that motherhood is not considered a viable option for intelligent women to pursue. While no, it does not produce a paycheck, I don’t view motherhood as only a phase of life. Doesn’t the world need intelligent mothers who are enthusiastic about their children? I believe so. I feel motherhood can be a calling for women just as much as a career; a huge bonus if my friends find fulfillment and happiness in both!
8 | THE WORLD IS IN GOOD HANDS
All joking aside, I hear a lot of peoples’ concerns about where the world is going, and I honestly feel the opposite way. I have friends who are strong moms, who love their children, and who are preparing them the best way anyone possibly can for the world. I feel a great deal of encouragement about the world when I see my friend’s children parented, and I see their different strengths shine.
I have friends who are working moms and friends who are stay-at-home moms. I have friends who badly want a child and others who are very overwhelmed with being touched constantly 24/7. I have friends who breast feed and those who don’t. Regardless of differences in parenting or situations, I see strong women who are amazing mother’s to their children.
I feel excited about the world when I see my friends nurturing and loving their little ones while they develop. I feel lucky to be around my friends navigating motherhood, and I feel blessed for the lessons I am learning from them. In motherhood, I have seen world changers, cycle stoppers, and dream makers in homes with little tiny fingers, and that is cause for celebration.