Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.Matthew 11:28-29
When my kids were under age two, life as a mom was REALLY hard. For me, it was an incredibly isolating time. I went from a life with friends and freedom to a life of constant needs and exhaustion. Maybe you’ve been there or maybe you’re there right now.
Before I get too far into the difficult parts of raising babies, I do want to say there are a million wonderful parts to this stage of life as well.
What an incredible blessing God gives us when He entrusts a child in our care.
There are so many sweet moments that I loved and enjoyed, and it wasn’t all difficult. But from my experience chatting with other moms, many women do need encouragement as they figure out these first few years. (I talk more about why I believe women haven’t been trained for this mom life in my post Modern Christian Homemaking.)
No Wonder We’re So Tired!
Often times the wife/mom in the home juggles many hats. We are balancing loving and communicating with our husbands, kids’ needs, and taking care of our home (planning, cleaning, organizing, preparing) constantly. To add children under the age of two to this mix makes it a tremendous challenge. They need to be watched almost every second they’re awake to keep them safe and happy. Going to other people’s homes or taking them outside can be draining when you’re nursing or have a toddler who wants to explore every new thing. Sometimes babies won’t let you leave them with someone else for more than an hour or two when they are nursing and refuse to take a bottle.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.Romans 8:26-28
I am happy to look back on this stage of life now that we are done having babies. My youngest is now three and is the fourth kid in our family. He’s very laid back and goes with the flow (praise God!). He’s now potty trained, puts on his shoes when we’re heading out the door, and besides asking WHY a million times a day, he’s on his way to being fairly independent. The biggest milestone for me as a mom currently is that I can send all of my kids outside to play and I can stay inside to make dinner. It’s amazing!!
I See You, and I Remember How Hard it Was
For you moms who are in the trenches with little ones, I want to sympathize with you just like I have with my own sister. The baby stage is tough! My sister has a one year old and a three year old. She’s in the “Up Every Night Because Kids Don’t Want to Sleep, Waking at 5 for the Day, Little One Is So Upset That He Made Himself Puke, Constant ‘Don’t Touch That,’ Come Back Here,’ and Diapers on Diapers” stage. I feel for her because I was just there. No one can relieve you from that, nor do you want them to (completely, anyway).
Think of these baby years as God shaping you for your future. He wants us to love deeper, serve others more willingly, surrender to Him more everyday. What better way to learn this than to raise little ones?
They Will Grow, and So Will You
God blessed me through the baby years because I learned so much. I learned how to be more selfless. I learned how to make my children’s well-being my priority above my own desires. It helped me to move onto this next phase of life, where they need me a tiny bit less, with the ability to still give them all I can to teach them how to love the Lord and be diligent as they grow in a closer relationship with Him. By no means do I get it all right, but I have gained so much more persistence since I went through the baby phase, and it inspires me to continue giving this mom-thing all I have.
You’re doing amazing work when everyone is all alive at the end of each day. This baby stage of life will pass. It gets SO much easier after you pour into their hearts and train them up those first couple years.
They begin to talk with you and you get to know their little hearts. You find out what they love and what makes them tic. It is so fun to get to know these little people in a new way! You send them off to school and have “proud mom” moments. You get to encourage these little people to seek God as they shape what they will grow up to be.
I may write a post someday trying to encourage moms of older kids, because I imagine that the next stage of life as a parent will be equally or more taxing. But for now, I can only share what I’ve learned. Your babies will grow up. They will need you a little bit less. And you will someday get to gather your thoughts, think for yourself, and use your brain for things that you’re passionate about (outside of your family). Let God pour into you and learn all that He wants to teach you right now. Rely on Him in a deeper way. Enjoy this stage you’re in and take in all of the wonderful things.
Quote from a Pin on Pinterest I saved a few years ago…”You will never be this loved again. So on those days when you are feeling stressed out, touched out, and depleted, just remember that you will never be this loved again. One day you will long for their affection. So choose a soft voice, choose gentle hands, choose love.” ~AK
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