In keeping with my goal of writing down some thoughts on what I am learning each new month of mommyhood, here are 3 new things from month number 2 (if you missed my post from month 1, you can check that out here!):
1. Smiles induce memory loss.
More specifically, my baby’s smiles. There have been so many times that I’ve been completely exasperated by Benjamin, and all he has to do is flash that gummy grin of his and I suddenly can’t remember why I was so frustrated. Whether it’s a blow out, incessant crying, baby insomnia, or a constant need to be held and cuddled – something about those little smiles is completely disarming, and suddenly all is forgiven. I’m thinking that God probably designed it that way for a reason.
2. Burp cloths – you cannot have too many.
You know you’ve “arrived” into the mommy-world when you can literally find a burp cloth within arms length at pretty much any location throughout the house. I’m wondering how I ever functioned without them. Granted, I wasn’t living with a constantly drooling and/or spitting up baby before, but they’re just so darn convenient and useful I feel like I’ve been missing out all my life.
Prior to Ben getting here, I received at least 50 burp cloths at baby showers. I remember thinking – This is kind of excessive. I mean really, how many of these do I actually need…?
The answer? ALL OF THEM.
My personal favorites are the Gerber cloth diapers. They absorb right up and get the job done.
3. The state of my checklist does not determine my worth.
I’ve found that some days I get to the end of the day and feel like I have either accomplished absolutely nothing or I have halfway done about ten different things. I wake up in the morning with this idea of what I’ll complete, and when the items on my list are not checked off at the end of the day, I end up feeling like a failure.
I hate the feeling when Matt gets home and asks, “What did you do today?” and my mind draws a complete blank. I immediately attempt to dredge up memories of the previous 9 hours. I mean, I was busy the entire day – I barely sat down – but what do I have to show for it besides a shirt with stains all over the shoulders, well-intentioned but unfinished projects, and a slightly frazzled disposition? And don’t even get me started on the frustration that comes when working friends are already asking questions like, “So…what do you do all day?” or “So, how are you liking staying home and just hanging out?”
It can be easy in those moments to get defensive or to feel the need to justify everything I do or don’t do in a day. I want to prove that I did something valuable and/or noteworthy. When you get down to it, it’s a works-based mentality: the belief that the quantity and quality of what I accomplish in a day directly correlates to my validation and worth as a person.
The funny thing is, my entire worldview revolves around the concept that my standing before God depends not on what I do, but on what Christ has already done for me. So if that’s the case, then shouldn’t this worldview affect how I approach my every day moments?
Hey, I’m a work in progress.
I know the title of this blog says “things learned,” but let’s be honest, this is one that I’ll be learning every day for the rest of my life.
My desire is that, when the end of each day comes, I would not brandish my to-do list as my personal megaphone to prove to the world that “Hey, I did something worthy of acknowledgement and validation today!” Instead, I hope to lift up my hands to my heavenly Father and sincerely and humbly say, “I gave You my best; everything I did, I did for You, and not for men.”
Because ultimately, I’m not working to earn the approval of others, or even to earn the approval of God. Everything I do should be a loving act of worship – a response to the grace shown to me by my God.
And just as a sidenote to anyone who may be second guessing a decision to be a SAHM –
Choosing to work full-time rearing, teaching, loving, and caring for your children ( and all the other unsung responsibilities included) is an incredibly valuable, noteworthy, and honorable thing – one that doesn’t need to be justified.
Don’t let anyone – including yourself – tell you any different.
Here’s to finding joy in the unfinished checklist – one gummy grin at a time.