Early on in the season of pregnancy, long before you know the secret your body hides, you are already growing as a mother. You hold your little one close within your womb, providing nutrients and comfort for this growing child. The infant is lulled to sleep with the sway of your body and the hum of your voice. You are his or her mother, and they know nothing apart from dependence upon you. You begin to pray God gives this child good health.
Soon enough, the season of unseen nurturing has been completed. Your body gives the signal to begin the exciting but often traumatic arrival of forcing this tiny human out of its protected environment and straight into your waiting arms. You are now a mother in the fullest sense with your babe who again knows nothing apart from depending on you for every area of life.
This season is filled with many tears, both your precious baby’s but also your own.
All the ideas you had about what you would do when you became a mother are put to the test. Your day-to-day activities now revolve around simple survival—eating, sleeping, and of course pooping. With innumerable diapers changes and more laundry piles than anyone could imagine, this tiny baby has moved in and taken over. No area is left untouched, especially your body, which is very different from the woman you were before your pregnancy. You daily pray for wisdom as you learn to parent.
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After months of merely repeating the same tasks over and over, this sweet little one learns a few tricks of his own. First, it is just a quick smile, next rolling over, then scooting across the floor, and onto a few tentative steps. The world has now opened up to the baby and your world just kicked into super speed. You must gain an eagle eye at spotting and averting disasters before the baby does. You rarely sit down, rather eating as you chase your toddler around. You feel so far from the woman you were less than a year ago—before motherhood.
You frequently pray that God gives you stamina to keep up with your little one.
As the toddler chub melts into a quickly growing preschool body, your life becomes an increasingly fun game of 20 questions. The first being, “But why?” the next 19 questions on repeat, “But why?” Your ears grow as tired as your body, chasing this ever-moving, always talking ball of energy. You fall into bed exhausted, wondering if it will always feel this way? You pray for enough patience to train your child.
As the first day of kindergarten approaches, a few tears will slip down your cheeks as you wonder where your precious little baby went. The school years come with sports, sleepovers, and birthday party invitations that arrive at whirlwind speed. You feel as if you never have time to catch your breath, living in the minivan and feeding the family from a drive-thru paper sack. Will life never slow down? You pray that your beliefs can be taught even in this busy season of life.
Earlier than you expected, a sulky preteen moves into the room that was once the cheerfully decorated nursery. You no longer know the color of the carpet, only walking on never-ending piles of clothing. The door slams often, the music plays loudly, and the attitude speaks clearly that you are no longer needed as a mother. Friends take priority, and any conversations are usually muttered over the shoulder while leaving the room. These preteen years make you both physically and emotionally weary.
They might just be harder than the other seasons.
You start to wonder where your child went and when life will get back to normal? Your prayer is that something you said earlier in life would soak into the troubled heart of your young teen.
Next comes a driver’s license, a high school diploma, and a plan for the future. Sometimes your opinion is sought, but often everyone knows that “you just don’t understand” what a teen faces in life. As they continue to learn from the school of hard knocks, your prayer is for your child to have wise decision-making skills and a mature mindset.
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When the teen years fade into adulthood, and it is time to choose a spouse and begin a new life of their own, they eventually realize their mom might just know a few things. However, your slowing season of motherhood comes full circle as your child brings their own child into this world. Realizing just how inadequate she feels without her mother’s wisdom and advice, she will call, and together you will pray that she will find the wisdom, stamina, and patience to parent her own baby. As you say goodbye and lay the phone down, you begin your prayer through the seasons of (grand) motherhood.