Confessions of a 3-year-old Mom

“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.” (Osho)

The first time I came across this quote was when our firstborn, Adi, was 10 months old. Now, he is almost 3 years old and a Kuya to our 3-month-old daughter, Lara. This means I’m also an-almost-3-year-old mother, twice over. And like our toddler, I still toddle a lot in this new and wonderful ministry called motherhood.

When the Lord blessed us with our second child, the knowledge and experience with our firstborn lessened the anxiety that usually besets first-time parents. While I am now more confident about being a mother, I still catch myself “wobbling” every now and then, like a kid balancing herself on a beam. With a toddler and a newborn, my husband and I now find ourselves in new parenting territories: teaching discipline, dealing with sibling jealousy, managing time for each child to make sure their love tanks are full, planning day-to-day activities.

Many times, I find myself asking God, “Am I doing it right, Lord?” Thankfully, I am learning to surrender everything to God and trust that He who called me to be a mother is Himself establishing the work of my hands — and heart — in my children’s lives.

For all mothers, I pray: May the good Lord grant us the grace to mother our children faithfully, all for our Father’s glory and honor.

(Originally written for the GCF Ortigas Bulletin, published on Mother’s Day Sunday, May 13, 2018.)

Inclined

My days are usually long. Taking care of a toddler and a newborn requires serious amount of energy and sanity. There’s the bathing, feeding/breastfeeding, setting up activities for Adi, attending to the never-ending demands of Lara, always deciding who gets my attention between the 2 at given situation, and — my least favorite part of the day — managing meltdowns of the toddler while attempting to soothe an equally cranky baby. The list does not include my feeble attempts to put some semblance of order into our home. And I’m not even cooking these days; trusting fast food chains and restaurants (for now) for deliveries and takeouts because, well, my husband and I are too tired to cook.

During Lara’s first month, I seriously didn’t know when my day exactly starts and ends. Does it start when the clock strikes 12:01 AM, and I am still awake because Lara decided she doesn’t want to sleep just yet? Or at around 6:00 AM, when I barely slept through the night? When does my day end? When the sun sets, or when the clock strikes at 12 midnight? I was confused. But these days, I don’t bother to bother anymore.

When it becomes really challenging, I tend to think that mine is the most difficult situation there is. Exhaustion and frustration tend to do that, I suppose; zooming in on self and instantly hosting a pity party. But in truth, my daily challenges do not amount to the difficulties that many people have on their plate. Debilitating illnesses, financial crises, death in the family, serious problems in the work place. What are my loads compared with theirs?

But this is not to say that I am invalidating my challenges. Not really. My thought this morning is that even though my concerns are bearable compared with others, I can still cry to God whenever I need to and have to. Because of His unfailing love, I am given the privilege to cry to Him when things become overwhelming for me. I am reminded that God does not measure the weight of our concerns and set a minimum for Him to incline His ears to our cries. The truth is He delights in listening to His children — whether in tears or in laughter or in deep sighs — and in responding according to His will and purposes. And for this I am grateful.

*****

Thy promise is my only plea—

With this I venture nigh.

Thou callest burdened souls to Thee,

And such, O Lord, am I.

~John Newton