I should be heading for the shower and then the covers, but my mind is full of thoughts, and my heart is mixed with emotions, so I write to mother them both.
Early tomorrow morning, I get to meet my new friend who is a first-time mom. We’re going to grab some coffee from the local coffee shop and hit the streets for some local rummage sales. I am excited to see her, and I can't wait to meet her little peanut.
She shared with me as we were planning this Friday morning outing that she's a little nervous — wondering if it's OK if we stop to bounce a baby and possibly take a break from rummaging for feeding time.
Of course, I agreed. I love littles, and it seems like just yesterday I was there — learning how to do life, as a mom. Learning how to tell the difference between their cries. Learning when they were hungry whether it was time for a diaper change, or they were just being fussy and needing some extra love.
Earlier on, one of my teenage kids stopped by. And, I won't go into details, but he’s had a dandy of a month. Lots of growing pains and hard lessons.
And, well it brought me back to him as a newborn. And me trying to figure out what he needed. Do I just nurse him every hour when he is crying? Is he gassy? Is he sick? Do I need to just try the crying-it-out method? Why won't he sleep? Why does he start screaming every time I sit down? Will I ever be able to leave this house? How am I going to look like I am a mother in front of my friends when I have no idea what this child needs?
Tonight, the questions might have been a little different, but the same helpless feelings remained. Can I hug him? Does he need a pep talk or just a listening ear? Where is my patience? How do I love him through this?
After the questions left my mind, and I heard the rumble of his truck leave our driveway, I spent some time with God — asking him how to love my son. The “letting go, letting God” type of love. And how to allow him his feelings, his cries, and not try to take them, but just to sit next to them. (Standing up, or sitting down, it doesn't matter now).
This parenting thing has been full of growing pains and hard lessons.
And, today, I'm still learning how to do life, as a mom – just in a new season.
And maybe the only thing that I might humbly know after almost 20 years of this mom stuff is when in doubt (at any age), extra love is always the best medicine.
Till next time,
Michelle Massie is a family coaching specialist for Lutheran Social Services in Dickinson, ND and a Crisis Counselor with Project Renew. She works with families on raising children birth through adulthood navigate through rough waters, ensuring families have the right materials at the right time to construct, maintain or repair well-being. Call 701-223-1510 or fill out the form at lssnd.org/help to get connected with this program.