Veteran moms, we need you. We need you to remember.
We need you to remember that, during the little years, going to the bathroom alone–or even taking a shower–is a treat.
We need you to remember the time it takes to not only get yourself dressed and ready but the challenge of throwing on clothing, tossing up hair, slapping on some make-up all while wrangling a baby hanging on your hip, a toddler wrapped around your leg and a preschooler screaming “Mommy!” at the top of her lungs.
And then–we need you to remember that Mama also must dress that baby and toddler and preschooler.
How sometimes while wiping clean the toddler’s pancake-crumbed, syrup-smeared face, evidence of breakfast will etch itself on her clothing, and she will have to decide whether to go to town with a stained shirt or take a few more minutes to change her clothes…again.
How sometimes the baby’s diaper will explode and leak at the very moment she turns the key to lock up the door.
How, for little girls, Mama must match hairbows or headbands–or at least run a brush in an attempt to tame their tangled mops.
She deserves a medal.
Instead of giving condescending stares when our children climb out of the carts, scream and throw food in the grocery store, we need you to empathize. We need you to say: “I remember.”
And we need you to help. Yes, we know you’ve “been there and done that” and have moved on with your lives.
We know that you may have not had any help at all.
But if you’re able, why not minister to a young mom who’s struggling?
We need you to be like my mother: Who, when I was nine months pregnant, stopped by the house with a rotisserie chicken and corn on the cob for supper. Who will drop off gluten-free groceries–just because. Who will watch the girls so I can go to my annual OBGYN appointment…without worrying about six little eyes getting scarred.
We need you. We need you to come alongside us–to encourage us, to mentor us, to say: “Let me lend you a hand, give you a break … because I remember.”
We need you, older women, to raise up and be like the women the Bible describes in Titus 2. We need you to “teach us how to honor God” with our lives.
And we need you to know: The pressures that today’s moms face are different, greater perhaps than what moms in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and even 90’s experienced.
For those of us who choose to stay at home, it’s a battle. It’s not expected. Our society has made it nearly impossible for a family to survive on one income.
And so most stay-at-home moms not only juggle the basic duties of homemaking and motherhood (which are more than a full-time job in and of themselves), but we also take on other jobs to help make ends meet.
We sell products–like 31 Gifts, makeup, oils or our homemade wares. We tutor. We babysit other people’s children. We teach music, Spanish or art. In my case, we write.
No, it’s not the same.
We need your help. We need your wisdom.
We need you to speak truth into our lives. To breathe into us encouragement.
We need you to tell us that sometimes we’ll feel like we’re going crazy, but these little years are fleeting, and we will make it through.
We need you to tell us to savor these years. But we need you to acknowledge that they are not easy.
We need you to remember.
Do you have any veteran moms in your life who help you in this journey of motherhood? Or, are you a veteran mom who can help encourage new moms?
I wrote the first version of this post for the Mooresville Weekly newspaper.
Top image by LilGoldWmn