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Mommy and the Joyful Three

About This Blogger

Erin James is the author of a mom blog on whattoexpect.com. She is a mother of three whose passion is helping other moms and dads with positive parenting.

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Finding All Joy in Motherhood


It's three in the morning, all I hear is a stuffy little guy snoring next to me and the ticking of a clock. I am exhausted and scared; his fever finally broke after hours of the usual remedies and countless prayers. Still, I am watching him closely, watching the rhythm of the rise and fall of his chest is all I know to do. 

I don’t sleep when my children are sick. When my middle daughter Myley had Croup consistently throughout the winter one year I lived a life of all nighters. I would sit with her outside in the cold air rocking her as she slept, listening to her choppy breathing. I would sing softly to her and just hope for relief from her latest bought with illness.

These moments as parents are terrifying. When Myley was born, she was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for nearly a month due to a hole in her lung. I was running on a mixture of prayer and fear then too. I would be in such a state of exhaustion it felt like I was not able to function aside from sitting by her machines and again listening to their rhythm. I knew what each beep meant; each little noise became something I was so accustomed to hearing. I still years later have dreams of these sounds. I thought that time would never end. I impatiently wondered how much more of it we could take and when she would just be home where she belonged. I learned something then though that shocked me; even these moments are beautiful.

You have to love where you are at in life. God gives us opportunities to learn and grow from each moment we are given. This does not change when we are raising our children.

I thought motherhood was going to be all bows and baby powder. I never imagined how much work it actually was. It is a full-time position in a child's life.

Things never go as planned in my home. I am learning to just go with the flow and to adjust to new situations as a mom of three. The minute things seem to be running smoothly a new rhythm must be learned. So why would I say that moments of fear are beautiful?

Simple, these are the moments when you see God the most. It is when I slow down. The hectic early days when a baby is born do not allow you to have the moments I did with Myley. I was able to share with her one on one. There were no visitors allowed aside from the parents in the beginning. When the NICU would slow down at night and aside from the hushed nurses and beeping machines, it was quiet. That was when I would stare at my beautiful gift and sing those songs softly and hold her hand. I was not allowed to hold her for a long time, but I cannot tell you how close I felt to her in those moments.

This is what I learned to do, look at the bright side. Find it in those hard times. Behind every obstacle we face as parents, there is something for which we can be grateful. Sure it was hard, but it was where I was and while I am not happy she had to go through what she did, I am grateful for each moment with my children, regardless of the circumstance. 

Those days filled with noise, but the nights were when I could hear God speaking to my heart about my child. Soon, I found a supernatural peace, the kind that really does pass all understanding. My outlook became one of happiness and hope. God healed my broken heart by filling in the cracks with acceptance for the walk that was before me. He showed me to smile and that His promise made a beautiful mosaic of something I never knew about motherhood before that time. Life is not always perfect; just give your worry over to God and treasure the people you love.

God never promised that parenting would be easy. In fact, the Bible is filled with stories of parents struggling to raise their children and dealing with tough situations.

The reasons the hardest moments may become the ones we find the most beautiful are because we see our children through God's eyes. He holds us and whispers softly to us in our time of need. His hand always upon us, rocking us through life's ups and downs.

I am still growing and I have these three amazing little children who look to me for guidance. Did you think, as I did, that your parents knew it all? I never doubted that my parents just had the ability to make problems small. I thought that it came naturally. I did not see the worry in my dad's eyes or the exhaustion in my mom's. Now, I know it was not always so easy for them and I realize they had the same fears as parents. Yet they had faith; that faith made them seem invincible to me.

The moments you fear for your children's well being, the moments you cry from exhaustion and feel hopeless are the moments our Father God scoops us up and shows us that we are going to be OK. Finding the peace in the chaos is truly just taking each day for what it gives you and filling it with love and appreciation for all it has. As parents, we must learn to grasp onto each and every second for what it's worth, good or bad, and make it a moment in which we can find the joy of the Lord.

Print      Email to a Friend    posted on Thursday, February 14, 2013 4:44 PM

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