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Moms Rock (What I Learned During My Paternity Leave)

momOkay, so I didn’t need a paternity leave to realize moms rock. But it certainly is like putting on new glasses after having been told you haven’t had 20/20 vision in some while.

For 7 weeks I was blessed to be at home as we adjusted to having a 3rd baby in the house. It was so heart-lifting.

Milk, $3.99. Penaten cream, $4.50. Diapers, $40. Tank of gas, $65. To be physically and emotionally present with my family in those early days, priceless.

(I should also say that the first coffee in the morning after a much-interrupted night of sleep is priceless, and also that a nice glass of wine at the end of the day is priceless too!)

But in it all, moms rock.

I don’t want to make my wife uncomfortable, but watching a caring, present mother with children is truly a vision into the mind of God and how he must surely have wanted things to be designed.

And so much of it goes unseen by the outside world. The sleep-deprived nights (did you know sleep deprivation is an actual form of torture?), the feeding, the considerations for siblings, the making and executing plans for the nourishment of your kids, the praying and teaching to pray, the food and budgeting, the never-ending cycle of dishes and laundry, the rallying troops for church, the physical strains, the changing diapers… How long should I go on?  I know I’m missing things, but that’s half the amazement of it all.

“If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?” (Author unknown)

And this is a time that is strange for mothers. There has been an explosion of books and “experts” saying what you need to do to be a good mother. There is often no clear path, and when you make a decision, there is no shortage of magazines willing to pile on guilt for what you should have done.

And so the work of motherhood also involves a balancing act. A courage and confidence amidst all the confusion.

Did I mention I love my wife?

The ever-inspirational Max Lucado says this about grace: “God’s grace has a drenching about it. A wildness about it. A whitewater, riptide, turn-you-upside-downness about it. Grace comes after you.” Can not the same be said of a mother’s love?

For those 7 weeks I loved the privilege of being at home, taking the kids to the park, playing doll games ad nauseum, chasing the ice cream truck, sitting in the pews (instead of being up front), visiting family, receiving the generosity of friends and family, reading stories, doubting the way and then being reaffirmed, and enjoying rare down-time moments with my wife.

As someone told me recently, “the days are long but the years are short.” So enjoy with gratitude, soaking up moments in the here-and-now that we may or may not remember one day.

Henry Ward Beecher said that “the mother’s heart is the child’s schoolroom.” I am so evermore-glad that such a world awaits them.

Yes, moms rock.

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2 Comments »

  1. beautifully said! In my day there was no such thing as paternity leave for Presbyterian preachers. I wish there had been. Or, being a workaholic, maybe it was just as well there was no such thing in those days. However, I think I could have handled it just fine!

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  2. No doubt dads rock too. But in the early days mom’s need to carry a bit more of the load. So happy you could share the time together. You are a blessing to each other.

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