This is a guest post.
By Lauren Lomsdale
The other day I was scrolling through Facebook and I came across a friend’s status. I quickly glanced, and to be honest, I didn’t read the whole thing. There was one part that stuck out at me though. In her status she said, “I spent the day raising my babies, other stuff, other stuff.”
I spent the day raising my babies.
Those few simple words- “I spent the day raising my babies” has been in my head now for over a week. There are so many days that I say things like “taking care of the kids,” “watching the kids,” “being with the kids” to myself and to others. But isn’t it so much more than that?
I think, as mothers, we downplay what we do in our every day. Between the wiping butts and boogers, being a one-handed referee while you hold your nursing baby, and getting pulled over for suspected drunk driving but really you were just trying to open snacks and pass them back, you are a raising your children. I know, it doesn’t feel like it. Most days it feels like you are in the middle of an audition for WWE and your kids are killing it. But no- you are raising your babies.
For some reason, in my own head, I think that the raising part of parenthood will come later. When they are old enough to truly understand me. When they are coming home after curfew. When they have their first boyfriends. When I have to bail their dad out of jail for threatening their first boyfriends. That kind of stuff. All these younger years feel like I’m just “taking care” of them. At this age of 4.5, 1.5, and 6 months, all they really need is their main necessities taken care of- food (that they won’t eat), shelter, and clothing (that never matches because I pick my battles). Right?
God, NO. We ARE raising them. These moments, these fleeting moments that no one will remember except for you (who are we kidding, you won’t remember either), you are raising your babies. You are forming and shaping them into the adults that they will one day be. Whether they are adults that need therapy or adults that live at home until 45, that is up to you.
Young children are so impressionable. I mean, watch your kid when they pretend to talk on the phone. My 1.5 year old already impersonates me to a tee, hand gestures and all. Think of all the times you say something to your kids and you think, “Jesus, I AM my mother/father.” It sinks in- all your words, all your actions, the way you make them feel- whether you realize it or not. I think as parents of young children, we forget that even though they won’t remember these days that they will still leave an impression on their minds and in their hearts.
I try to emulate certain things to my kids but I know I do a crappy job most days. Don’t we all? I mean, we ALL have days where we yell too much and the kids watch too much tv. They hear us argue with the phone company and with our spouses. They watch us cry, they watch us fail. But in those failures there are life lessons. Its those moments- those crappy, awful, downright messed up moments- where we can teach our children the most. We can show them that life sometimes will make you hurt. People will make you hurt. But how you come out of that pain and that failure is what makes you as a person. Life isn’t all rainbows and Pinterest. Pantries aren’t always organized or even always stocked with food. People aren’t always as happy as their Instagram pictures. Sometimes people’s status on Facebook aren’t the whole picture. We need to show them both sides of the coin. Both the pain and the strength from that pain. We need to remember that even at this young age that they are watching and learning. We are raising them, even though we feel like we are just going through the motions.