It's amazing how God can work ever so slowly in you to effect a change that you never thought possible!
Growing up, I really liked kids. I never was much a fan of babies, but I loved playing with little kids and could not wait until I was old enough to help with Vacation Bible School at church and babysit. The only regular sitting I did was for the two kids of the pastor of the church I attended in college, and it was around that time that children, even just the thought of them, made me feel... well, kinda weary.
I do not know what had changed, but I just plain did not want anything to do with kids and had no interest in having children. I always knew that I would have kids, though; it just seemed to be one of those things that stood to reason. “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.” (Psalm 127:3) I saw no future without kids. I just wasn't ready yet.
Someone send me back to 1950 already!
At the same time, however, I knew I also never wanted to be a career woman. The thought of working full-time for the rest of my life—or most of it, anyway—was just about one of the most depressing things that I could imagine. I did not fit in any of the conventional boxes: did not want a career, was not eager to have kids, was just plain happy being home. I did not dare formulate such a thought then, but a housewife was what I really wanted to be.
It is tough nowadays for a young woman to say she wants to be a stay-at-home mom. I was ashamed in high school to say I wanted to stay home, so I just never did. I went to college and got my degree. I was in the working world for seven years before God saw fit to place me where I am now. I heard a discussion once several years ago on a radio broadcast that there are more women than anyone realizes who actually want to stay home, keep house, raise the kids, but they are scared to say it. That is just not where most peoples' mindset is today.
Granted, there is nothing wrong with being a working mom—it is just not for me, and it is not for a lot of women. But how have we gotten to a place where a young lady cannot say with confidence that a stay-at-home mom is her calling in life? After kids, sure, she can voice it all she wants, but not before. Psalm 128:3 speaks of a wife being a “fruitful vine” and children “olive shoots”—desirable, positive images that we should laud and support!
For my husband and me, it was a slow transformation of going from a young married couple who wanted to learn to live in the world together to a young married couple who wanted to taste the joys and trials of parenthood (and lemme tell ya, I was SHAKING when I showed Richard that pregnancy test last January!). Even though neither of us were kid people, it just seemed like the right time, the right place (and, I have to admit, I was VERY curious to know what it felt like to be pregnant! And you know what? I liked it!).
Now, I've never been ooey-gooey over babies
I would never call even my own baby an angel or some other floofy name (though if you want to do it, go right ahead!), but I do love William. My mother was right—even if you do not have a particularly soft spot for kids, it is totally different having your own child! It is even better now that he is ever more showing his personality and smiling, smiling, smiling. What an honor that God has trusted us to take care of this child!
Richard and I have entered a whole new world of restless nights, dirty diapers, and unexplainable rounds of baby tears—as well as the most adorable smiles, coos, and cozy sleeping baby on our shoulders. What's more, though, is a silent camaraderie between us and other parents. Suddenly people you never gave a second glance at before are trading stories with you in the grocery store. You are in the same boat with other young parents at church (sympathetic looks and knowing smiles can go a long way when baby has a bout of crankiness during the service!).
We moms are not alone
God has placed a network of fellow believers with young ones around us and surrounded us with a “cloud of witnesses” (Heb. 12:1). I am grateful that children are welcome in our church service, too; there is no nursery, and everyone looks kindly on the kids. Even during a funeral last month, I was told that it was so nice to see a baby there, despite his crankiness—what an encouragement!
My heart now sings songs of which I never knew it was capable. Children are an indescribable blessing, and we rejoice in this special task from the Lord in raising the next generation!
See you in the Round!
*Scripture quotations are from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.