Babies - and all their sweet little babbles - are a blessing.
Over the past few months, my daughter Ella has been babbling “dada” over and over again. She’d babble it to me, to her daddy, and to herself all day long as she explored the world around her.
Honestly, all that “dada-ing” had me feeling a little jealous. C’mon, kid… remember how I carried you for nine months, birthed you, nursed you on demand and got up with you in the night hundreds of times? What am I, chopped liver?
I know, I know… she’s barely a year old, so it’s nothing personal. And as some friends reassured me, “dada” is much easier for babies to say than “mama.” So we practiced our “m” sounds for a few weeks and sure enough - she's started babbling “mama” several times.
Only, her “mama-ing” was starkly different from her “dada-ing.”
Today it was “mama” when I’d sneak away to the bathroom. It was “mama” when she was sick of the toy she was playing with or when she wanted out of the high chair. It was “mama” when she was tired and needed help going to sleep. Baby girl cried “mama” all day long.
At first glance, it seems insulting that “dada” is happy babble and “mama” gets the leftovers. But when I looked closer, I realized that all those big feelings wrapped up in a simple “mama” were reserved for the person that she needs and trusts the most.
The Blessing of Being Needed
Stay-at-home mom life is often pretty humble. I spend my daytime hours in a cycle of changing diapers, feeding, cleaning up messes, getting lost in piles of laundry, coaxing giggles and wiping tears. I don’t feel like I’m making an impact on the world in my day-to-day routines, but intertwined in the repetition of each day is the blessing of being needed by this beautiful child God has given to me.
My daughter feels safe and comfortable with me. When she’s frustrated, distressed or weary, she looks for me over everyone else. She clings to me tightly when I pick her up and misses me the minute I walk away. Her “mama” cries sound like complaints at face-value, but really, they’re love wrapped up in some pretty big, confusing feelings.
I realized that all those big feelings wrapped up in a simple “mama” were reserved for the person that she needs and trusts the most.
I remember crying for my own mom to fix things for me when I became too overwhelmed, and I can guarantee I didn’t ask very nicely. If I’m honest, I still call my mom when I need advice or a good venting session. Even now, she still listens to my problems and offers her best help from miles away. We need our moms the minute we’re born and even after they’re gone.
Motherhood is sometimes an overwhelming responsibility, but through it we leave an indelible impact on our children.
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Motherhood isn't glamorous or easy, but it's Kingdom work.
Remember how I said I don’t feel like I’m making an impact on the world in my day-to-day routine as a stay-at-home mom? Well, maybe I’m not changing the world. But I am showing up for my daughter constantly, giving her the care and support she needs to one day carry on this same role for her own family.
By humbling ourselves and sacrificing for our children, we serve as a picture of Christ's love for His Church. Even our small acts of service teach them something of His redemptive plan and help to build the Kingdom of God.
Soon enough, the “mama” cries will lessen with each passing day. My little baby will grow to be an independent young girl, and she won’t need me as much as she does right now. For now, I will gladly come when she calls, offer all the love and support she needs, and thank God for the blessing of being needed by her.