Summary: I think it goes without saying that it takes a very special person to be a Mother. Being a parent changes everything. But being a parent also changes with each baby. Here are some of the ways having a second and third child is different from having the f
The Anchor Holds – Mother’s Day 2004
I think it goes without saying that it takes a very special person to be a Mother. Being a parent changes everything. But being a parent also changes with each baby. Here are some of the ways having a second and third child is different from having the first.
1st baby: You begin wearing maternity clothes as soon as your doctor
confirms your pregnancy.
2nd baby: You wear your regular clothes for as long as possible.
3rd baby: Your maternity clothes ARE your regular clothes.
1st baby: You pre-wash your newborn’s clothes, color-coordinate them,
and fold them neatly in the baby’s little bureau.
2nd baby: You check to make sure that the clothes
are clean and discard only the ones with the darkest stains.
3rd baby: Boys can wear pink, can’t they?
1st baby: At the first sign of distress--a whimper, a frown--you pick
up the baby.
2nd baby: You pick the baby up when her wails threaten to wake your
3rd baby: You teach your 3-year-old how to rewind the mechanical swing.
1st baby: You change your baby’s diapers every hour, whether they need it or not.
2nd baby: You change their diaper every 2 to 3 hours, if needed.
3rd baby: You try to change their diaper before others start to
complain about the smell or you see it sagging to their knees.
1st baby: You spend a good bit of every day just gazing at the baby.
2nd baby: You spend a bit of every day watching to be sure your older
child isn’t squeezing, poking, or hitting the baby.
3rd baby: You spend a little bit of every day hiding from the children.
Will you bow with me for a Word of Prayer?
Mother’s day is traditionally the day when children give something back to their mothers for all the spit they produce to wash dirty faces, all the old gum they held in their hands, all the noses they wipe, and all the bloody knees they "made well" with a kiss.
This is the day mothers are rewarded for washing all those sheets in the middle of the night, driving kids to school when they missed the bus, and enduring all the football games in the rain. It’s appreciation day for making your children finish something they said they couldn’t do, not believing them when they said, "I hate you," and sharing their good times and their bad times. Their cards probably won’t reflect it, but what they are trying to say is, "Thank you for showing up."
Erma Bombeck writes:
For the first 4 or 5 years after I had children, I considered motherhood a temporary condition -- not a calling. It was a time of my life set aside for exhaustion and long hours. It would pass.
Then one afternoon, with 3 kids in tow, I came out of a supermarket pushing a cart (with four wheels that went in opposite directions) when my toddler son got away from me. Just outside the door, he ran toward a machine holding bubble gum in a glass dome. In a voice that shattered glass he shouted, "Gimme! Gimme!" I told him I would give him what for if he didn’t stop shouting and get in the car.
As I physically tried to pry his body from around the bubble gum machine, he pulled the entire thing over. Glass and balls of bubble gum went all over the parking lot. We had now attracted a sizable crowd. I told him he would never see a cartoon as long as he lived, and if he didn’t control his temper, he was going to be making license plates for the state.
He tried to stifle his sobs as he looked around at the staring crowd. Then he did something that I was to remember for the rest of my life. In his helpless quest for comfort, he turned to the only one he trusted his emotions with -- me. He threw his arms around my knees and held on for dear life. I had humiliated him, chastised him, and berated him, but I was still all he had.
That single incident defined my role. I was a major force in this child’s life. Sometimes we forget how important stability is to a child. I’ve always told mine, "The easiest part of being a mother is giving birth.... the hardest part is showing up for it each day..."
Mothers. Aren’t they something? I’ve often wondered if there is a single man on earth that could dare stand up and say he could fill a Mother’s shoes.
God help the poor man that is dumb enough to stand up and claim he could!!
Over the last week or so I have listened to the “special song” we played this morning – “I Hope You Dance” so many times I have lost track. The girls got a hold of that song and they just cannot sing it enough. In my mind’s eye, as I listen to that song – I can visualize myself saying these words to my children – I can remember holding them for the first time moments after they were born – and I remember the HOPE that I had for them and for their future life.