The opinions, remembrances, reflections, and wisdom of the mother of five homeschooled children as the last one leaves the nest and the ranks of the grandchildren begin to grow.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
HELPING HANDS by Rebekah Danaher Anderson
So, I thought I needed help two years ago when I brought home my firstborn son, Caleb. He made his entrance into this world difficult and I was more than uncomfortable – really, I was injured – after delivery. As I labored in love for eight hours, two women stood in the shadows of the quiet birthing room, anxious as I was for the boy to be born. It was my mom, Gina, and my mother-in-law, Beth. I remember their comforting presence there and felt them praying and rooting for me as I went. That was only the beginning of the support they would lend for me and little Caleb as our life together began. My mom stayed for a week after we came home from the hospital. I thought it was the most difficult time in my life. I was in pain physically, overwhelmed emotionally and scared practically as to how I was going to handle this tiny little life. I felt so helpless and vulnerable when my mom finally packed up and moved back home to attend to her own house and responsibilities. But I was far from abandoned. Beth was on-call at any time to rescue me when those insecurities seemed too much to bear in the weeks after Caleb was born. She would drive an hour any time I was feeling desperate, even just desperate for a nap. In Caleb's first two years of life, the moms have been available to me for any help I need.
And I thought I needed help with one baby in the house. Now I have two. Those feelings of utter helplessness and inadequacy have come rushing back… times two. Eden Rose was born three days ago and my mom is here again. She leaves tomorrow and the thought of chasing a toddler and still keeping a fragile newborn safe and sound is almost terrifying. God will give me strength, but I'm so grateful to Him for equipping the mothers in my life with the wisdom and strong hands to help me. I think about how the world in which we live is changing. I feel blessed to have been born in a generation raised predominantly by stay-at-home moms. My husband values that lifestyle because Beth put aside her college degree to raise him and his siblings. My mom never worked, nor did she act like we kids inconvenienced her by forcing her to give up any career dreams. No judgment here. Plenty of my friends were raised by working moms and are working moms, good moms. But I feel specially blessed that the women who are now supporting me are so wise in the ways of homemaking and able to help me become a good mom. Because they sacrificed the lure of the working world and the luxuries that go with it, it is second nature to them now help me as I grow as a mom. Their examples are greater than any parenting book I could read or Super Nanny episode I could watch. They know what it is like to put together dinner while still making time for priorities like reading books and building blocks. Moms who turned all that over to a daycare sitter or nanny can't possibly pass on such valuable advice to a daughter who is trying to navigate the uncertain and exhausting world of motherhood. I only pray for the patience God granted my mother and mother-in-law as well as the commitment to make the long haul until my own daughter someday reaches this point. I think I really need help now. I can only imagine what life will be like if and when I bring home another baby. Hopefully, with time, and the guidance of the mothers in my life, my assuredness will increase. And I'll be forever grateful to them for still making sacrifices even now by changing diapers, washing dishes and holding babies with their skilled hands, their praying hands, their helping hands.