The mommy chatter started when my kids were babies.
No, actually, let me back up. It started even sooner, like when I was pregnant.
Other moms would say to me,
Oh yes, I know they are all cute and cuddly now, but just you wait until the teenage years!
Why do we do that to each other, anyway? That just-you-wait thing.
Just you wait until he starts teething!
Just you wait until he’s walking all over and getting into everything!
Just you wait until he starts driving!
I don’t get it. Are we trying to make sure another mom doesn’t get too happy? Just in case she might enjoy her child a little too much, and we want to knock her love down to size?
Whatever to all of that. Besides our own 5 children, we were foster parents to 35 medically fragile foster babies and children, so I know important truths about this topic.
You just bask in all that sweet mommy love for every minute of the day that you have. Savor all of it. Don’t dread what’s coming up.
I’ve got 5 good reasons why.
Baby Mommies: Here Are 5 Good Reasons Why NOT to Dread the Teenage Years
1.Teenagers carry on great conversations.
I loved my babies, and I enjoyed my toddlers, but I had a tough time surviving some of the endless conversations about all the names of the characters from Thomas the Tank Engine.
Now my kids are fun and interesting. We talk about chemistry, politics, make-up, recipes, and the best movies and TV shows.
2. Teenagers are more independent.
All the hard work you pour into the younger years will now have its rewards. My teens do laundry, cook meals, and empty the dishwasher. We still have to work on the cat litter issue, but hey, it’s a process.
And, they wipe their own snotty noses now.
3. You will live through the tough times.
No lie. Some situations with your teens will be craptastic. The teen years are filled with emotional ups and downs, and you are the mom which means you ride up and down with them. (Yes, our job is to stay on an even keel, but when our kids hurt, we hurt.)
I joke a little, but we have been down to some deep depths of pain with our teens, so I understand the agony of walking with a teenager through tough life situations. It hurts to help them, and it hurts even more to step back and allow them to live with the consequences of their choices, which is often the best way to parent.
Yet you somehow survive to go on another day. There were days I wondered if I would die from the pain, but I am here, still standing and stronger for it, renewed by God’s grace each day.
4. Your marriage and me time get better.
The baby and toddler years are so physically exhausting. My husband and I were constantly playing you-get-up-with-the-baby-no-you-get-up-with-the-baby-I-am-pretending-to-be-asleep-now.
Sleep was a more important commodity than food, sex, or platinum. Don’t bring me flowers or jewelry. Just let me take a 30 minute nap. And, a chocolate bar to stash in the freezer for tomorrow afternoon when a nap isn’t an option.
This all gets so much better when the kids REALLY sleep through the night. I don’t mean the sort-of sleep of the toddler years, or the mostly sleep of the elementary years. I mean the true sleep of the later years. It’s glorious.
You will look to the man you married and discover that you remember him, and you really like him. I sat across from my husband one evening at the dinner table, looked deep into his eyes, took his hand, and said, “Wow, you are a really good looking guy.” I had been so busy and exhausted for several years, I forgot.
Then there is the day when all the children go to school for a full school day. Cue the angel choirs singing. Don’t dread this day, baby mommies. Rejoice!
I cried when my oldest girl started school. I’m sure I shed a few tears with my second daughter. By my fifth child, I wept, but it was out of thankfulness that the line wasn’t too long at the school drop off.
5. God’s plans for your family are revealed.
As you mature in this life, you have the privilege of perspective. Things that made no sense in the moment, start to make sense as you see God’s hand at work — and it’s really amazing.
You will see your kids’ personalities and talents develop. I’ve watched my kids grow into unique individuals who are making plans for how they will go into the world, work and serve. I’m awed. I’m honored to know these amazing young people, let alone be their mom.
So here you go, baby mommies. Hug your babies close. Enjoy the cherished moments, and don’t feel guilty for the days you are weepy and strung out, either.
You have plenty of great times to look forward to up ahead.