Friday, September 20, 2013

Seasons of Life

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I know that I am blessed to have the opportunity to stay at home with my children while they are young. I have loved watching them grow and develop and reach new milestones. I know there are women out there who would love to be at home as well but are unable to for a variety of reasons. Nonetheless, it is not always exactly what I imagined or easy-as-pie every day. I know that our lives are full of varying seasons, none of which last forever (good or bad). In this season of parenting young children, I have continued to receive blessings that help me along the journey. One of those blessings are other women in my life.

Being home with two small children can hinder one's social life, especially if one is breastfeeding one of these children and said child chooses not to accept bottles. A child who needs to feed every two, three or four hours tends to put your day on a schedule that you really don't want to vary from. And we must not forget the naps in between these feedings. You don't really want to skip those either. So naps and feedings tend to take up quite a lot of time in a mother's day. Thankfully the time requirement for these things lessens as the child grows. However, it still makes it difficult to spend time with other people during the day, especially when there's an older child who also would like to be noticed and entertained. It seems like it'd be easy to hang out with people once the children are in bed for the night but then you also want to spend time with your spouse. And you have to alternate evening activities with said spouse so that you can both get some adult time while the kids are properly supervised. Yes, there are babysitters but they can be quite expensive so we don't use them willy-nilly. We are one of those families who don't live near family so babysitting is our only option when we want to go out together (or at the same time - though usually if we're both out of the house we are together (see cost of babysitting)).

I say all of that to say PRAISE THE LORD for women who are willing to work with my family's schedule and hang out with me at my house or with the kids in tow. Before children, my best friend and I would get together whenever the mood hit us. I had every other evening or weekend to spend time with the hubs so scheduling was much easier and carefree. 

When BB was born I was holed up in the house for a few months getting used to parenting and scheduling for a baby. I was grateful for those who brought by meals for us and would stay to chat for a bit. When you only have one child, and it's a baby, the daily conversation can be quite lacking. I did start going to a mom's group which was nice because everyone else had small children so no one cared about crying babies and are schedules were similar.

When BB was older my friend and I still wanted to get together for meaningful conversation. Sometimes we would meet for lunch or somewhere BB could play or be a little rowdy. Often times, she'd come over and have lunch at my house. We eventually started meeting during BB's nap time at my house so that we could talk distraction-free. I am so grateful for her willingness to meet at times and locations that worked best for my season of life.

I have found that to continue to be the case as our house has grown to four members. It's slightly more challenging with one who can talk in addition to a baby and his schedule. Thankfully, compassionate women have willingly met me and my crew at kid-friendly locations and patiently endured interruptions from my peanut gallery, some even kindly being stamped and stickered by BB.

This past Sunday at church a woman I am beginning to get to know offered to meet me and the kids at a park to hang out and talk. It means so much to me when others are considerate of my situation and reach out to bless me with friendship and adult time. These are the people that strengthen and encourage me as a wife, mother, and woman of God. It reminded me off all of the times women have done this in my three and a half years as a mom. I hope that I will remember how much these offerings of friendship mean to me once I have passed through this season so that I, too, will be able to do the same for other young mothers.

Have you had people in your life who have reached out to you in a specific season of your life and given you strength and encouragement? I'd love to hear your experience!

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