Why Nanas Should Babysit Every Now and Then
Having had eight kids, being in diapers for 18 years and car seats/booster seats for 23 years, one would think it would be impossible to forget the baby season. Our youngest is ten now. And I’m here to tell you…IT HAPPENS.
Young mommies need support. They need validation. They need acknowledgement. And it’s harder to give when you’ve forgotten.
So for reasons, other than the obvious : we want our grandkids to know us, to have a relationship with us and for us to be able to speak into their lives and we want to be a support to our adult children, nanas need to spend some time caring for those babies and little ones.
I recently had the chance to spend the afternoon with our 7 month old grandson. He lives several hours away, so I’ve never watched him without mom close by and I can say, he is a delightful, easy baby.
However, carrying the full weight of his care for several hours made me realize some of the things I HAVE forgotten about being the mommy of a baby. Not all of these things happened that day, but the memories came flooding back throughout the afternoon:
– Mommies spend 90% of their time doing things with one hand
– Mommies are NEVER truly “off duty”. That nap that you thought you could count on, may or may not happen and, even when you are doing other things, you are constantly wondering how long you actually have to do the thing you’re doing, when the next need will arise and whether or not baby is safe, fed, napped, etc.
– Pushing a stroller is hard work. Getting out the door is even harder. In fact, it’s rarely worth the effort.
-You are often faced with the decision of whether or not you or your baby really need a change of clothes after that last spit up. Is the smell really THAT strong.
– When you are away from home and the conveniences that come with that, there is a constant awareness/stress of how long baby is REALLY going to last, because there really are NO guarantees. No two days are exactly the same.
– If said baby does NOT last while out and about, he/she can go from 0-100 in .5 seconds flat and there may or may not be much you can do about it, so you are always having to rethink a backup plan for each situation…and eventually you learn to not care what other people think.
-Never at any other time in your life are you so consumed with the cleanliness/size of objects on the floor and anything up to about 12 in. off the floor
I also remembered:
-There is nothing sweeter than a baby’s smell (even the smell of spit up)
-Although daily life with babies is extremetly repetitive, there is a simplicity to them…as long as you don’t let yourself get pre occupied with all the latest articles and posts on parenting. Constantly questioning every decision is exhausting, leaving very little energy for the actual job of being a mommy.
– Sitting and watching a baby play is very therapeutic. Laying on the floor and letting them crawl all over you has the same effect…it does something for the soul.
– So do baby kisses and snuggles and giggles and those moments when your eyes meet and the smile you get can’t be bought with money.
– When a mommy lovingly cares for her baby, there are SO many developmental bridges she builds…microscopic connectors connecting in this little ones brain, it’s astounding. These prepare your little one to learn and grow into a healthy adult. These are the unseen things that really matter.
– Being a mommy is, quite simply, the most meaningful position and the greatest investment you will ever make. It’s our gift to mankind and future generations. But it’s a walk of faith..
God does something in our hearts while we move through our days filled with “menial” tasks. We take on the role of a servant. Jesus said he didn’t come to be served, but to serve. He said that when we give a cup of cold water in his name, it’s the same as giving it to him. What the world calls unimportant, God calls SIGNFICANTLY important. God’s economy is an upside down one.
Lastly, although being a mommy to little ones is an exhausting job, there is a grace that comes with it. God is so good that way. This grace lasted longer for me than most people, but I can feel that it has lifted. The grace I have now is to be a nana to littles, not mama.
So I salute you, mama! I am here to cheer you on and tell you that God has made you for such a time as this! You can do this AND you can enjoy it (at least most of the time)! Remember, they won’t always be little, so savor this precious season as much as you can because what you are doing matters!