Mothers work hard to carry a child and to take care of a baby when it is born. It is such a wonderful experience though to see a child grow up and see a woman become a mother as she nurtures that baby to grow and learn by her love. It is amazing how connected a community can become when a baby is born. As I sit here in church I see babies being passed around here and there from mom to a long time friend sitting next to her. I see women who are very well aged holding a baby, as they probably reminisce on how they once raised their own children and had that position of a new mom. Both the older women and the young lady hold the baby, adoring eyes on their tiny bodies, tender hands grasping their soft chubby legs and belly, and the warmth of the baby warming every heart.
It does take a community to raise a child. Mom is under a lot of pressure and going through many changes. With a first child, she has officially become a mother. Her status among her peers may change as she is no longer as free to meet up and likely holed up for days at home with her new little nugget. She may be struggling socially as each day becomes monotonous. Mothers of more than one child may be seeing the change of adding a sibling for their other children. Meanwhile, there are friends and family surrounding her, excited for the new addition, a new little personality to get to know. Family is there to help with meals and chores as mom recovers and learns to manage with baby. Friends are close to coo and hold the new child and take the baby from mothers tired arms. Peers are near to socialize and congratulate after a much needed week of baby care. Her husband is near her side through all of it as well, helping as much as he can while he is home.
A baby needs to feel loved. They sense and know much more than we think. It can be stressful for a baby when there are fewer people around (as it can be when there are too many people!). Having a community surround a family brings so much needed support and the families new addition can bring so much joy! It’s a beautiful thing to watch, so many sisters being benefited from having a baby in the room. Babies just bring a light and happiness! And even when they cry, heads turn because instinctually we know that baby is important and demands our attention. I know all family situations are not ideal where both mom and dad aren’t around or family is not close, etc. but I just wanted to highlight what I have seen in families around me and in the community of the church I am a part of. Families here are not perfect either, but it is obvious that children are a light in our lives that we cannot deny.
The media does not portray family and children like they used to or should. We are surrounded by ideas that marriage and children tie us down and are not important any more. That’s not the case. When children come into the world, they are a blessing, they are a piece of goodness from the Lord. I’m so grateful for the sweet babies I have been able to hold and take care of and the motherly instincts they have helped me connect to. I hope one day to be able to have my own and share the blessing of children with my family and friends. I hope this Father’s Day we can appreciate the family. Every member is needed and we can give special appreciation to Dad this day.