I was in the baby stage for a thousand years. And I had one million babies.
Ok, so maybe the baby stage was about seven years. And it was five babies, not a million. But that’s what it felt like at the time.
I’m in a unique stage of motherhood right now. I just had my fifth baby and my oldest child is 7. I’m currently living in the beginning of the baby stage and the end of it at the same time.
To all of you mamas in the thousand-year baby stage, I know.
I know how much you love your babies. I also know your joy is often interrupted by fatigue and that time is standing still for you. I know you cry because you never want them to grow up and you cry because you don’t know how you’re going to make it through the day today.
During the thousand-year baby stage everyone tells you, “Enjoy every minute of it! It goes by so fast.” There’s just one problem. You’ve never been in a stage of life that moves so slowly. Every night stretches on and on because you are awake for more of it. The days creep by as you meet need after endless need.
One day my husband was getting ready for work. At the time I had an infant, a 1yr old, and a 2ry old. I looked at my husband with tears in my eyes and said, “I don’t want to do this again today.” By this I meant stepping into the endless vortex of diapers, sleep schedules, potty training, spit-up, teething, peed bedding, and toddler toy clutter. I loved my babies intensely. But, being sleep-deprived for years on end, I couldn’t see past the next five seconds. And the next five seconds were always the same.
I knew in my brain it wouldn’t last forever, but my heart said, “This is it. This is who you are. This is your life. You will be a worn out, sleep-deprived mother of babies forever.”
And then one day it happened. What every older mom told me about (but I didn’t believe at the time) happened. My babies grew up. If you think having babies is special just wait until they turn into kids. It’s awesome. We have interesting conversations together. They unload the groceries. They pick out their own clothes, entertain themselves for hours, and get their own snacks. They read to me, tell me what they are thinking, laugh at my jokes, and make me laugh until I cry. When I go to bed I can’t wait to wake up and be with them again. For so long I was doing everything for them. Now I get to do things with them.
My infant is two months old. Today I took a picture of his fist. It is so cute that newborns make fists. I want to remember that. I kiss the bottoms of his feet while he grips my nose with his tiny toes. When my big kids go running through the room I hold my baby a little closer. Every day I get to see what babies turn into. They turn into kids. It might not seem like it when you’re in the thousand-year baby stage, but they really do. And it’s not sad. Each stage has it’s own unique beauty that doesn’t leave time to mourn the stages past.
Whether time is standing still or going too fast we can look to God and say, “My times are in Your hands.” (Psalm 31:15) He is a God of seasons. Just as He has created the seasons of the earth, He has created the seasons of our lives. And they are not a moment longer or shorter than they are supposed to be.
Moms, today might feel long. But today is not the rest of your life. Today is just today. Tomorrow will be different. “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. He has made everything beautiful in its time.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1,11)
“Sara Wallace does a wonderful job of taking the practicals of motherhood and relating them to the gospel. I highly recommend this for moms who don’t have a lot of time to sit down and do a big Bible study.” – Jennifer