From my short experience as a parent so far (three years, one month and two whole days to be exact), I’m finding that this parenting thing requires a lot of moving.
Diapers must be changed. Young babies must be nursed every few hours. Baths must be given. Noses must be wiped. Bad dreams and teething episodes need my attention at odd hours of the night. Fights must be refereed. Messes must be cleaned up. Three meals and two snacks per day must be prepared and served. And whether you make it to daily mass with your children or just brave church on Sundays, taking young children to mass–even when teamed up with a spouse or friend–is a very physical endeavor.
Heck, getting clothes, socks, shoes and coats on a three-year-old and a sixteen-month-old (not to mention getting them out to the van and buckled into their seats, along with a diaper bag and any other items going with us) is a never, ever smooth sailing at my house.
It’s all so exhausting sometimes. OK, a lot of times.
A lot of parenting involves things you have to do. You have to tend an injured child, or clean up the box of Cheerios your toddler dumped on the couch. Every parent on the block is going to do at least that. But I think that when we can, choosing to do the things that we don’t really have to do is a step toward going for holiness in this blessed, tough vocation. Sometimes it’s making yourself act cheerfully when you’re grouchy and tired. Or sometimes it may be spending extra cuddle time at bedtime with a fussy child. And sometimes it may be choosing to get your tired pregnant behind off the couch three seconds after you sat down to administer good, consistent discipline to a testy toddler.
The hard part is that only you and God are going to know that you did that little something extra. But those are the moments (right?) when Love comes through and Grace pours down.
As always, thoughts from a mom who’s workin’ on it. 🙂