Thanks for joining us for the Joys of Mothering series! You can read the previous posts in this series: The Joy of Having Boys & Finding Joy in the Midst of a Tantrum.

It had been one of those days–you know the ones! 

Dirty dishes were stacked high in the sink, so high in fact that I could barely reach the faucet. 

The laundry pile was sky-high, smelled funky and hadn’t been touched for almost a week. 

Toys were strewn about in such a way that no matter where or how I walked, something crunched or squeaked underneath my feet.

Yet still, our family needed to eat. And my husband needed clothes to wear. And the baby just needed to be held.

And amidst this craziness, I’m wondering, “what was I thinking?”

My mind rewinds to a time before I had children. When I had no idea all of the craziness that would be my life when my babies were born. People tell you about the sleepless nights, but for some reason, they don’t tell you that your meals may sometimes consist of cereal and random pieces of leftover fruit :)

Or that your toddler would put a counting bear in his mouth at the moment you weren’t looking {but thankfully not swallow it}.

Or that your three year old would break his collarbone by flipping over a communion rail at church.

Or that your daughter will give you attitude sometimes, because she’s “just like you”!

But sometimes “they” also neglect to tell me what true joy is found is mothering the little years. The sticky hugs, the sloppy kisses, the sweet smells and snuggles of a newborn. Squeals of joy and welcome when I come home from a Bible study or speech practice. Having a really good excuse to just play and leave the chores until later!

Being the mom of small children has taught me a new reliance on the Lord. The sheer insanity of some of my days has driven me to my knees in prayer! It’s given me the desire to live for something bigger than myself. And while the process itself isn’t carefree and easy, like it’s sometimes portrayed, this time of life is like no other. 

I’m told I’ll miss it when it’s gone.

On any given night like the one described above, the kids eventually got fed, toys made their way into a corner, my husband pulled out a clean pair of pants from the dryer at midnight and the pile of dishes got {a bit} smaller. 

This perfectionist is still struggling to let go of what “should be taken care of right now” or “what needs to get done”, but I’m thanking God that I am learning to keep things in perspective so that I can say about these moments, like Paul said to the Thessalonians, “Indeed, you are my glory and joy!”

What brings you joy as you mother your young children? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Shared at Women Living Well and Hearts 4 Home
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11 Comments on The Joys of Mothering in the Little Years

  1. My “baby”–the youngest of four–turned one today. After having a 32-week preemie and months of bedrest with three pregnancies, we are “done.”
    I spent the day reflectively grateful.
    My sister is currently struggling with infertility.
    My brother and sister-in-law just lost their precious daughter in May (stillborn at 32 weeks).
    Though we have experienced struggles with months of bedrest, NICU, various hospitalizations, and the general challenge of caring for four children (ages 4 and under), my heart is filled with gratitude that God has loaned me these precious children to raise for Him!
    It is certainly not easy–if you know me and my kids, you know that–ha ha! And every day I pray for His grace. But each time I grow weary, I look at my children again and remind myself–what a joy, what a privilege, what a treasure they are! Thank you, God.

  2. LOVE this post!!! I have three young ones, but I also have a grown one so I have seen how fast they grow up. I’m enjoying every minute (mostly). ;)

  3. Oh my. I could have wrote this. Those days…and the part about your husband pulling out pants from the dryer at midnight! That has happend SO many times lately. My almost 6 month-old is a very needy baby, and my washer has decided to stop and any random second…so I have to babysit it!BUT there are those times when I can’t babysit it…so the clothes just sit there. Usually wet from the washer starting mid-cycle. Then what happens? THEY SOUR! SO alllllll over again we start. Thanks for this post! I needed it. God bless

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    • It’s so wonderful to make that baby your first priority, even if the clothes smell a little afterwards ;) Thanks for sharing!

  4. I love this and definitely needed it today as it was one of those days for me too. I find the joy of having young children is the absolute love and adoration your little ones have for you, they don’t care that the dishes are up to the ceiling that you’re giving them boiled eggs for dinner or that you haven’t washed your hair in 3 days, they think you’re the most wonderful, beautiful, smart, funny and lovable woman in the whole world. And when they hug you they let you feel all that because they hug and kiss and love you with no reservations and that makes all the other stuff so worth it <3

    • Aw, I love that! We really don’t have to do much to impress our children–just love them :)

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