Just recently I spoke to a young mother-to-be about being a mother. Her questions were brilliant - and varied. And at the end of our conversation I think I was more apprehensive than her! As we talked, I began to realize the challenge of everyday life when children are involved.
Let’s face it, whether you have given birth, or been given the opportunity of adopting a child, it is simply amazing just how much responsibility comes with that.
Raising a child means that another human being relies entirely on you for absolutely everything. Besides the basic food, shelter and clothing thing (and that is not to be taken lightly) the whole task of raising them properly is the real challenge in today’s world.
So what did we discuss? Well, we covered the importance of understanding that each child is really different - even if they have the same parents and lived in the same home their entire lives (or even if they did time together in the womb before birth), each child will truly be unique. And in saying this, what works for one probably won’t work for the other.
]Nevertheless, this individuality is beautiful and if embraced will make a smooth ride for everyone. In addition, remember that each of us has God-given instincts so be sure to let them kick in. Yes, the first child may throw you for a loop but of course it will – it’s a baby! So listen to what others may offer concerning loving and caring for your child, but keep in mind that no one knows your child better than you - and let your instincts surface when raising your baby.
And as the road gets bumpy…the best suggestion I can give is to pray. For it’s the One who made the child that gave the child. And when we ask for His intercession when raising children, it’s like receiving peace, understanding and love into a difficult situation immediately,
‘Come to Me all you who Labour and I will give you rest’.
Also; yes love is everything when they are growing, but so is sleep! Do what every you can to get it, for when you’re well rested then you can take on the world – or at least your household!
Raising children is no laughing matter – somewhere in all this love that you are pouring into them is the task of instilling upon them respect for themselves and others. This is very important, for a child needs reverence regarding their care giver. If a child does not respect their parents then they certainly aren’t going to value anyone else – their future teachers, Garda, clergy, or any other adults for that matter.
I know these topics are a far cry from the usual first baby talks like nappies, feeding, sleep patterns, teething, etc. but these were the concerns that came up for us. Basically at the end of the day, I’ve come to understand that all I have to do is look into my child’s eyes and everything seems to be written there - his smiles, his tears, his innocence and his love. These eyes say a lot when they’re looking back at you. Remember that none of us is perfect, and just keep close in mind that raising children has to be one of the most challenging things in the world to do - but it is, by far, the most wonderful gift of all. I wouldn’t miss it for the world!