The baby is the lesson…

A couple of years ago, when Ian was a baby, I was talking to a friend from college who was far away, but sharing the same life of homeschooling little kids with a baby added into the mix.  We were commiserating about how little it seemed we really could get done in a day and then she said something that has stuck with me.  “I guess on those days, the baby is the lesson.”

The baby is the lesson.

That little phrase has been running through my mind a lot these past few weeks.  A new little person takes a lot of time, a lot of energy, a lot of love.  It’s given me a lot of opportunities to tell the other kids what they were like as babies, how I learned to read their cues and figure out what they needed, how I thought there never could be anything cuter and more precious than they were.  And, more often than I ‘d like to admit those math lessons are replaced by, “Will you please jiggle this screamer while I change the poopiest-poopy diaper ever made by a human 2 year old?!”

At first, when I’d think of this phrase, I was looking for ways the baby was the lesson for the kids.  And, naturally, there were lessons in seeing to another’s needs before your own, diaper changing, laundry washing, the miracle of a milk-making-mama-body, but this time I’m realizing there’s a lesson or two in it for me.

nap time

Seize the moment.  If everyone is sleeping in, sleep in too.  If the baby is peacefully napping and the bigger kids are happily playing, take a shower.  When brand new eyes focus on the mesmerizing ceiling fan and get the little guy to start cooing, get right over there and coo along.  When a fussy baby is hungry SIT DOWN, put your feet up, stare at his perfect little face while he nurses, and call another one or four over to snuggle along and read a chapter of a book.

Go with the flow. While it is important for me and the kids to have a routine rhythm to our days, it is okay if that rhythm slows down.  Instead of keeping time, we just flow through it.  That may mean that the morning song, prayer, stories, and scripture study don’t start until after lunch, and that’s just fine.  We flow with it, embrace it, no stressing out allowed…

brother lulaby

Think of reasons to say yes, rather than no.  Someone wants to do a “science experience” by mixing some of everything from every kitchen cupboard together.  The 2 year old wants the 4 year old to read his stories, rock him, and sing his song at nap time.  They all want to jump on the trampoline in the snow.  Why not?

I guess for all of us, especially the mama, the baby is the lesson.

cheeks and lips

8 thoughts on “The baby is the lesson…

  1. beautiful post! think of all the time wasted in public school .. what is the statistic? 45 min. of instructional time a day? an hour?

    any family issue that slows a day down is just a blessing in disguise. :^)

  2. very nice! i never thought of those ideas before!but so right! its amazing how ‘caught up’ we do get in the world! and then when a little hand touches us its ‘wait’! is it really necessary to say not now? they are only little once! you are doing a great job with them, don’t forget that! look how Logan can help even if its just for a blink of a eye to make Ian feel better when Ian really wants you! Its those moments where we as parents se it and go good its sinking in! keep you head up! ((HUGS)) from Massachusetts!

  3. How sweet. Wonderful thoughts… I agree 100%. And I love that last picture… what an adorable kid!

  4. thank you for confirming that what i am doing these days is okay. sometimes i feel this guilt deep down that i should be setting my alarm and getting up early to do school with the kids. but my achy body and 4 hours or less of sleep make me want to stay in bed as long as possible. not that i do it everyday, but i do do it and i have the same theory as you even if i wish our lives were more consistent. i know that someday they will be. i loved this post.

  5. I love that you guys have such a wonderful family bond. Glad to hear that you are able to enjoy the little things and not stress so much!

  6. I absolutely loved this post! It is full of great reminders and advice. Thanks! (I love the pics of your boys together.)

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