Mothering Newborns Means That Life Is Stripped Down To The Basics


One afternoon before Easter, I was ironing cotton dresses and shirts for church the next day.

 Six year old Mara watched for a while and then pointed to the iron and asked,

 “What is that mummy?”

I laughed because I realized that this little girl had never seen me iron; I usually used the clothes dryer as my wrinkle smoother when I wasn’t looking for perfection but rather efficiency. Actually it was not just the iron that seldom received attention as I mothered a large family, something that I considered essential was eliminated from my life with the birth of every child.


Painting portraits went with Matthew. Other births gave the boot to crafts, dusting, bread making, interesting meals and laundry folding ( each child dressed out of their own personal laundry basket).  As every mother knows,  a newborn takes at least eight hours a day to nurse, burp, rock and comfort, bath, change clothes and diapers( at least ten times a day), and to wash diapers, clothes, receiving blankets, sheets and baby blankets as well as your clothes which tend to get covered in vomit, and other nasty surprises.


The lack of sleep leads to a rather narrow existence where the best days are when you can sneak in a nap or shower and dress before noon. Oh, those were the days when life was reduced to the basics.


Guess what?

Those basics were actually miraculous when I  relaxed and allowed myself to live in the moment, enjoying my newborn rather than bemoaning  all the “important” activities that I couldn’t seem to even start. The very fact that everything that my little one required  to grow and thrive was  inexpensive and near at hand was amazing. My baby didn’t need a lot of money spent on him, he simply needed arms to hold him, mother’s milk to drink and warm clothes and blankets.


 A friend  who had five children, couldn’t quite grasp my peaceful demeanour as I sat nursing a newborn with family life whirling about me. She finally surmised that I was content to enjoy the  present experience  of mothering a tiny, dependant newborn.

I think that I was given the gift of understanding that although I strovet o do my best, ultimately I trusted that my failings would be covered and hidden by Love.


Hence my motto;  “All shall be well, yes all shall be well….For there is a force of Love moving through the universe that  holds us fast and will never let us go.”(Julian of Norwich).


This quote is true, even if the iron remains a mysterious object to your children.


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