Ecclesiastes for Mums

The book of Ecclesiastes is so rich with meaning for this season of motherhood. Often my work can feel “meaningless” – doing the same things over and over only so they can be undone and then redone the next day.

The sun rises and the sun sets,
    and hurries back to where it rises.
The wind blows to the south
    and turns to the north;
round and round it goes,
    ever returning on its course.
All streams flow into the sea,
    yet the sea is never full.
To the place the streams come from,
    there they return again.
All things are wearisome,
    more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
    nor the ear its fill of hearing.

Ecclesiastes 1:5-8

To be honest, motherhood is kind of kicking my butt at the moment. I won’t go into the details, but this is the hardest it’s ever been for me as a Mum and as a Christian.

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I’ve had a go at writing a poem about the different “times” of motherhood, inspired by Ecclesiastes 3:1-8:

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to give birth and a time to lay our lost babies to rest,
a time to plant your vegetable seeds and a time for the toddler go and dig them all up again,
a time to kill the baddies in their imaginary forts and a time to heal the booboos with a kiss when the game gets too rough,
a time to tear down your sister’s duplo tower (because that noise she makes is sooo funny) and a time to build it up again when your brother is occupied elsewhere,
a time to weep because the toddler spilt flour all over the kitchen floor you just swept, and a time to laugh because his look of flour-dusted shock is just priceless,
a time to mourn because your husband just texted to say he’ll be home late and you really need a hug and another adult in the house, and a time to dance for joy because you just heard his bike come down the driveway and the gate close,
a time to let the toys be scattered joyfully throughout the house and a time to gather them back to their boxes in the quiet of evening, while little eyes are peacefully closed,
a time to give just one more cuddle and a time to say “no more, go to sleep”,
a time to search for that beloved bedtime toy, Sharkie, and a time to give up because “Sharkie must be on holidays”,
a time to keep that favourite, annoying toy with a million parts and a time to throw it away secretly and hope they don’t notice,
a time to wear holes in those little baby pants, from little legs learning to crawl and a time to mend the holes so you don’t have to buy new pants when the season is almost over,
a time to be silent because Mummy is settling the baby and a time to “tell me all about your day!”,
a time to love being a Mum and a time to hate how tired it makes me,
a time to make war against the sin in my heart and a time to be at peace with the fact I’ll never be perfect this side of heaven.

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9 thoughts on “Ecclesiastes for Mums

  1. Pingback: Seasons of Mums – BlendingAme

  2. you’re a good and beautiful Mum, Jess 🙂 … and you have so beautifully written to these days. they are hard in so many ways.

    you are always welcome to email if you’d like, or not 🙂

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  3. I’ve always heard from my older mom friends that once you have that third baby, that it can just be horrible. 😦 It’s normal though! Seriously… I’ve even had my Bible study leaders (really biblically sound women here) tell us this – they’ve experienced it first hand. Somehow the *fourth* baby is supposed to be much easier for some reason after having gone through the challenges of adding that third one. But it’s nice to know that no matter how wise or well researched a woman is, things like that are still hard for her – we’re all still very human. I find it so interesting that having that third baby makes such a difference, but just wanted to let you know this just in case you haven’t heard it before. It’s normal 🙂 and you’re doing great just trying and keeping up with them.

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  4. Thank you. Yes, there are a few families with four kids at our church and they have said similar – that the jump to three was the hardest. We’ve also been having feeding difficulties, which adds a whole other layer of stress!

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  5. oh, no! i’m sorry you’re having feeding difficulties 😦

    my 2nd had trouble breastfeeding. she was falling into ‘failure to thrive’ at her 2 week check up (and i had nursed my first for 14 months). i called a lactation consultant and went straight to her. she gave me a nipple shield which enabled her to eat. i think i also had to remove foods from my diet. when she was four i learned that her feeding issues were a sensory processing disorder issue – that it was the ‘latch, suck, swallow’ sequence she was not able to accomplish well. if it is SPD, there are ways you can massage the inside of her mouth with your thumb and fingers to help her out. anyway … so many concerns with little babies 😦

    http://www.medelabreastfeedingus.com/tips-and-solutions/112/nipple-shields

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  6. Ame,
    That must have been so hard for you!
    Baby T has had a tongue and lip tie (which we just had cut a couple of weeks ago). He is just now learning how to feed properly. But because he wasn’t diagnosed until much later on (around 3 months), his weight gain had slowed and my supply had dropped quite a bit. So I had/have been feeding him every 1-2 hours through the day. I am just starting to stretch him out to 2 hourly feeds, as he gets better at removing milk.
    Thankfully, I have been working with a fantastic lactation consultant.
    Beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel!

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