M.I.T. (Mommy-in-Training)

A few days ago, the kids and I were home enjoying a lazy day of playing with toys inside, safe from the July Georgia heat.  Chloe was ready to eat, so, armed with my burp cloth,  I found a comfortable spot on the couch.  A couple of seconds later, I was joined by another mommy.  This little mommy also had a baby and was far more equipped for the job than I, carrying a diaper bag, stash of diapers, bottle, and her own burp cloth–which was actually a diaper changing pad.  I couldn’t help but smile as this mommy struggled to climb up on the couch, dragging her baby  with her.


As she assumed her seat on the couch next to me, this mommy let me know her plans.

“I feed baby.”

“Okay,” I said.  “You are such a good mommy.”

Apparently this little mommy’s baby began to cry because she began to speak ever so sweetly to her love.

“It’s okay. It’s okay,” she cooed to the baby.  As she cradled the baby, she grabbed one of her essentials. “I need burp cloth,” she exclaimed knowingly tending to her child.  She began patting this little baby’s back, continuing to murmur in her child’s ear.

This loving display of affection brought a wide smile to my face.  I was so impressed with this little peanut’s motherly instinct at the ripe age of 23 months.  I was also struck by the details my daughter Hannah Grace absorbed.  She touched her baby softly as I had done many times with Chloe, and she let her baby know she was safe in her arms. She repeated the phrases I had uttered when trying to calm Chloe, and she knew all the mommy tools needed to make it through the day with a baby.  I felt a warm sense of satisfaction watching my little mommy imitate her own mommy when I had a sudden thought that made me feel temporarily sick.

What if she really imitates me?!  Were these mommy’s eyes about to narrow and laser beam the baby into time-out?  Was the voice from The Exorcist going to bounce off the walls growling , “I’m sick and tired of you not listening to me!”  Our last few weeks had been rough, and they were weighing on me. I could handle watching my child act out my tender qualities, but I really didn’t need to see a reenactment of the not-so-proud parts of my day!

Before I could panic too much, this mommy notified me, “I going bye-bye. I need key.”  And she was off with her child.  She quickly strapped the baby in her pink stroller, and off she and her baby went to do laps around the downstairs of our home.

I let out a sigh of relief as this sweet display of affection between a mother and child remained as such and felt overwhelmed by the special privilege God gave me when He made me a mother.  Watching Hannah Grace, I was reminded of how much my children view me as their teacher, and whether I want them to or not, they look to me as an example of how to live.  I was also comforted.  In that moment I felt reassured that, for all my faults, my love for my children will be what they remember most.  An aptly spoken word, a comforting touch, providing for their basic needs–these moments outweigh the moments with psycho-Mommy, who does appear, but not nearly as often as the mommy Hannah Grace enjoys (or so I hope!).

As I’ve reflected on that moment, I’ve come to think that many women need to learn what I learned.  Whether we are wives, mothers, co-workers, daughters, friends–we all need to be reminded of our good qualities.  Our memories have a nasty way of holding onto the negative much longer and easier than the positive. We forget what we do well and tend to focus on our struggles, our weaknesses.  We all have faults upon which we can improve, as there will always be someone watching our example, but we also have much to offer.

And if Hannah Grace learned how to ‘mommy’ from watching me, I’m not doing half bad.

11 thoughts on “M.I.T. (Mommy-in-Training)

  1. Awe! Charlotte is the only one of my children that has shown even a remote interest in 'mothering.' Truthfully she's more interested in putting her babies to bed than anything else!


  2. Great writing, Jen, and so true!!! It's "normal" to become frustrated at times with the kids, no one said it was easy! What an adorable picture! Miss you all and it's times like these that I wish we were closer!


  3. Jennifer, I love your blogs and would say that you missed your calling and that you should have been a writer, but, it is very clear, you didn't miss anything. You were made to be a mother.


    1. Thank you, Dot. Your compliments made me smile all afternoon. Maybe God will open a door for me to write as I am doing now. Wouldn't that be wonderful?!


  4. What a beautiful post! It's so sweet watching our children do sweet things, and your little girl must have totally warmed your heart. And yes, it is important to remember that we are good parents, and let's be thankful our children will hopefully only remember the wonderful things, and not the times we yell or get frustrated with them!


  5. I caught my son putting his beloved puppy (you know the one that goes everywhere and smells like a mix of spit up, urine and outside?) in time-out. When I asked him about it, he notified me very seriously that puppy had hit mr. frog and that his behavior was "unacceptable." While I was nervous at first that he may be taking his frustration with me out on his defenseless little stuffed toy, it turned out what had really happened is that he got it. He understood punishment and discipline are a consequence of bad behavior and what behavior warrants such actions.

    Let me say, too, that not only did I really enjoy this post, but that picture might be the second most precious thing I've ever seen!


    1. Thank you, Rachael! Hannah Grace is a cutie. Your comment made me smile, too. Our kids have tried to put our poor dog in time-out, and sometimes Hannah Grace puts herself in time-out saying, "Time-out! One minute." It's definitely entertaining to watch them learn and explore the concepts we are trying to teach.


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