The big girls and I had the privilege of presenting gifts to a lovely group of young mothers this week. A Christmas ago, Luca came to me and said, “Mama, can we do something to serve others this Christmas?” (I wish I could take credit for her giving heart, but it does not come from me. It is who she is.)
That year, we put together gifts for 14 young mothers at Bethany House who were pregnant (or had just given birth) and were also battling drug addiction. I’m not sure Dotti and Luca were intellectually, emotionally or spiritually mature enough to comprehend that at the time.
This year, we were fortunate to have an introduction to Young Lives (yes, not Young Life, but affiliated). I loved seeing the curiosity in my girls and the tenderness they had for the young mothers. They showed that gracious heart of a child that at some point, unfortunately, seems to leave us as adults.
From my point of view, I could only think of the struggles I had as a new mom. I was approaching 31 (not 18) when I had Dotti. I had a good marriage. I had a nice home. I had a budding design firm…AND IT WAS STILL HARD!!! I totally realize that I am far more neurotic and anxious than most, but I was a nervous wreck as a new mom. I had all the resources available to me in terms of prenatal/birthing/mothering info, and yet I still felt ill-prepared. (Most days I still feel ill-prepared.)
So, from a self-reflective standpoint, I want to welcome anyone reading this to hold me accountable. Make me “walk the walk”! It’s one thing to “do something nice” once a year, and another thing to decide where your convictions lie.
Tonight I realize that if I want to tout the tagline of “every life matters” or “life is precious”, then I need to step up and be a support to these young mothers who have decided to make that tough decision of bringing a child into this world.
Don’t get me wrong, I fail as a mother on a DAILY basis. But if I allow myself a little bit of grace and stop with self-hate and criticism, I realize that I DO have something to offer these girls in terms of experience and advice in motherhood.
So, tonight, I am asking each of you, that the next time you see me, ask me, “How is your commitment to young mothers going? How are you actually impacting lives?” In my world, if I schedule something and put it on the calendar, it gets done. I want to make this a year of getting sh*t done in this area of my life and my family’s life. We’re ready!!!
If you would like to donate to Young Lives or volunteer your time, please see contact info below: