What can capture the total attention of eight adults for three days over the Thanksgiving break? It wasn’t a football team or book or movie. It was two infants who couldn’t even sit up by themselves.
For three days we held the new babies, got them to laugh, watched them spit up, cry, sleep, and started it all over again the next day. Of course, while we slept, their moms got up with them at least three times during the night. It’s amazing how eight adults can suddenly have nothing to talk about but babies for three days – how they’ve grown, are they hungry, tired, sleepy, what they need for Christmas – babies, babies, babies. And we’re adults who one year ago could only discuss jobs, politics, theology and education.
Two of my daughters-in-law had that zonked out look of a new mom who hasn’t had more than four straight hours of sleep in months. The young women continually exchanged ideas with the third daughter-in-law whose baby is due in March. The two new moms had so much to share with the new mom to be, and I noticed the third daughter-in-law began to look a little overwhelmed herself.
After holding my infant grandsons for just a few hours, I again realized that babies are for strong young women. I loved the time when my sons were babies, but I’ll never forget how tired I always felt - so bone wearying, would-do-anything-for-a-good-night-of-rest tired.
New moms need so much tender care themselves as they care for their young children. Isaiah 40:11 says, “He shall feed His flock like a shepherd, He shall gather the lambs with His arms, and carry them in His bosom. And gently lead those that are with young.” The NASB translates that last phrase, “And gently leads the nursing ewes.”
Over Thanksgiving I saw how much care new moms need. I’m so glad God led Isaiah to include the extra reminder that the Good Shepherd takes special note to gently lead those in his flock who have the wonderful, but sometimes overwhelming task of taking care of young children.
So to my dear sweet daughters-in-law, when you are feeling the mind numbing overpowering exhaustion that comes from caring 24/7 for a young infant, know that God takes extraordinary care to gently lead you during this time. You are amazing young women, and you have a loving, understanding Shepherd watching over you.