The BOB double jogger is literally like an extra limb for me. I have no idea what I’d do without it.
The Joovy stroller is great for in and out of small stores and restaurants.
The Moby wrap was a part of every single outfit I wore for the first four months of each of my daughters’ lives.
The Ergo was a lifesaver when my babies outgrew the Moby.
The bassinet was a blessing.
The baby swing was a “sleep giver” for my first child and for me during her first few months of life.
We just got a trundle bed and I’m amazed at what an ingenious invention it is for small rooms.
We are planning on buying a minivan for our next vehicle purchase. Have you driven one? They are the most amazing things. Ever. Double sliding doors. A Mary Poppins style trunk. Cup-holders in all the right places.
However, as much as I love the latest and greatest mothering inventions, I never want to overly rely on them or ever fall into the dangerous trap of believing that having them makes me a better mother.
I can be tempted to sometimes think, Wow if I just had ….. (fill in the blank), my life would be so much easier! If I had that, I would be a better mother!
It is true, I am so thankful for many things I have that make my life much easier. My great grandmother and grandmother would have loved many of the gadgets I’m blessed to have.
My great grandmother had to tie her toddlers to the leg of a four poster bed to keep them from wandering off and getting hurt when she needed to complete a task. She didn’t have Bumbos or exersaucers or vibrating bouncy seats.
My grandmother had to set her babies in laundry baskets in the back seat of their car until the carseat was invented.
And for most of my grandmothers, cloth diapers weren’t merely an “eco friendly” or economical option. They had no choice. Cloth diapers it was.
If you’ve talked to your grandma or great grandma about what it was like raising little ones in her day, you’ve maybe been surprised like I was at just how very different things were “back then” than they are today.
Even my mom will sometimes say, “Wow, sure wish they had that around when I was raising y’all.”
I come from a line of strong women. And it had nothing to do with what they had or didn’t have (though they surely knew how to work hard).
There was so much they went without and they were no less wonderful mothers because of it.
And I often remind myself that I am no better a mother for it.
Yes, it does make life easier. And for the most part, safer too. We should be very thankful we don’t have to use a washboard to wash our clothes and hang them to dry every day like our great grandmothers did.
But I am not defined by how much (or for some, how little) things I have or don’t have.
The minivan (which I actually do embrace with all it’s mothering glory) won’t ever define me.
These things help me as a mother. They do not make me as a mother.
God has given me everything I need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).
He’s even provided exactly what I need materially to function well. He knows what I need and what I don’t need, and He has graciously provided.
There’s a verse I love that my sister-in-law, Chesed, reminded me of a couple years back and I loved how she related it to mothering:
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” -Psalm 20:7
When David wrote this Psalm, he was referring to the military equipment needed to fight in battle. Chariots and horses were essential to fight and defeat armies.
But King David made very clear that while he used horses and chariots to fight, he didn’t put his trust in them. There’s a big difference. He utilized them. But He trusted in his Savior, the One who is “love” and “justice” and “righteousness” (Jeremiah 9:23-24).
Jeremiah 9 also says:
Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understand and knows Me (vs 23).
All the things God has blessed me with as a mother, whether they be material things like trundle beds or bassinets or an awesome jogging stroller. These are tools. But they are not where my trust lies. My trust doesn’t lie in my mothering intuition, my stylish SUV (if I had one), or how put together (or not put together) I am.
My trust lies in Him.
I want to always, always remind myself when I am tempted to rely on my own strength, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but I trust in the name of the Lord my God!”
Nations rise and fall. Gadgets are made and recalled. My wisdom wins and sometimes it miserably fails.
But there is One who is always there. And when I trust in Him, I rise and stand upright (Psalm 20:8).
And that’s something no minivan could ever do.