For Those “Cranky Diaper” Days

“Did mom put your cranky diaper on you today?” my husband asked my one year old as we were eating breakfast yesterday. That’s just the kind of day it was: the kind where your cold coffee gets reheated 8 times, the kind where you forget your umbrella during a downpour and you try your best to not to get your kid soaked, the kind where your patience seems to degrade as each minute passes.

These are the days when I most need to remind myself that a successful day is measured differently at this point in my life. Now that I’m a mom, the most successful day is no longer the most productive day. Success isn’t measured by all the things I got crossed off my to-do list. The work of motherhood doesn’t always produce something visible, because caring for this kid that God has entrusted to me isn’t just a mundane activity – it’s communicating to this child that they are loved, cared for, protected, and safe. That work is immeasurably valuable, even if that cranky diaper doesn’t allow me to have any “me” time today. 

So in the event that you’re having one of these please-put-on-a-better-diaper type days too, here’s some truths from Scripture that we can all remind ourselves of:

  1. This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24). Our days are numbered and this time with my child is precious. I know that we can often tire of the “it passes so quickly, enjoy this time!” from older moms, but I do need the reminder regularly. I don’t want to miss what God is giving me today, as this season will inevitably move on to another. I want to be faithful and present today.
  1. God is abundantly gracious and will always have fresh mercies for me. Lamentations 3:22-23 says this: “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” This means that God’s compassion towards me will never fail – it will be renewed every morning (and every hour and every second). If God is willingly continuing to love and care for me even amidst my great failures, I am free to do the same thing for my child. I want to reflect a God to him who will love him faithfully and steadfastly (even though I am a very imperfect picture of this).
  1. My hope is in God – not myself, not my baby, not the schedule we are on, not the fact that daylight savings is messing up our sleep. The next verse in Lamentations, verse 24, says, “’The LORD is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.’” No matter how much patience (or lack thereof) I have for this baby today and how well I do in caring for him, my hope and trust is in God. I’m not able to do it on my own; I desperately need God to be at work both in my heart and in my child’s.

A practical idea: I like to keep these verses (and a slew of others) on notecards and flip through them throughout the day, to remind my heart of the bigger picture and the promises of God I want to remember. My hope is that God’s word points me to Christ, that Scripture would be my guide on days both easy and hard.

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