Today is the day after Mother’s Day. If you are a mom, I hope you were shown love in so many tangible ways yesterday. But now you have 364 days ahead of you until next year’s special day, and I encourage you to find ways to fill your cup for yourself. Decide what makes your heart feel renewed and make it happen.
Self-care is a topic that is hot in agriculture right now. It’s because markets have been down for a long time and that has certainly taken some of the joy and satisfaction out of farming. The fear of being the last generation on your family’s farm is real.
For some people, self-care involves daily exercise. Others enjoy a monthly pedicure or maybe a weekend away. For me (and I know it’s not normal), I’ve found the best way to take care of myself is to have another baby.
Of course, there is the aspect of having to make good choices for my body (like taking time to eat and sleep) because of growing a baby for 9 months. Yet, that pales in comparison to knowing that a precious little helpless newborn baby absolutely needs me! Having Victor in our family for the past 127 days has brought SO MUCH healing to me after the hurt of Ava’s farm accident 4.5 years ago.
I am finally able to talk about it without tears coming to my eyes and my voice choking. I can’t believe how heavy grief has weighed on me for so long, but my healing just needed to be boosted by absolute joy.
Last week, my 5th and final baby was washed in the water. A baptism is such a remarkable day. Victor Albrecht Vander Kooi has the mark of God upon him.
Our church doesn’t have a pastor right now; the retired pastor that married Joe and I was able to baptize Victor and another baby. Part of his sermon was about the meanings of each baby’s name. For us, Victor has a meaning more than just keeping a “V” in our kids names (Vince, Liv, Ava, and Violet). It means that we finally felt we had it in us to care for another child. Our baby boy signifies our Victory over grief and shame and guilt.
I beg you to find the things you need to do to feel well. Take good care of yourself. If you are struggling right now, know that God does have a purpose for your pain. If you believe there are brighter days ahead and you keep working to get to the next day and then the next day after that, some time you will look back and see how far you’ve come! I need to go now, my baby is waking up and I’ve got some snuggling to do. I hope you have a great week.