In American culture, baby moon usually refers to taking a vacation before the baby arrives. In Chinese culture, however, it means dedicating a month after the baby’s arrival to rest, recover, and focus on caring for the newborn.
I’ve had the privilege of having Mom help me with three baby moons. The first time was a bit of an adjustment as I learned the do’s and don’ts of Chinese baby moons—do stay in bed, do stay at home, don’t expose yourself or your baby to cold drafts, don’t eat cold food, don’t let your hair air dry (or even wash your hair if you can stand it)… The list is endless, and I confess I do some of it but not others. The part I love is that Mom does all the grocery shopping, all the cooking, all the dishes, and all the laundry. She also cleans up after my kids, burps my baby so I can eat in peace, and gets up early to keep my toddlers out of trouble so that I can sleep in—a luxury I desperately need when I’m getting up several times a night. There’s nothing like being mothered again once you’ve become a mother yourself, and I’m very grateful to both of my parents for loving us in this way.
But I must confess there’s an aspect that’s hard for me too. I have a little voice inside that says I should be taking care of my own family. I should be paying for the groceries. I should be helping my mother and not leaving all the work to her. But the reality is, I can’t. I’ve been too exhausted to keep up with my kids much less maintain the house. And our graduate school budget covers only a fraction of what my parents have spent on us this month. Deep down, I feel like I don’t deserve this at all, because I know I can never repay my parents for all the ways they have showered us with love—this month and my entire life.
In the same way, as I’ve been growing in my understanding of the Gospel, I’m beginning to see that Christianity is not about how I live my life but about how Christ lived His for me. He did the work I could not do. He died the death that I deserve. He did all of this not just because I am His daughter, but to make me His daughter. That’s a love I can never repay but is worthy of gratitude for the rest of my life.
“But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13 ESV)