Tuesday, September 05, 2006

This Is Not What I Expected When I Was Expecting!

I thought being a mom was going to be fulfilling. Little did I know the only thing the baby would be filling was his diaper! When I envisioned bringing a baby home from the hospital it seemed like it would be loftier - I needed to be there to bond to my baby and meet his every need and thus save the world through my mothering. It would be so . . . unfulfilling!

Then the guilt sets in: I'm supposed to love this! How can I not love this? I didn't think a baby under six months did so little and demanded so much! Eat, sleep, diaper, awake at night! So monotonous, exhausting and stinky! It seemed anyone could feed the bottles and change the diapers and the baby wouldn't care right? My husband gets to escape to work - I'd like to shower, get dressed and leave the house sometimes.

I think it might be a lot more about what God is doing in me during those early months. He had to change my perspective and develop the care and compassion I would need to care for them. He taught me patience and perserverance. You need all those things when you are potty training a two year old or find someone has just colored all over your freshly painted walls. So as I learned to love and care for each child as a baby it grew right along with them!

It is such a dramatic change in life. I was no longer focused on myself and the things that used to seem important withered away. But at the same time I missed the old life: Shopping whenever, eating out, going to a movie on a whim, freedom, having money and not spending it on diapers! It seems that God keeps pressing me into this mold of His. Teaching me to quit being selfish and developing character in me that really is a miracle because I'm not naturally patient or compassionate!

However, I do think that we matter to them in the early months even though it doesn't always feel like it. When Jenna was born she was in NICU for a few days. I didn't get down there to see her until the next day. I will never forget when I sat by her bed and said, "Hi Jenna" she turned her head and looked at me. I might have had mommy mush brain but I think she recognized my voice.

I'll never forget the first time Grant smiled at me or when Abby used to cry with everyone else until I picked her up. That is what it's all about; through caring for a little baby, we see the work of God. And I find that very fulfilling!

Psalm 139:16
"All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be."


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post as I am going through this exhausting time again. It's hard sometimes to appreciate the little baby I'm holding when his 21 month old sister is throwing a tantrum, pulling his legs (or arms, ears,etc.), or whining for something!

Michelle said...

Parenting two kids under the age of 2 is exhausting! You don't sleep, have time to yourself or get out of the house. But hang in there - you will look back on these years with smiles. Either there is some good to it that you can't see when you're in it or due to sleep deprivation you block out all the bad stuff!