How does a baby change your life? Ahhh, the list of positives will tens of times over out weigh the list of negatives. However parenthood does bring a few changes…..
I will confess my naiveté when starting our family. Stan and I went to the doctor who pronounced that yes indeed we were going to have a baby. We were ecstatic, a bit afraid and totally unprepared, as any honest parent will tell you – they do not come with instructions and even when you figure out one, the others did not read the same play book.
Anyway, the next day I went back to work and asked a coworker, whose wife was due with their first baby any minute, how she was doing. He replied that she had started to dilate so it would be very soon. I thought about that all day. Stan and I worked in offices that were close to each other so it was great that we could carpool to and from work. On the way home I asked him, “So, how do they tell by looking at your eyes that you are ready to have a baby?” He almost ran us off the road he was laughing so hard!
Ok, I have learned a little more since then. Babies are such a wonderful blessing from God, and they bring us closer to our Creator than any other job, service or assignment ever could. Parenthood is a blessing and a huge adjustment. I mean seriously, how can one little body create a dozen loads of laundry a week? Their clothing is so little! Did you realize you would ‘smell funny’ for the next several years, a mixture of …..well… we won’t go into that. Oh, and that your clothing would have always have foreign matter on it, that you cannot even/want to identify? And what is with the elevation in 2 feet? How come a baby is content IF you are standing versus sitting? How can they even tell when they do not seem to understand the difference in day and night, and yet they know when you are resting by sitting for a minute! And the sleep, oh the sleep, a deep long, uninterrupted sleep….was now only a day dream.
Food, at the designated appropriate temperature the food is supposed to be when eaten, does not matter anymore. If it is intended to be served hot it will be cold when mom gets to it. If it is meant to be eaten cold, it will be warmish when she eats. (My mother has not had a hot meal in ?? years – A Christmas Story) Besides the culture shock and huge learning curve, it was frustrating to me after I had my first baby to not have anything ever ‘done’. Then, it dawned on me, I may never have a project finished. Laundry multiplied in the basket giving birth to more clothing. Dishes seem to breed in the sink, piling continually, and the list went on.
Please do not misunderstand, I LOVE being a mom but there was a reality to motherhood also.
After contemplating, and asking God for help with my predicament, I came to the idea that I would get a project that I could work on, no matter how small, that would stay done. This would release a bit of my tension while nourishing my inner creativity (it sounds good right?!).
Stan and I packed up our firstborn one Saturday and headed down town. I found an embroidery kit on clearance that fit within our little budget and it was a done deal. The picture at the top of this post is that embroidery kit. Some days I would literally only get one stitch done. But that was my lofty goal, at least one stitch a day. When it was ready to frame I did not want it cleaned; the stains are still there to remind me of dragging it around for 2+ years – that’s right it took me TWO years to finish it. But it really fulfilled my need to ‘have something done that stayed done’ and my impatience of adjusting to my new life was so much easier because of that little project.
My picture was, and is, a testament that God does hear and listen to any who will just ask Him in a little faith for help with righteous desires. I had a need, insignificant in the grand scheme of life, yet He knows me so well, that when I could not quite understand and grasp what would help me adjust to my new life, He gave me the answer so I could feel more joy. There is nothing more precious than children coming into our life and our home. It can be, actually I can guarantee that it will a challenge and a drastic change in life; however, there is nothing of higher importance or has deeper impact for joy and happiness than having a family.
When you have challenges of any sort, get on your knees and pray about it. Your answer may be as simple as mine was. It may be that a person comes to your mind who can give you trusted direction and support. Possibly it is you who will be the answer to give comfort, relief and moral guidance. All the inconveniences, trials, tears and experiences are worth it, because family is love and that is of the most worth.
We delight in, and savor happiness because we know sorrow.
Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2014
Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.