i have been stammering through the hardships that i’m faced with in my current circumstances.
God has been so good and gentle with me but i am kicking and screaming through this year of hard lessons.
having jack is everything wonderful and just honestly down right terrible at times. i’ve always been a person to say things out loud that others are thinking but would never say. i feel a slight need to hold back here because there are so many without or with loss and it’s just painful to hear mama’s talk about the rough and difficult and miserable parts of being a mama. i have certainly gained a lot of compassion for all parents and especially my own parents having to raise a difficult me. jack is exactly me in baby form. which is difficult. i should’ve prayed harder for an ethan-like baby. they would just sleep together in a pile on the bed all day long. but as it is, we have a baby who continues to not sleep well and it’s been impossible to get on any type of schedule and i’ve driven myself crazy into thinking i’m a failure because three hundred dollar sleep programs don’t work on my kid.
we’ve been through a lot in this first ten months + and God was kind to show me wisdom last night. that this will pass. and, i don’t know what’s on the other side. different hardship? more hardship? total loss? we just don’t know. i do see the good in the every day and i rejoice constantly for his life. but also, man, parenting is just hard. my penpal wrote me again and i received her letter last night which was sweet timing. she just had her SEVENTH child. bless her mothering soul. she is a warrior. she had a difficult labor and delivery and her baby is difficult. she is so inspiring and encouraging to my new mama self. and she spoke of the interruptions that children bring. she then reminded us of jesus and all his interruptions. he was always asked to feed a crowd or heal some sick and constantly being asked again and again what he means by his friends and disciples. service and love require constant interruption from life, from your freedom. relationship requires selflessness.
really this is so hard because it’s such an interruption of self.
and i have to wade through this while being overly tired.
i am not nice at 4am but i am nice at 6am.
why can’t my baby sleep until i can be nice mama? that would just work out better for all. but he doesn’t care.
he’s a baby and he is just doing his baby thing and i have the responsibility and honor of being this exact kid’s mom. but it’s OK to be annoyed sometimes. it’s okay to admit fatigue. it’s good to acknowledge weakness and cracks in character. to call them out and speak them aloud and call on God and friends for help.
i’ve had hard lessons in needing others to help me with a sudden dizzy spell lasting days and days. it still isn’t entirely fixed but slowly i am finding answers and healing. i struggle with the “don’t i have enough problems” kind of complaint in my heart.
but back to the wisdom part. God has shown me precisely what this is all for. and as always, it’s for his glory to be displayed on the earth. i am a kingdom worker. so all my experiences are going to be for shedding light on his glory and his kingdom and the goal and hope of eternity.
so, how can i use this?
much like my other experiences in life, i can use it to help.
so, mama friend, i’ve got you.
if your baby won’t sleep. i’ve got you covered.
if your birth story didn’t go as planned. i’m here for you.
if you have mastitis even once, i’ve got you. i’ve had it between one and three times a month for six months.
we can get through it together.
if you feel like you absolutely cannot function if you don’t get just one hour of rest. i understand.
if you cannot even feed yourself enough and cannot look at another dish. i see that.
if you get a rare infection all over your feet, legs, knees, elbows and hands. yep, i can help you with that, too.
if you feel like you will never ever ever want to have sex again. i can tell you it will get better. very slowly.
if you feel like you’re not “bouncing back” quickly enough and you’re holding on to loose skin and the extra weight and your baby is already five months old, just hold on, mama. 10 months up, 10 months down. there is grace for you.
if you are so depressed and anxious and terrified, i see you. i have been you. i have excellent suggestions and brilliant knowledge from expert friends just waiting to help another mama.
horrible months long unexplained diaper rash? call me.
life with the baby you’ve always wanted is complex. i’m just learning about the intense complexity of life in general. i’m processing a lot these days. usually i hide, i escape. i comfort-seek. i endless netflix or scroll insta to avoid. but at some point it just comes anyway and it will not relent. it knocks you off your feet. and in my case, literally. with the dizziest spells i’ve ever had.
the only hiding that is safe is with God. scrolling and netflix are hiding places, but they are without help.
”God is a safe place to hid, ready to help when we need him. we stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom, courageous in seastorm and earthquake, before the rush and roar of oceans, the tremors that shift mountains. jacob-wrestling God fights for us, God of angel armies protects us.” - psalm 46:1-3 msg
once i get over myself at 4:40am, i see the light.
i enjoy drinking my hot coffee while my baby tries to steal my cup and burn us both. i love finding creative ways to enjoy things with him like giving him an empty coffee mug to “have coffee with mama" while i discipline and train him to not touch hot things or things he’s not allowed to have. i allow him to touch the side and then say “ooohhh that’s hot!” and he loves laughing and playing that more. i’m fine with him touching the mug, he’ll not touch it if it’s too hard that it’ll hurt him. but when he goes for the top and it could topple and burn, that i train away. he is so smart and clever. and i can tell he’s ornery but also desires to obey. he trusts me and he searches my face and my eyes to learn my meanings. it is truly sweet!
God is so kind, so right, so near. i think often of how jack was created by Him. i get to teach my son of where he came from. and who’s he is. it’s magical to view a beautiful baby daily. to watch him grow from tiny seed to strong, fruitful tree.
i feel a full gutting out of self happening. that’s the complexity of the jesus-way. and i don’t always like it. sometimes i just want to take a nap. so you’re not alone, mama friend.
and this is worth it. this good, hard, terrible, gutting out of self for the sake of love thing. it’s going to be well worth it in the end.