In the midst of the crazy life that is mothering two little ladies, I sometimes forget the coolness that is being pregnant. No, not the raging heartburn, back pain, or aching legs, but the coolness that is knowing there is a sweet little person growing inside my belly. A new creation, a new life that will soon be part of our family! A year from now I won’t be able to remember what life was like before this person was around and he or she will already be such a part of who we are and what we do. I have no idea if this little one will be a fussy baby or not, boy or girl, or even look like the girls. What I do know is that he/she will be loved. That what felt like a family before with our foursome will now feel incomplete without this little person. I can’t wait.
And so yes, I am finding that my love for this little baby is growing by leaps and bounds daily. It makes me so eager to meet this little one, not just because I am over being pregnant, but because it is difficult to give ample kisses and squeezes through my belly. (believe me, the girls have tried). These kids, who sometimes test the limits of our sanity, truly are a blessing beyond anything else. However they enter our lives, adoption, birth, or even a neighbor’s kid who feels like she is your own, they teach us and show us things that never would have been possible otherwise. I find that if I look at the things that most moms (me included) complain about regarding motherhood, about 99% of the complaints have nothing to do with our children at all. They are simply a reflection of what happens when we don’t get what we want, are challenged to do things that are hard or make us feel uncomfortable, or are inconvenienced (sometimes in MAJOR ways). But in life, let’s be honest, we don’t really ever grow or change without going through events that force us to go through the above. Our plans get ruined and so we learn to be more flexible. There isn’t enough to eat and so we have to share our lunch. Without these moments of forced humility and redirection we would all be lost in our self-centeredness. (it’s a big struggle for most of the world even with these issues).
All of this to say, I am starting to look at the things that drive me nuts in this season of motherhood and to see the beauty of what I’m learning. I’m being changed, reshaped, broken down and hopefully rather than coming out shriveled up and bitter on the other end, I will come out more of the person that in all honesty I’d like to be. I’m learning to love my children not only for what they add to my life, but for what they seem to take away. For the changes they force me to make and for the incredible ways that God himself uses them to make me more into the creation he desires. I think I am finally understanding the depth and meaning of the phrase “children are a gift from God.” It isn’t all cute bunsies and little toes. It’s the poop, the crying, the sore nipples, the refusal to take a bottle, the wet pants in the middle of aisle 5 when you don’t have a spare, the inability to find anytime to um “be” with your husband, the times you watch your childless friends climb the ladder in your career when you are stuck behind, or those same friends post pics on facebook of themselves in exotic locations holding fruity drinks with umbrellas, and even the hour long tantrums caused by a cracker that broke in half. It is the whole enchilada people. And just like with anything new or hard in life, our nature is to fight it and to fight hard. But, if we continue to battle against it, we are truly going to miss out on something even better. That’s what I’m hoping for not only while mothering small children, but throughout life. I don’t want to be so afraid or annoyed by something that I am unable to learn. Being teachable is a gift that most of us are lacking. We want to know everything first, better, and will even lie rather than look uninformed. How sad! Learning and being able to admit when we are in need of knowledge is a good, good thing. If we don’t feel we have anything to gain or that we are already so full of wisdom that we are all set we are definitely in trouble.
Do you find yourself fighting the change or using the difficult parts of motherhood as a way to complain and point fingers at your children/huband/mother/neighbor/or innocent mom at Target? I bet if you take a deeper look you might realize that it doesn’t have anything to do with them. This may be an opportunity for you to grow in ways you never desired, but seriously, will be so well worth it in the end. So, drink it in. Love your babies for their sweetness and their bitterness knowing that they truly come as a package deal. Maybe this gift isn’t quite what you had expected, but that’s okay. It’s better than okay. Instead of asking each other only what our kids are doing to drive us nuts, we could ask each other what we are learning while our sanity is being tested. What do you think? I’m game, are you?
I’m gonna love my babies and be grateful that because of their sweet presence in my life I will never, ever be the same.