This post was written AND illustrated by my amazingly talented friend, Anna from Borderline Bonkers. Thank you Anna Banana!
I really think that God breaks us in to kids gently.
I am not a supermom or even close to one.
I remember when Kaitlyn was born and I stood there watching the nurse bathe her because I was too scared. She was so fragile and small and I was so terrified.
I was afraid to change her diaper and had the nurse watch to make sure I did it right, and then we had to take her home. Home!? Out of the safe clean hospital with all the doctors who knew how to care for babies. I was shaking as we walked in the door to our house and promptly sat there staring at her to make sure she was breathing.
After a few weeks we fell into a routine and my confidence grew. I started thinking this whole mom thing was pretty easy. I mean, hello, I have a kid and can get stuff done, I must be superwoman. Look at me!
We got pregnant again. (I miscounted my days and it happened.) I was fine with it. After all, how hard could it be? So far one was a cinch!
Then my three-month-old little girl started getting more active (turning into a terror). By the time Ethan was ready to pop out I was freaking and spent many nights praying that he would just stay in there for a while. How the heck was I supposed to give birth again when it felt like I had just given birth, and then take care of another baby?
Turns out babies start out pretty easy and become more work as they get older. Who knew? Someone could have told me! I really thought I had it all together! If I had known that I would have two little people only 12 months apart fighting over who gets the biggest bowl of cheezies and then together deciding that dumping them and grinding them into the carpet was more fun, I might have thought a bit harder about spacing my kids.
This must be why God doesn’t let us give birth to terrible two-year-olds. We probably wouldn’t take them home with us and if we did would give up in the first few weeks and book ourselves into the loony bin. I totally admire people who adopt children or have multiples or foster for this reason. They are my heroes!
I remember when Ethan was first born I would haul him around in his car seat and carry Kaitlyn on the other hip. I would think about the days when they would both walk and in my mind everything would be easier.
What was I thinking!? That was easier! Now they can both run whichever way they want and now I dream of those backpack kiddie leashes. My house has never been such a dive but I am sometimes okay with that. Stages.
Turns out God knows us pretty well. He gives us small babies to learn and grow with. They get busier and smarter as we figure out and adjust to caring for them. It is a learning process and as we discover and instill our values in them, it becomes a natural progression.
I used to think that I would just one day sit down with my children and tell them how the world works. This image terrified me and haunted me in my sleep like a monstrous dragon breathing fire.
Turns out they are learning every moment how the world works by watching us and how we react to and treat every situation. It is baby steps the whole way.
Looking back now, I really think that God breaks us in gently to kids. They start out small and quiet and then they grow and learn with us.
I have not come far in this parenting gig yet and I have a feeling that it is not going to be an easy road, but I do hope and pray that I can lead and be the example of what a good citizen should be.
Well, so long as being a good citizen doesn’t include being a good housekeeper.