Break me in gently
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.
Anna, this was so beautiful! I had tears in my eyes and a smile on my face as I finished reading. I love your take on life. :-)
The Chatty Housewife
Aww! Great post.
Ok, how did you get Ethan and your hubby to look so much like them in real life?!
so very very true, and lovely illos as always! my first kid was a shock, and boy did i not feel ready! but we’re never ready really, can’t be, just learn as we go. no other way!
So true, so true Anna! Oh and then they become teenagers… shall I continue the story for you! Ü Love your cute illos!
Anna, you are so right. I loved this post and the great illustrations!
ANNA! That was so CUTE! True too, I might add. I was the same with my first as you described you were with Kaitlyn. WOW, WHAT do I do NOW? I think I even cried for my mom at one point too.
Anyhow, my oldest is now 14. So SOMEhow I made it through. =) And since I went on to have 4 more it must be not be too hard. =)
OKay, it is.. but I’m getting through it.
as a new mom of a six month old, all of this is SO TRUE. And every day I wonder if we should have a second, and how on earth I could possibly handle it :-)
Love it, Anna, you are so right, it’s all about baby steps.
And the drawings….well, as always, AMAZING.
That was great Anna!
I had always wondered how close Ethan and Kaitlyn were. :) You are my hero for surviving this far I tell you. It is NOT easy!
Anna, I was really touched by this post. I don’t have children but I am a high school counselor and my days are filled to overflowing with wonderfully crazy teenagers. I have had a number of experiences in my life (like having a sister who is ten years younger than I) that prepared me to be the kind of counselor they need. God let me start small. Thanks for this lovely post.
Well said, Anna! I love your illos – they are perfect!
Great post, Anna. I so felt that way with my first kiddo, and then my second (born 17 mos later). And your family picture is great! So like you guys!
I knew the kiddos were close in age but I didn’t know it was that close! Wow, you are Superwoman as far as I am concerned!! And I think you are right about God easing us into the whole parenting thing.
That last pic of you all is so perfect! You should do some posts like this at your place too. Too cute!!
Anna, I love the spirit in this post; and the illus are fantastic!!!
Sheesh, that was me. It’s late ;)
Little Mommy (Melanie)
That was beautiful! I feel the same way about everything you said. As moms sometimes we have good days, sometimes we have bad days. But you are right. We learn as we go. Little baby steps the whole way.
Great job Anna! You said it perfectly on how it works with kids. And your illos are beautiful too! You are doing a fantastic job, I don’t know many who would be so graceful with two children so close together in age.
I loved this post!
My first daughter was home for 3 days before I changed my first diaper. Thanks, hubby and grandma, cuz that c-section sure did smart!
My girls were born 2 days short of 2 days apart. Things are much easier now that they are 8 and 10, but when both were in diapers I didn’t know if I was coming or going sometimes.
I admit to buying a double stroller after daughter the second was born.
Lovely! Really honest and beautifully illustrated.
VERY CUTE! GREAT JOB!