When you first decide to have a baby (or even if it was a surprise), I think we all have this lovely idea of trips to the zoo, cuddling on the couch, and still being able to get all of our normal chores done (which we couldn’t even find the time or motivation to get done before having a little one around).
We all go through it.
We all SHOULD go through it.
It’s a part of the journey.
…and it gets you through labor. (Really.)
And then reality sets in. There are bottles to make, diapers to change, and so many people who want to see—forget make-up because that 5 minutes of extra sleep is just too sweet to roll out of bed…
Here I am—in this lovely, beautiful, heart-wrenching process called “parenting”.
I remember the first night I rocked Baby Girl to sleep in her own room—to sleep in her crib—in another room—down the hall. (I actually didn’t cry, but I thought about it.)
And it hit me.
Parenting is not only about “parenting” my children to become “contributing members of society”, as my dad would say…
But parenting is also about something that I have to allow to happen in my own heart from the very beginning…
And oh, how we mothers (and fathers, I’m learning) hate it.
It’s definitely bittersweet.
But think about it. It’s a completely natural process. And it’s RIGHT.
The first night after they are born is the first night that you must begin letting go.
They sleep in a little plastic box by your bed…not balled up in your tummy.
Then they sleep in their own room.
Then they begin to want down.
Then they walk.
Then they talk.
Then they go to kindergarten.
They begin to drive, go to college, get married, have babies….
But how did we get there so fast?!
Exactly. It all happens so fast.
If you don’t allow yourself to begin celebrating in their victories behind your tears NOW, then you will find yourself in a not-so-happy place later.
Either you will control your children and they will never be independent adults capable of making their own sound decisions, or your children will manage to become successfully independent adults, leaving you behind in a confused and frustrated state.
I don’t like either of those options.
And so, I resolve in my heart to do my best to enjoy every stage that I am privileged to guide my babies through.
I will let them go—and let them discover—and let them be the person that God has created them to be, whether it’s always comfortable for me or not.
It will hurt.
I will cry.
Many times, I have the feeling.
But that’s the whole goal, isn’t it?
That one day, they can experience the life that I have been blessed with—freedom to follow Christ as He leads me.
No guilt. No condemnation. No explanation needed.
Freedom because a couple of people were able to let me go from the start.
Maybe some of you who have been at this a little longer have some good input on how to really make this happen…?
Until then, I must enjoy my brand new TODDLER. (EEK!)