Here's the deal - he wakes up in ten minutes from the morning nap so this is going to be a blitz. Probably a little more full of typos than usual lol!
I've been thinking a lot about the first year of parenting your first child. It's beautiful, precious, pinch-me-is-this-real cute, excruciating, challenging, and humbling. No one's stories can prepare you for the total shock to the system when your life is, in an instant, driven by a new presence in the form of an eight pound eight ounce bundle of beautiful boy.
I think that some moms pop that baby out and instantaneously feel the mom instinct gush through her and she has an innate trust of herself, her perspective, her methods as a mom. You know, the 'You're the mom - you'll know what's best for your baby,' thing. I don't think that I was like that for the most part. In fact, I had to learn to embrace that a little more than I was at first. I researched everything. A lot. Sometimes too much.
At the end of the day, I think that parenthood is 50% instinct/discernment and 50% 'get a clue and realize that your instincts don't always yield the best fruit.' Ahhhhh yet another opportunity in life to walk the fine line!
So 14.5 months in I have learned:
- My actions and decisions as his mama bear both short term and long term fruit. Both need to be taken into consideration. Often, researching helps to understand some of the long term fruit that will come from today's decisions.
- Learning to be a mama is both natural and something that should get energy, intention, and effort on my part.
- God made Liam and I'm His sidekick helper. All I have to do is ask God to tell me about His little boy named Liam and to help me understand how He wants me to parent him and everything tends to go a lot better.
- Prayer is my best tool as a mama. Not just prayer over Liam's future. But prayers like - "Okay Jesus, I don't know what to do about the milk situation and I feel really confused. What do you think is best for Liam's system? Holy Spirit - come give me guidance." And then watch and listen. The answer usually comes in a very subtle way.
- Know when to talk about it and when to be quiet. Other moms (grandmas included!) have taught me so much as I've been willing to put a situation out there that I am processing through. Tidbits here and there have rocked my world with wisdom and she never even knew she was God's answer to my cry for help. But then, there are those times when you can feel the anxiety or worry swirling around your heart and you've talked about a situation, you've researched it, you've thought about it a million times. I've found those are the times when the Holy Spirit will gently nudge 'Enough talking/thinking Abi. Trust me and be quiet now.' There's nothing like a mama at peace - amen sisters??!!
Yes - this road of mamahood is complex: part confidence, part humility, part learner, part teacher. So I'll keep learning and keep trusting that God will get me where I need to be all on His own. And I'll keep perfecting my wrestling skills because I know a little man who spells love - p l a y w i t h m e a n d b e s i l l y m a m a.
Well that turned out longer than I intended. Wouldn't you know he woke himself up right on time and is patiently waiting for me - bless his heart! Mama to the crib rescue.