Having a child is like getting a crash course in patience and understanding. Last night, after nearly a week of our son's new routine of sleeping 4-6 hours at night (that means--waking up once during the night!), we woke up nearly every 3-4 hours. I feel exhausted this morning (hello coffee) and felt, frankly, pretty annoyed with our little bundle of joy--or as it was last night, bundle of snorts and gas and discomfort. poor man. I know it's only natural to feel annoyed in times like these. Being a mom, and being needed constantly is an adjustment--especially after you've had time to "adjust" and when your child decides to change up his pretty consistent routine :) haha
But being a mom, for me, is a big wake up call that, "it's not all about me." I always say in baby talk, "it's hard to be a baby." And though i'm just being partially hyperbolic during my moments of baby talk, I think it's true, it is hard to be a baby: you're forced into a cold world from somewhere so warm and tight, your mom is not a mind reader and cannot give you what you need simply because she doesn't always know what you need, and you have to deal with these new weird things like dry colorado air, and painful gas (Mr. A's mom eats a real healthy diet with lots of greens, beans, and garlic but lots of greens, beans, and garlic, means upset tum for baby). It's hard to be a baby. And though I may get frustrated when I lose my precious sleep, I have to remind myself that this baby depends on me, not because he's just a clingy new friend who I risk spoiling and compromising my values, (I think sometimes we like to think these sorts of things when we are confronted with losing independence--that somehow we are just spoiling this new stranger in our lives), but because...he's a baby and absolutely cannot do it without me. You may read this and be, like, duh. But this small distinction, having empathy for my small child rather than being defensive that he's like, manipulating me to get closer to me (I know that sounds crazy, but your mind goes to these when you're losing sleep and you're constantly needed) helps me to calmly (even--happily?!) get out of bed, and to give my child what he really needs. He needs to know I am there for him. And I love being there for him. I will be there whenever he needs; a kiss when he falls, a hug before bed, the reassurance that we'll take care of him forever. Wow, just writing that reminds me of this gorgeous lullaby that my friend, Leah, posted to my facebook wall. It's by My Brightest Diamond and is written for her son. Watch it.
In order to do this though, I need strength. And help. My nighttime prayer is always to boldly ask for sleep. And then, not only for sleep, but for the strength, endurance and patience it takes to care for an infant. And while these things are good, I most of all pray that I allow God to work through my inadequacies and weaknesses as a mom. That I rely on the True Strength that comes not by my own means and accomplishments but in being weak and being unable. I pray that I would give up what I think I need for the true help and strength that can only come from the power found in Christ. True rest can only come from Him, and I just pray that I am able to wait in quiet for what this means--for me, and my family.
Happy Friday, Happy Weekend.
Asa gets baptized this weekend!! Talk about an answer to prayer--this very nighttime prayer--for this community is the Body that helps make us strong in some way, shape or form. We are blessed.