‘Mum? Muuuum?! Come and see whats under my bed… but please don’t be mad!’ My wide eyed daughter takes my hand and leads me towards her room. This is my more unpredictable and free spirited child, so it could literally be anything under there. A tree branch? A snail she stood on and felt sorry for? A sculpture made out of mouldy stuff from the fridge? Who knows but i’m a little scared right now.
Parenting can be a bit tricky sometimes.
There will be some days that I find myself despairing about my lack of skill and knowledge in this department, feeling fearful of letting my children down due to my inability to make decisions, not knowing exactly what I should be doing with them. I sometimes feel I must have missed the memo somewhere- the one that ALL the other parents got, the one that has some magic wisdom of getting your child to listen and obey, and just act normally.
Some days I feel like that.
Having a baby shakes up your world, on a practical level but also on a deeply emotional level. I found that not just my daily life and relationships were changed, but my very identity came into question.
Before I had my first baby, I thought I knew myself reasonably well, my faults and failures and where I excelled. I thought I knew my good and bad points but these are now all suddenly magnified and tested as you are pushed to your very limit and a just bit further.
I am upstairs with my baby boy, rocking and singing and swaying and patting. I’m hoping he will fall asleep soon, my arm is starting to go dead and I just so badly want to put him down so I can go downstairs and read one of my parenting blogs I save especially for nap time.
It was in this moment God spoke to me and reminded me just to stop and listen to His guidance.
Just before I set off on one of our many walks to the shops with my 2 year old daughter Sophia, I knelt down and looked her in the eye and gently held onto her arm so that she can hear me. I say ‘You must stay near me today Sophia, don’t run off or hang back, I need to keep you safe’.
My daughter is wonderfully engaging, lively and
defiant courageous, and so she needs this warning before we leave.
After months of dealing with an escapee toddler, she hears my warning and decides to try something different.
We were very excited to embark on the journey of becoming parents; a decision made after much thought and after Matt had done all his budgeting spreadsheets and ticked off all the boxes (house, car, happy relationship). We then decided, ‘we are ready… now for the fun bit!’
We were I guess a little naïve about the minefield of trying for a baby and potential pain that was ahead.