Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Dear, New Parent

Is it just my “news” feed or has there been a humungous baby boom over the past few months? It seems like everyday there is another newborn and new parents to congratulate! That’s awesome. But with all the newness that comes with adding a member to your family….there are a lot of new things that parents just had no idea were waiting for them.  Alright, listen…no I mean….LIST-EN. This blog is meant to be wholly and completely ENCOURAGING.  I refuse….REFUSE…to take a stance or use this blog as a platform for my personal convictions to become some sort of judgment on other parents. After much much soul searching and conviction over the past 4 years I can honestly tell you that I DO NOT CARE HOW YOU BIRTH OR FEED YOUR CHILD. When I say “I don’t care” I mean I don’t publically or privately concern myself with your family’s decisions. I do care very much in the sense that a wonderful thing has happened in your life and I can’t wait to hear all about it as a friend. And I’m so happy that you found what works best for your family, that is indeed an exciting discovery! Now you that you know what this post is not, let’s get into what exactly this blog is.

Mommies and Daddies of new children,

Congratulations! I know you are so so overwhelmed by the love that just swelled out of your heart and all over your life recently. Whether this is your first baby or your fifth, whether your child came by way of biology or by adoption, whether your new child is a baby or a walking, talking, child with a mind of their own, life as you knew it has turned upside down! There are three things that I want to say to you, with my whole heart. First, even though you are totally overwhelmed by love you are probably also overwhelmed by the total recall of your old routines and lifestyle. It is ok and normal to feel those conflicting emotions! It isn’t selfish to miss the freedom and sleep that isn’t readily available to you right now. Now that you are a parent you will forever live in this vortex of tension and conflicting emotions and desires. The vortex is your home now, embrace it. Seriously though, learn to live with a balance of continual sacrifice and continual blessing. And it is a balance, because if you martyr yourself for the sake of giving your child everything, you will find yourself at a breaking point and your child spoiled with an entitled view of life. If you continue to treat yourself as #1 and treat your children as accessories for your life, you’ll miss out and raise defeated children who chase love from other people because they grow tired of seeking it from you. Learn to accept the balancing act. You will come to count the minutes until bedtime and hold your breath until they sleep, but then you’ll sneak in their room and risk it all just to kiss their adorable little sleepy cheeks. The more you welcome the tension (versus fight it), the more content you will be. But all of us out here in the world of mommies and daddies know what you are feeling and we have all felt the same way! Becoming a mom or dad is a huge adjustment! Continue to nurture your marriage and your relationship with God, secure in the fact that strength from those relationships will propel you as a new parent. Do not ever fool yourself into believing that cutting corners in your walk with God or your spouse will give you more time or energy to be a parent.

My second piece of advice is this (mainly for mommas): DO NOT allow yourself to get sucked into pinterest, instagram, and facebook. Social media and the like have been the down fall of many a mother. First of all, most of us are posting the highlights of our day. The HIGHlights, not the low moments, not the boring moments—the best moments. Don’t compare yourself to that junk. Comparison is TOXIC. Listen to the women and married couples in your life that you love and respect, but don’t go on an unending search for the approval of all your friends. Trust me, living for others is exhausting and joy-stealing. Don’t read peoples rants online about the best yada yada and the only way to do so&so. People have been having kids and screwing it up for a very very long time. You know who got it right though? Yep. The one and only perfect parent-child relationship is the one we observe between God and Jesus. By grace we are invited in to receive the perfect Father in God, but we are far from perfect sons. “And from his fullness we have received grace upon grace.” (John 1:16) Walk in light and enjoy the richness of a life spent knowing Jesus. Continually come to the table for grace upon grace and you will be satisfied.

My third little tid bit to impart is simply this: You will sleep again. It does get easier. I promise. We’ve been there!

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