After spending last week with my sister who has successfully gotten her son to the 1 year mark (and sleeping for 12 hour stretches!), I had tons of questions of the sleeping and eating variety for her. While we were discussing middle of the night feedings, nursing and pumping, my sister’s best friend commented that what we were talking about did not sound like any fun to her and you know what she was so right! Parenting can be hard, I am learning.
No, I do not like only getting about 5 hours of sleep at a time, no I really don’t like having to strap myself up to a breast pump and yes, I do sometimes wish that babies came out already knowing how to sleep and feed themselves. But then I remember that God picked ME to be this precious miracle’s mother. God is allowing me to care for her while she is here on earth. And that is a pretty big compliment that humbles me to no end.
There are plenty of times when Baby K wakes up that I really wish she wasn’t hungry and that I could just pop a plug (pacifier) in her mouth and she will be ok. But then I think about all of those people out there who so desperately would trade places with me if it meant that they too could have a baby. My heart breaks for those who are unable to have children. I cannot imagine what they are going through, I can only guess and I am sure there is heartbreak. I am sure that among them are women who just like me imagined being a mother their entire life, pictured themselves rocking their baby to sleep and singing songs and praying for their baby before placing them in their pretty crib. I knew I wanted to be a mother before I even pictured what my husband would look like. And I am eternally thankful to God for giving me this ultimate wish.
When I am incredibly tired and wishing I could go back to being 21 - a time when I could sleep as late as I wanted - I am reminded of the two women who were pregnant at the same time as me. One of them delivered a one pound baby at 20 weeks that only lived for about an hour. Another delivered a stillborn baby at 37 weeks, just like I delivered my precious Baby K at 37 weeks. I think of them and their pain and I pray for them because I know they would give anything to be in my shoes – to be up in the middle of the night with a really hungry baby who is wide awake. I am sure they would take all of it, the good, the bad and the ugly if that meant that they too got to hold their sweet little babe. So I stare into Baby K’s eyes and thank God over and over that I GET to be up with her in the middle of the night. I have her warm, squishy body in my arms and I get to kiss her as much as I want. I get to sing to her, bathe her, feed her, change her, teach her, read to her, love on her, do everything with her. And I am so thankful for that.
Also, there are many times when I pray for single parents. I simply CANNOT imagine raising this wonderful child without the help of Tolar. He is an awesome father and an amazing husband. If there are nights when I simply can’t get out of bed because I am just too exhausted, I can just wake him up and ask him to grab a bottle for our girl. Never once has he said no when I ask him for help with feedings in the middle of the night. He is so hands on and super helpful all throughout the day too, I’m just in awe of the father he is becoming. My heart goes out to those single parents who don’t have the help or support of a partner or other family members. I know just how lucky I am to have the husband and family that I have.
Yes, parenting is hard and there are plenty of challenging times that come along with it, but my sweet baby girl who needs me to help her do everything makes the hard times bearable. There are way more good times that outweigh all of the tough times. Seeing a smile on my girl’s face magically turns the clock to 10 a.m. instead of 4 a.m. and makes everything I do for her totally worth it. A day never goes by that I don’t thank God for her, for choosing me to be her mother.