What Nobody Told Me About Motherhood

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always dreamed about having a family of my own.  A handsome husband, a small gaggle of children running around, white picket fence, yadda yadda yadda.  I daydreamed what my life would look like, and I’m here to confess today that it’s not really what I had pictured.

I’m really not sure what I thought it would look like – perhaps lots of cuddling, hours upon hours of reading together, doing loads of laundry and prepping dinner during naptimes.  Well, these days my 9-month old son only cuddles me when we’re in new situations and the “stranger danger” phenomenon kicks in.  If I had known how quickly his newborn phase would pass, I would have spent all my time, every single day, with him in my arms.  We no longer co-sleep (he sleeps like a little champ in his own crib in his own room), so I don’t even get that warm little body next to mine each night.  I’m praying that when he gets a little older, he’ll come back for some Mama Snuggles.  Can anyone verify that this is actually a thing that happens, or am I being naive here?

My husband and I aren’t very good about bedtime routines – Stephen gets a bath a couple times a week at best.  Hey – he’s not exactly out digging in the mud, and I know frequent bathing is so rough on his skin in this dry climate.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  But the bookworm in me laments over the fact that we’ve yet to successfully establish reading before bed with him.  Each time we try, he just grabs or hits the book, or tries to eat it.  Forget turning pages – he’s a little book-ravaging monster.  How will he ever grow to appreciate the written word when I can’t read him a 5-page board book before he goes to sleep at night?

As far as all of those homemaker tasks that I thought I’d be able to get accomplished each day, well …. I’m failing miserably, y’all.  Ever since I had Stephen, my depression has come back pretty full-force.  It’s a struggle to check off the most basic tasks on my to-do list each day.  Am I still in yoga pants and the sweater I’ve worn at least half a dozen times since it was last washed?  You betcha.  Now I don’t know if it’s my hormones, the lack of sleep, or the constant attending to my baby’s needs that has me so flummoxed over keeping my house in order.  But I do know this – it stinks!  My poor husband comes home to a house in shambles most days – dinner not even started, topped off with a grouchy mama and crying baby.  He is my God-send, though.  He takes over caring for Stephen immediately and lets me have some Mommy-time in the kitchen preparing our dinner.  A huge part of me wants to defend myself here and give a disclaimer that I do, in fact, love my son more than words could ever imagine.  But sometimes, I just NEED.A.BREAK.  Even if that break comes in the form of chopping onions and sauteeing chicken.

I sometimes wonder what I got myself into.  Is the wake-diaperchange-feed-play-diaperchange-nap routine just going to play itself a million times over?  It’s then that I realize that these are the little things God talks about in Luke 16:10:

Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much…

God has blessed me with a million little ways to serve Him each day.  Every diaper change, every feeding, every time I pick up my crying little boy, I am proving faithful to God’s calling on my life.  This is a season of mundane routines, to be sure.  But it is also a season of wonder and excitement.  Stephen has gone from rolling over, to crawling, to sitting up, to pulling himself up on anything he can get his hands on – all in less than 6 month’s time.  He smiles at me whenever I enter the room, and that’s no little thing, folks.  While I do look forward to the future and all it has to offer, I try to maintain a practical view on it.  My expectations may not line up with the reality of how things will actually go, and that’s okay.  I know that God is training me for bigger and better things each day.  For in truth, there is no greater gift than the opportunity to raise up a child for our Lord.

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