18 September 2014

In the thick of it

It was a sobering thought I thought last night, but a true one:

If parenting was a marriage, I would be divorced already.

Not because I don't love my kids, but because it is so hard. And if I could get out of it somehow (without anyone getting hurt, you know), I totally would. Right now, as Ezra adjusts to a new normal (that is also constantly changing, since infants never stay the same for long), and Judah adjusts to life on the outside, I am trying to remember how to be underwater and not drown.

I lost myself for a while with Ezra. I don't think it was a hormonal depression; I think it was the new levels of grace required to be a mom. I am fine with accepting grace and mercy for the things I do to me, because it's my life my sin screws up. Even when I sin against my friends and family, they're adults; they can take it to me and/or the Lord. I may reopen old wounds, but it's unlikely I can hurt a grown up in a way they've never been hurt before.

With my kids, it's so different. I make wounds where there was wholeness. And, while I know there is so much mercy and grace available to me as a mother to my boys, I don't want to take it because I deserve to be miserable for hurting them. So self-condemnation is my food, and despair clothes my days, because how can I undo what I have done?

This root goes so deep into my life that I don't think it will come up with one firm tug. But I don't want dreading every tomorrow to be what I look back and remember from this season. Instead, I'm trying to memorize Psalm 134:

Praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord who minister by night in the house of the Lord.
Lift your hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord.
May the Lord bless you from Zion, he who is the Maker of heaven and earth.

God (and every mom of a newborn) knows I am ministering by night, and our house may not be a temple, but it is a house of the Lord. I need to remind myself that I am:
(1) a servant of the Lord, and not of my children. God is my master, and I look to him for direction and affirmation.
(2) ministering to the Lord. It is hard, so hard for me to remember that it matters to God that I make Judah's wipe solution or help Ezra put his underwear back on. It ministers to his heart when I do the thousand mundane tasks that make up my whole life right now. I need to remind myself to wear my invisible ephod (and tassels!), because these hands that wipe bottoms all day are holy.

04 September 2014

New Mom, Not-New Mom

Ezra is three and a half now; it feels like a long time since I was the mom of a newborn. So it's been fun to step back and think of ways in which is feels like old hat and ways in which it feels totally new.

Old hat: I never forgot nursing all the time and it taking forever
As if it had never happened to me before: the pain of beginning to breastfeed again. I didn't forget, but I DID NOT REMEMBER. Probably bc the horrors didn't even last a week.

Old hat: not leaving the house for days. Days. And having to find new times to do normal life things, like shower and put on deodorant.
Completely new: putting my newborn on a pillow in the bathroom because I can't trust my preschooler to not hug him to actual death.

Old hat: newborns are so tiny, but still pretty sturdy.
Never before would I have said Ezra was big, but over the course of a weekend (the one after which Judah was born), he must have grown a foot and like 20 pounds, because he is enormous now. He's still in the 20th percentile for 3 year olds, but apparently 3 year olds are huge.

Old hat: no schedule, no routine, just the whims of an infant.
Bewilderingly new: why are you crying? Stop crying, please. Just fart or burp or poop and feel better. Or are you actually hungry? You don't even know, do you?

Old hat: new parent doting. [srsly tho, my baby's beautiful.]
All new: being super in love with Judah and still really focused on our adoption. Like, now that we can do something, let's get this thing done.

Part of that new parent Crazy is trying to make me feel guilty, like "why isn't Judah enough to focus on? He's going to be hurt forever because you weren't satisfied with him right now." No, Crazy, we're not playing these games this time. You can just shut up.