Unless you are a Mom (or Dad), I think it is hard to understand the saying “it is like wearing your heart outside your body” or whatever that saying is that people tell you when you are about to become a parent. A lady I work with is at the hospital right now, delivering her first baby… a girl. That seems like so long ago to me when I was at the hospital delivering my first baby. But at the same time, it seems like just yesterday. I can still remember the excitement, the way my husband looked, the anticipation, the fear of the unknown regarding delivery, the first time I felt in my heart that I was a parent and the feeling of responsibility I had when the nurse took my baby to the nursery so I could get some sleep that last night in the hospital…
But, as I sit here 10 + years later as a Mom of three kids, it is really seems to me that the magnitude of my responsibility did not hit me until my kids got older and were away from me more. I could manage feedings, nap times, play dates, schedules, diapers - all that baby stuff with ease. I know many have different experiences, but for me that was the easy part. I get overwhelmed NOW with worry… am I making the right choices for our family, showing enough grace to my kids, are they learning enough, social enough but no so much so to be a slave to the social pressures of today… whatever. When I say overwhelmed, I don’t mean I lay awake every night, ringing my hands. It is a weight that hits me at times when I hear about something that happened at school, or about a family situation of a friend of my daughters and how it might impact her or how difficult Little Man can be and will he struggle as he gets older. Or it is the guilt or regret on my part when I don’t parent my kids like I should; will my kids grow up to hate me.
Sometimes the weight lasts only a few minutes, sometimes it can last awhile. The weight creeps in slowly at times or hits like a ton of bricks at others. The responsibility of raising three human beings is huge. But I am slowly learning that the weight is not mine alone to carry…
When I pray, the weight is amazingly lighter.
When I seek guidance from Chief and a wise friend, the weight is lighter.
When I remember that being the Mom to these three little souls is THE “job” God personally selected me to do, the weight is lighter.
Parenting is a journey, not a destination, as I once thought that day in the hospital when my first baby was born. My journey as a parent is long, bumpy, hard, joyous and exhausting but mostly it is amazing even with the weight.