“Say goodbye to your sleep” , “Your life is never going to be the same”…
When you’re a new parent, unsolicited advice from well-meaning loved ones and strangers is inevitable and therefore expected. I must admit, one thing I wasn’t prepared for was the sarcasm. Just like marriage, many people project parenthood to be a life-sentence – something that changes you forever and turns you into a tamed, domesticated shadow of the carefree, fun person you used to be. The proverbial ball and chain.
BUT then there are others…
The ones who encourage you, who are excited and tell you how wonderful parenthood is and to appreciate every moment because life is fleeting. From my pregnancy, to birth, to now holding my son in my arms, Nicholas and I have had friends and family and even strangers who have blessed us in the most mind-boggling ways. Some have spoken words of wisdom and scriptures over us, others have given us gifts of baby clothes, furniture and nappies, still others have coached us and held us when the tough times came and many sent smses, Whatsapp and Facebook messages of love and prayers.
“How are you managing? What’s it like being a mom?”
I’m never sure how to answer the question of how I’m doing. Especially because many people seem disappointed when I say that I’m doing really well. To be frank, that’s the truth. For the first two weeks after bringing Vincent home Nicholas never left my side. My son is a healthy, happy child and my emotions are in a great space. We’ve had a whole host of friends bring us dinner every night and sound baby advice and babysitters were only an sms or phone call away. Of course this doesn’t mean that we’ve had zero difficulty, tears or even arguments. There have been drowsy 2am adventures, getting peed on, putting an outfit on the wrong way, hours of the “but I don’t want to sleep” crying, times where we had no idea what to do and of course getting used to my “mommy body”. On my first day out alone with Vincent, I realised too late that I had NO idea how to assemble the stroller! I drove to my destination and then spent the next 20 minutes having a tantrum in the parking lot! Nicholas and I discovered that parenthood is the next level of becoming one, and you start from scratch!
I would like to tell you that this has been a deeply spiritual experience and that I’m closer to God than I’ve ever been, but I can’t. I’d love to tell you that I only sing hymns and read scripture to my baby, but I wont. What I will tell you is that when I look into my son’s eyes, I am filled with gratitude and fully aware of my inadequacy. I realise that God has opened His hand and poured out his love on someone who certainly hasn’t ticked all the “good Christian” boxes. He has done it only because He is God and He is good all the time!
“What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve been given?”
The best piece of advice we’ve been given thus far has actually come from a book – Along the Infant Way by Gary and Anne-marie Ezzo. It advises new parents to love each other well and work on their marriage because when a child experiences the love his parents have for each other, he knows his world is secure and he is free to just be. Our prayer is that Vincent will never feel that our life revolves around him and that our security is on his shoulders but he will see that he has become part of our world – a family that is and goes where Jesus wants them to be.
“Is Vincent going to speak English or Afrikaans?”
Both. Nicholas speaks to him in Afrikaans exclusively and I in English 🙂
“What’s going to happen when you finish maternity leave?”
I will return to the office on 1 July 2014. Fortunately most of my work can be done from home or the office and Campus Crusade for Christ allows moms to work significantly less hours until their youngest child turns 3 so Vincent will be with me until he is ready
to start school.
“What can we pray or do for you?”
Pray that Nicholas and I will remain of one heart and mind and listen and obey what the Father tells us. Please feel free to come visit us and meet Vincent. As you know, having a family means creating a bigger budget, therefore for the next couple of months, Nicholas and I will be focusing on our support-raising. Please refer us to any friends or family that you know would consider joining our team of ministry partners. All you need to do is send their details to us and we will get in touch with them or you could point them to our blog and encourage them to click on the GIVE! link.
Thank you for your love and prayers for us as we’ve begun the adventure of parenthood, we love and appreciate you!