Tag Archives: motherhood

The myth of sleeping when baby sleeps.


 

The myth of sleeping when baby sleeps

You’ve all heard it: “Sleep when your baby sleeps”, but really? Have they actually tried running a household while sleeping when baby sleeps? I mean, the baby is awake for the grand total of 1.5 hours, and 97.2 percent of that time is consumed with changing their diaper, feeding them, and trying to get them back to sleep. In the approximately 3 minutes remaining, it is pretty hard to make a meal, launder grungy clothes, clean the bathroom, and comb your hair. Let alone get the nail polish out of the carpet in your toddler’s bedroom, or actually eat a meal.

I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me who never outgrew their dislike for childhood naps. Or maybe it’s because every time I decide to be good and lay down for a nap – that’s when my 3 year old decides to wake up early from her nap, or my 6 year old feels its an appropriate time to start screeching “NOT FAIR!!” at her brother (who made sure I was drifting off to sleep before starting to teasing her).
Perhaps I am the only one who has no ‘off’ knob on my brain – and as soon as I lay down in a (relatively) quiet spot for 3 seconds, my brain thinks it’s a perfect time to remind me of that closet that needs organized, and that gunky stuff I saw this morning in the fridge, and did I remember to send the car payment or am I gonna wake up from my nap with no car in the drive?

I try. I really do. I think:
“Today I will get a nap no matter what.”
I carefully instruct and warn (threaten) the older kids: “No fighting! None! A scream will earn you extra chores and you know how bad you hate cleaning the fridge when there’s gunky stuff in there! NO teasing! Actually, you two don’t even talk to each other! On second thought – you all go outside and don’t come back in till I say you can!”
“What If we’re hungry or thirsty?”
“Drink from the creek – pretend you’re pioneers, OK? And you won’t starve in 1 hour, I promise… now go.”
I then carefully get the baby asleep and immediately lie down myself. Its quiet. Peaceful. I will put all thoughts of empty socks drawers and crunchy floors out of my head. We can go barefoot tomorrow. It won’t be fun – with the crunchy floors an all – but I am getting a nap!

I am drifting off to sleep, finally, after several stern self-talks and mental floggings. Then I hear it – screams.
Happy screams. Shouts of laughter and joyful calling to one another, but right outside my bedroom window! I sigh and stick my head under my pillow. That does next to nothing for the volume level. I decide I can sleep through it, and will myself to ignore it and focus on the bird songs and whirring of the bathroom fan that I left running to drown out kid-noises.

Except it doesn’t. Nothing drowns out those happy shouts from 10 feet away. I grin a little, and roll out of bed. Sitting there on the edge of the bed I say aloud:
“I give up. I just give up.” And I stand up and walk to my waiting laundry.
“Sleep is not that important”, I tell myself, soothingly. “You can sleep all you want when the kids are gone.”
I know that’s probably not true – but visions of long, uninterrupted nights in my (very distant) future gives me the umph to go on putting one foot in front of another, sorting laundry and sweeping up kitchen floor crunch. I yawn a few times, and whisper pleadings for strength and grace for the rest of this day. To be happy and patient. To love unconditionally and relentlessly. To have a calm and sweet voice and not bark at my family. Because God has been so good and gracious to me – how can I be less to His children? He does, you know. He does give me grace and patience. Love upon love. And joy. True joy that tiredness can’t quench.
But I have to stay nestled in His arms, covered with His grace, and bathed in little prayers throughout my day. Church and friends and good books and long naps won’t get me through. Only my Father God and His power.

The myth of sleeping when baby sleeps.

We love each other! :)

Note: I don’t recommend having your kids drink from a creek. Especially where 800 head of cows also have access to it, if you know what I mean. They will probably get cooties and leeches and all sorts of gross things. Yuck. Please send a bottle of water out for them to drink. 😉 

Hello again, Spring!

Spring! Ah, what a lovely season! I won’t say it is my favorite, anymore, because on the high prairies of Wyoming – spring is still quite chilly most days. But I surely do love the idea of spring! All the new babies in the meadows – skipping and dashing around their mamas, the fresh, thin mist of green springing up in the hay meadows, the flocks of blackbirds filling the air with their chattering… oh yes, spring is indeed a wonderful time of year!

spring calfspring

After 2 months of night shift, my man has finally returned to a normal day schedule. I am so happy about that! Night shift was actually less work for him, so in that way it was good, but I really didn’t enjoy being on an opposite schedule from him. Especially since I homeschool 3 kids and have 2 little ones here too. It definitely took some creativeness to keep everyone reasonably quiet, but it was good experience for me. I can now sympathize much more with others in that situation. :)

Goofy Reata!

Goofy Reata!

Reading with her cousin.

Reading with her cousin.

We had a real warm spell a few weeks ago, and I took advantage of it by getting in some walks. My foster baby is 4 months old, and HATES the wind in his face, so I was tickled to find a secondhand stroller with a wind-guard! Helps a ton to keep him happy and warm.
He is such a good baby. Of course he has his moments, like the carseat! He isn’t a big fan of that. And he decided to disown his pacifier, which does NOT make me happy! I love when I can stick a paci in their mouth on a car ride, or at church, or to go to sleep. But nope. No amount of coaxing will make hm take it anymore. spring

Last week the snow and colder temps returned, along with another round of cold virus in the house. But God is still good and on the throne, so I have no complaints!
I have been trying to get back into a better rhythm of Bible study again, now that I’m settling into life with a baby. I find that keeping a Bible laying beside my chair is the best way for me. I used to think: “Oh, I have the Bible app on my phone, I’ll just use that.”
But the fact is – the Bible app is the slowest app to load. I mean, who wants to wait 2 minutes for the app to load, when Instagram loads in .5 seconds?! Seriously, folks, this is what happens. But I won’t accept that. I must get in my reading daily, or I don’t grow. I don’t thrive. I start going backwards immediately. The Word of God is powerful. We say that – but do we believe it? It really is powerful!!! It gives me direction, instruction, courage, and strength for daily life.

So, that recliner where I sit all the time to feed the baby – that is ‘my’ chair. I have an older Bible laying within arms’ reach. I chose an older Bible, because I don’t want to worry if it gets coffee spilled on it, or if my toddler decides to scribble in it. I keep my precious Christmas-gift-from-my-husband Bible elsewhere. I pick it up and read a verse or two or a couple chapters when I have a few minutes. It’s amazing how much you can get read in a day if you make it a priority! :) I bet you have ‘your’ chair somewhere too. Maybe you can find a Bible that you can lay within arms’ reach and start feeding on God’s Word daily. It will change your life, if you let it. :) If you are afraid of kids or pets messing up your nice Bibles, then you can go to the Dollar Tree and get one for $1.00. I bet you can manage that. 😉 and then no worries. Just read it. Use it. Mark in it. But read it.

Cliff reading at the breakfast table.

Cliff reading at the breakfast table.

Finding the Faith During the Ride

I will be hosting some guest writers on my blog, to give you a peek at other ranch wives’ daily lives. I do not necessarily endorse every view expressed. Welcome to our first guest contributor: Richelle, from https://blueskiesandredcows.wordpress.com/

finding the faith

Moving heifers always requires at least one more person than you plan for, strong fences, and a keen sense of reading into the future. One day you might ride out into the herd, and the calves don’t even raise their heads or pay you any attention; the next, it is like you have a magnet stuck the side of your horse, and those same critters literally run over top of you to check you out. Point them in the direction you want, and watch them scatter like dust in a windstorm. Take it nice and easy, let them have their space, and watch them run away at Mach-3 like you zapped them with a hot shot. Pretty much no matter how hard you try to keep in charge of the situation, these young ‘uns tend to end up being the ones calling the shots. A sign that God is blessing you with a teachable moment…

In my experience, raising children (especially girls, about the ages of 3 and 5), is a lot like working heifers every day of your life. Just when you think you have this momma gig all figured out, one of your kids crawls right through the proverbial fences you thought were tight and strong; leaving you standing a few lengths behind wondering what in the world just happened. Moms and dads are the ones that are supposed to be in control, to give their kids room to grow, to be able to anticipate their children’s every move; but sometimes it feels like no matter how hard you try to keep them safe and teach them to be a respectable member of society, they are the ones teaching you a lesson. These are tests the Lord gives you to see how you perform as a parent, like it or not.

In my house, “free time” is generally spent snuggling a child through a nap, folding laundry, or doing dishes. Between a full time job in town, running the books for our trucking business, blogging, photography, and being a wife and mom, the time I actually get to spend riding my horse and working on my family’s ranch is few and far between. Because of this, I find myself struggling to find my faith day in and day out. When you don’t get to do the things that give you an outlet away from the hustle and bustle and demands of “city life” (we live on my mom and dad’s ranch, but my kids go to daycare in town, and I spend 8 hours a day in a cubicle; therefore, I am stuck in a city-fied life), taking time to have a grateful heart and really speak with the Lord seems almost unattainable most days. I pray best when in the saddle, but I would guess that God has forgiven my poor lack of prayer practice as of late. I used to struggle with prayer, because it always seemed like such a one-sided conversation. I would tell God “thanks” for everything, ask him to help me with some issue I was facing, and that was it. I never gave it a lot of thought or put much effort into it.

I have been a “part-time single” mom since our oldest daughter was born five short years ago. I can’t claim to be a single mom, because I have no right to claim that when my husband is home at least three out of seven days of the week. Even so, much of our daughter’s lives have been spent being bossed around by mom, and mom alone.  I have never been very good at setting aside time for myself, or to talk to God; and when my babies were in bed and the only company I had were sleeping dogs and Facebook, our little farm house felt awful lonely.

Abandoned House: Sometimes my heart feels like this old house; full of holes. But I know that those holes are just places waiting for God's light to shine through.

Sometimes my heart feels like this old house; full of holes. But I know that those holes are just places waiting for God’s light to shine through.

I realize, now, though, that God has been here all along.

He has been with me on those long nights, when the tears wouldn’t stop and the toddler wouldn’t go to bed. He was there when I was hurting, because of people that were hateful and unkind. He was there when the kids were sick, and I was sick, and daddy was on the road. I might not have been able to see him, or hear him; but like that extra rider when the heifers got a little crazy, I know that he was always there, riding herd. Tending to this house. Tending to me; not because I said the perfect prayers, or always had a gracious heart; but because that is what He does.

Sit tall in the saddle no matter what kind of horse you ride on this journey through parenthood!

Sit tall in the saddle no matter what kind of horse you ride on this journey through parenthood!

Being a parent is hard work. No matter if you are in a great partnership with your spouse, going it alone, or doing the part-time single parent gig, it isn’t for the faint of heart. But I truly believe, that if you open your heart to God, he will help you get through the tough times. He will fill your heart with so much joy that sometimes, you think it is going to explode. And just when you think you can’t keep up, he gives you a fresh horse to ride; a new day, a new chance, to start fresh. No one is perfect; especially not our kids. We are all a work in progress, so swing your leg up over the saddle, sit tall, and enjoy the ride.

With Love,
Richelle

The Making of a Mom.

The Making of a MomThat busy, scatter-brained, slightly frumpy person who knows where to find everything and how to soothe owies and hurt feelings… She didn’t start out that way, you know. She was made. She too, once believed she could avoid the mom-jeans and frizzy hair. That was before she realized well-fitting jeans come at a price that a family budget rarely can fit in. That was before she had a colicky baby who wouldn’t allow trips to the salon, and the salons, by the way, also came at a higher price than she remembered.

She used to be fit. Or at least, young and trim enough that she looked great anyways. But somehow, the years of sleep deprivation and the multiple small humans resting inside her belly wrecked that girlish figure. The chocolate eaten in hiding and the extra coffee to keep her awake  after nights with 2 hours of sleep – they took the vibrance from her skin and the youthful glow from her face. Of course, her smile is bigger now, and her eyes beaming with love! (or is that exhaustion?) 

She sometimes glances in a mirror (mostly to swipe on a dash of makeup, to try and makeup the years and aging), but mostly she avoids mirrors and photos – alarmed at the sight these produce. Instead, she snaps countless photos of her precious family, and tells her husband he looks great – because somehow the years look better on men than on women.

This mom-person was made by countless trips to the baby’s crib in the middle of the night. She was made with sticky jam kisses and screams of anger from the average toddler. From cleaning up puke for 3 nights in a row, although sometimes that odor made her puke, too. She was made in a thousand early mornings, cuddling a new baby – inhaling the fragrance that is better than any perfume. She was made in the laughter shared with teens and the tedious repetition of homework with a first-grader. Crumbs in the car and kitties at the back door. Town runs that include 3 kids under 3 years of age, with every other person looking sympathetically at her. She bites her tongue and smiles, while holding the toddler in one arm and steering the cart with the other hand. No one knows how the correct groceries get into the cart.

Yes, she sometimes sighs a tiny sigh over the complexion she once had, the exercise she can’t seem to fit in, and the books she had time to read in years past. But mostly she smiles. Her heart warms every time she looks at this tribe that she calls hers. She knows them inside out, and loves them with every fiber of her being. And the amazing thing is; they love her too! Even when they sometimes get mad at mom, or forget to leave a cookie for her, or wear her favorite boots to the barn – she knows that one day they will grow up and leave, but always and forever, they will call her: Mom.

the making of a mom

Focusing on the good in foster care.

Focusing on the good in foster care.It has been easy for me as a foster parent to focus on the negativity and the stigma that surrounds foster care. The ignorant or ugly questions, the bad advice (well-meaning or otherwise), the lowered eyebrows and the insensitive remarks. The constant probing, unanswerable questions.
It’s hard to get past that. It’s hard to overlook that. It’s easy to focus on that. Easy to feel that pressure and allow yourself to be stuck in that sad little corner.

But I have found that I can change my focus, and thereby change my outlook. It’s true – the first and most frequent remarks and comments I get, are ignorant at best and hurtful most times. There are many times when the foster family gets overlooked, in favor of the ‘normal’ families. But the fact is, there have been many prayers on our behalf, many kind and encouraging words, several gifts of love, and a couple true-blue friends who invest in my journey as a foster mom. They are there with a listening ear and willing hands.

I can either focus on the unpleasant people, or I can focus on the kind and wonderful friends. The choice is simple. It would be foolish to worry what people think about foster care. The thing is, if God called us to walk this road, then it doesn’t matter who understands. Every person on earth could misunderstand and disapprove, and it would not matter one whit. God is our guide and our Judge, He sees the intent of our hearts, and His alone is the only good opinion I seek.

So I am counting my blessings.
1. A friend who babysat for me with only 12 hours notice, then offered all the baby gear she owned for my foster baby.
2. A friend who faithfully prays for our family and each foster child that we care for. She blesses each child and shows the most devoted love.
3. Sisters who are ready with a listening ear when I am exhausted or excited. They never remind me in the hard times, how excited I was at the beginning! 😉 The sister who is local is always good for baby-snuggling when I am tired and needing a break. She also brings chips.;)
4. Faraway family and friends who send gifts and prayers and love my way.
5. Social media (Instagram!) friends who share their stories and thereby encourage me daily. Their courage, devotion, and faithful love for these little ones bless me tremendously. To hear the struggles, triumphs, and funny stories – these gals get me!

My heart overflows with the blessings God has given me. I snuggle the current tiny one, and breathe in his sweet baby scent, and thank God for allowing me this great blessing of caring for ‘one of the least of these’.

Focusing on the good in foster care.

Finding Your Rhythm

wyoming sunset

I sit here on a dark, chilly winter evening and consider the past few days… I have been dealing with a flu, the cold weather has settled in for real, and the radio blasts Christmas music nearly non-stop. It is that time of year again. Music, candles, sickness and lots of sweaters! :)

I have learned to find my rhythm in this season. I struggled real hard the first few years we lived here in the Arctic – I mean, Wyoming! 😉 I grew up a southern girl, and I haven’t learned to love winter yet, but hopefully one day I, too, can say that I prefer winter over summer! Haha! Maybe…. Anyways, I am thankful for the beauty of the snow and winter season. I am very thankful for snow and ice! Snow = grass for the cows, and that’s every rancher’s main concern. crested wheat

But in more practical terms, I have learned to stock my pantry with staples, because no one enjoys being out of food when the nearest store is 25 miles away over icy roads.

I’ve learned to not over-plan and over-commit, because invariably sickness or bad weather will mess with the best-laid plans. Just today, I had to cancel a girls’ get-together that I’d been planning for weeks, because of the sick bug that has invaded our house. Its a bummer!

I have learned that too many days of school and stuffy house will make the sweetest child grumpy, so we have some random ‘no-school’ days – just to keep everybody fresh and sweet. 😉

That is the main thing, really. Just keeping life a little more simple, a little more laid-back, a bit more white space in my days. Buffer for those things that DO happen, ya know? I tend towards wanting to do everything, all the time. But I am learning that more accomplished is not always the best. Hey – you have no idea how many ideas and dreams and schemes are swirling around in my brain on any given day! 😀 but I am purposing to live quieter, still-er, and slower – especially in the winter months. There is times I must be going, going, going, but – when I can sit and read books to my toddler, when I can listen to the unending stories of my 7 year old – hey, I’m gonna do it!!

Here’s to finding your rhythm, and not scheduling the life right out of your life! :)
Carry on.

November Ramblings…

 

November ramblings...

 

November has brought with it the beginning of winter, finally. We enjoyed such a lovely fall, that it seemed like winter perhaps wasn’t coming! But of course, it did – in due time. We have had several light snowstorms, and some windy days and cold nights. Nothing too major yet.

I have been busy working on some cinch orders, lately. Some are to be Christmas orders, so they need to go out soon. (speaking of… if you want a cinch for that horseman on your list, on’t delay! Soon it will be too late to get it done before Christmas! 😉 )

I have also been enjoying some slower days at home – just puttering. School takes up my mornings, of course, and sometimes part of the afternoon. Then there’s meals and laundry and cleaning. I have been putting a lot of effort into learning the art of a neat home.  My kids are getting older, so no excuse on having piles of mail and random clothes laying around! Of course, the mess still happens, but my goal is to keep after it – get it picked up and neat before supper, for instance, and sped more time on wiping off fingerprints and splatters.

I used to feel it almost pointless to keep cleaning surfaces that would just get spattered again in a few hours, but I have learned that it is blessing my family, when I spend time cleaning my house and keeping it tidy. There is little value in blessing others, if I am not blessing my own family first. So now I grab a cleaning rag and a spray bottle and get busy, and I actually enjoy it! Haha! Never thought I’d say those words, but there you go. Ask God for a heart that is willing to bless your family, and you might just get it!

Which reminds me — I felt cramped in our previous house, especially when hosting overnight company, or serving a dozen cowboys lunch. So I prayed for a bigger house… this house, specifically.  And God allowed us to have this house, after several years. (different house on the same ranch) But guess what?! I forgot that a bigger house means more cleaning! LOL! I now spend at least twice the time cleaning, and I don’t especially enjoy cleaning! So there you have it – be careful what you pray for! :)

Contentment at Home, part 2

Contentment at home, part 2

I wanted to expand and perhaps clarify on my previous article about contentment at home.

First of all, I do have a number of small income-producing ventures. I am not against side businesses. It is my opinion that many women are talented or skilled in many money-making ways. Also, many women are ambitious, organized, or driven, and can therefore expend some energy and time on a business venture without sacrificing her home and family life. My point is; the home must come first. I have stepped back from several projects, simply because they were taking first place in my mind, energies, and time. I have a hard rule for myself that my family will always come first.

Second, I do believe that wives and mothers are to be primarily homemakers, not career women. If there is an emergency or necessity, of course God will grant grace. This is why I specify ‘side‘ business. But – living a more luxurious lifestyle is not a necessity. We have grown so accustomed to luxury and ease (in America especially), that it seems ridiculous to live in a small home, or not have the latest tech toy.  I do not believe women should be giving the lion’s share of their waking hours to a job, when there are children at home.  Titus 2:4-5 We should be investing into their hearts, teaching them about Jesus.

Of course this is not popular teaching. I find in my own self, the same selfish desire to do something for me. But the Christian life is at its core unselfish. Dying to self and living for others – this is the way of the cross. Following Jesus in every way – whether it is popular or not. Matthew 16:24  Remember, Jesus too, was unpopular when He walked here as our example. He was so unpopular that people tried to kill Him!

So my thoughts summed up, are these:
Seek the will of God in every area of your life. Ask Him to show you His will about your ambitions and dreams and goals. Ask Him (and your husband, if you have one) what your priority should be.
Read the Word of God.
Spend time in prayer.
Be willing to be made willing,
as Corrie Ten Boom once prayed.

If you are already a full-time stay at home mom? Learn to find contentment in washing clothes, picking up toys, washing dishes, cooking tasty meals. Every job you do is so very important. It is a calling. It is a foundational career. God sees every effort, hears every prayer, and knows every pain. He will give you wisdom and grace to find contentment at home, if you truly seek Him in the midst of your daily duties.

Contentment at home.

motherhoodIn today’s busy world, there are so many things clamoring for our attention, that it seems rare indeed, to find contentment at home. Society and culture shouts at us to enroll our kids in every thing, start a home business, don’t miss any deals at the store, maybe a side job, hmm? Well, I have done all those things – of course they are not wrong. But the thing is, are they necessary? Are they the best? I have been pondering this a lot the past few weeks.

I started a side business this summer, offering photo sessions. I also make custom cinchas for cowboys. In the past, I have done couponing, Tupperware®, and even started a business of making gourmet pickles and selling them at the farmer’s market.  I have dabbled in many more money-making ventures, and ideas and projects. I love to research an idea and work hard to get it off the ground. So, I totally am coming from the perspective of been there – done that! :)

But something I have noticed in every venture… if it takes me away from home a lot, or if I am at home but it takes a big chunk of alone-time – my kiddos suffer. When I am trying to do too much, I get tired and then I tend to get grumpy, annoyed or frustrated easily. When I have a lot on my mind, I want the kids to just go away and play nicely. Ha! When do kids do that, I ask you?!

I’m being pretty open here, folks. It’s hard to admit. It’s hard to give up my ‘dreams’.  It’s hard and unpopular to say that I can’t have a flourishing side business because I am not good enough to do that and be a loving mom, at the same time. But I see more and more women throwing all their energy into money-making ventures, under the guise of ‘following their dreams’, and ‘not settling’, and lots of other self-centered nonsense. YES. I do believe God gave us dreams for a reason. I do believe that often our desires and purpose are intertwined. I also believe that there are many times that He wants us to wait. To learn some deep lessons of life as hidden homemakers before we can be used effectively for Him.

I can’t say where the line is for you. Maybe you ARE superwoman, and have your ducks all in a row. But I doubt it.  Probably somewhere there is a mountain of laundry you were too tired to face, or a desk piled high with papers you need to file, or a child feeling unloved because your ‘passion’ took you away from them again over dinner hour. There might be a husband who is a teeny bit lonely, deep down, but wouldn’t dare touch your ‘passion’. You know where your limit is. I know mine!

I am not saying you shouldn’t do things you enjoy, or start a side business. But NEVER at the expense of your family. Of course it looks different for every family. I see some women sitting at home, bored and lonely, and wish they would start a side business! But the point is – don’t take on more than you can handle. Make sure your family gets your best, not your leftovers. Even if you don’t have children, your husband and home should take precedence. Learn to find contentment at home, cleaning, cooking, creating a place of rest and beauty.

I am still learning when to say no, and when to say yes. I want to give my children a deep memory bank of wonderful home memories… mom in the kitchen cooking, mom reading to them, mom laughing and playing, mom working in the yard… all those simple things. They only have one mother, and we only have a few years before they are grown and gone. Let’s make every day count! :)

Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” Hebrews 13:5

3 Ways I Have Changed as a Mother

Recently I was reading something written about how hard, and yet rewarding babies are… when  I realized something – I have changed. When I had 1 or 2 or maybe even three babies, I thought things were hard that I don’t think are hard now. I viewed life differently, I viewed motherhood differently, I certainly viewed child training differently! And it it started me thinking — what changed me? Age? Experience? Losing a child? Maturing? Growing in the wisdom that comes from God?

3waysmother

 

I don’t know. Probably a bit of all three. Everyone is shaped by their life experiences, relationships, and the media they consume. I wish I could have started my parenting journey with the view I have now – my kids would have benefited from a more grace-giving mama!

Here is a few ways I have noticed where I have changed:

1. “This child made me change countless diapers.” 

Yes, with my first baby I got sick and tired of changing diapers. Maybe once in a while with my second baby too. But after baby # 3? Nope. Doesn’t bother me at all. Even the squiggly, squirmy one! And between five babies – trust me, I’ve had a few of those! :) I Actually kind of enjoy it now. I mean, it’s one-on-one time with the baby – which can get neglected in a busy household. I like to talk to them, blow raspberries on their tummies, and kiss their toes. And no – my husband doesn’t change many diapers. I don’t know if I would let him, these days! 😉 Seriously, mamas – it’s not ‘wasted time’. It’s vital to their care and well-being. And since you will be changing 1,000’s of them, best figure out how to enjoy it! :)                                               Disclaimer: I still hate changing a stinky diaper on a toddler who isn’t my own child. Eesh.

2. “I have to get up ALL night!” 

OK – this one is tough. I admit it. It is hard to get up often – sometimes every hour- with a baby when you haven’t had a full night’s sleep in 3 months. Or a year. or more! I totally understand. I don’t remember minding this much when my first babies were waking at night, but the last two have been harder. ( I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, which makes me a lot more tired.)  However, this one is particularly special to me for two reasons:                  a. I had to get up at night for a month to pump, when my baby was in the NICU… Trust me – being able to snuggle a warm baby when you get up is so much better!                                  b. I have lost a baby. (a toddler, really) And I nearly lost another one. ‘They’ said I would miscarry. ‘They’ said it was a matter of time before the baby I was carrying would die. ‘They’ were wrong – God prevailed and the baby lived. After a month in the NICU, she came home to flourish and grow. Do I mind her waking me up at night? No. Sure it is tiring, sure there are some awfully long nights, but no. Not when I consider the alternative. Not when I remember the aching emptiness of my arms after my son died.

3. “Babies make such a mess!”

 …when they eat, when they play, when they bath, etc, etc. Everything they do makes a mess. I know. this one was probably one of the hardest for me when I was a new mom. I had dreams, people! I had dreams of a tidy little house with a vine-covered porch. It would have a neat writing desk inside and fresh flowers on the table. Lemonade or sweet tea would always be fresh and cold. I wasn’t expecting the whirlwind of spit-up baby clothes, (not to mention my clothes!) baby bottles, smeared food, splashed water, and toy-strewn floor! The porch never materialized, the lemonade was spilled, the writing desk had dried-milk spots on it, amid burp cloths and pacifiers. I mourned for a bit, then soon learned to see the beauty in the mess. The baby mess, that is. I still am learning to control my own clutter! Cleaning up a messy highchair is actually kinda fun now. (wow! I can’t believe I said that! I’ve come a long ways…) Wiping up bath water is just fine. Toys are no sweat.

(Now if you could teach me to clean up my own messes… 😉 )

Dear fellow mamas, this time will pass. They will grow up. A year or two of baby messes and sleepless nights will seem small pretty soon. Keep on going. Keep your smile, your sense of humor, your faith in God. Have patience. Practice kindness. It will do your heart good. It will do your kids’ hearts good! Remember that there is an end – and  someday you might just be willing to wipe up a small flood on the bathroom floor – just  for the indescribable joy of hearing those baby shrieks of glee. :)

Tell me, how has your parenting changed the way you view things? Do you still hate to change diapers? :) What has led to your change of perspective?

I’m linking this post over at: http://www.themodestmomblog.com/ and http://www.beautythroughimperfection.com/2014/01/04/pin-it-party-30/