Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Giving Up Youth for Something Better

I was looking down at Abigail about a week before Christmas and we were truly interacting. I was making sounds and she was trying her hardest to copy them. We were looking into each other's eyes and I felt my heart swelling up into my throat; I had to choke back the tears. Maybe I'm just being corny, but I realized I never wanted to be without her again.

From the moment I met her I've loved her, but the first three or four months or so, it was a little surreal for me. Maybe that's the difference between a "planned" baby and a "surprise" baby. Not that the pregnancy shouldn't give you enough time to get used to the idea that you're having a baby! But suddenly there she is! And she's always there! And she always needs something! And forget about EVER sleeping past 7 anymore! Your life is not your own. Your marriage is CHANGED. Harder. Your own life is full to the capacity of poop on EVERYTHING, milk all over you and your clothes, essence of diaper permeating into your bedroom, rashes of every sort, didn't you JUST clip her fingernails?!, crying crying crying, which nursing bra should I wear today?, laundry up to your ears, flabby stomach, stretch marks, and clumps of your own hair falling out at an alarming rate. And it's not that the joy of this new little cuteness doesn't completely trump all that (cuz believe me it DOES!) but there are all these new problems you've never had before and you have NO idea where to start or how to tackle them. So when a friend of mine asked me after one month of being a mommy, "Now that she's here, could you ever imagine your life without her?" I didn't know what to say. I lied and said, "No, I couldn't imagine life without her!" The truth was, as much as I loved her, I COULD imagine life without her! It had only been one month! And everything was different and scary and I really just wanted to have my mornings back, my husband back, my bedroom back, my marriage back, my figure back, my LIFE back. Those thoughts scared me a little bit. I thought, "geez, Brenda! You're a mom now! Get over it. Grow up and get over it." But it's easier said than done.

The next few months I continued my mommy role: cleaning, dressing, changing, feeding, smiling, playing, singing. Each day, I had to kill my "old self," or my flesh, a little more.
"You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." ~Ephesians 4:22-24
And little by little, it has started to die. It didn't happen right away or even after a few weeks. But slowly, month by month, God has been sanctifying me (making me more like Him). Slowly, my young, selfish nature is being suffocated as I put the needs of another before my own day in day out. And now, as Abigail clears her 5-month birthday, I can say joyfully, "How could I ever have lived without her?"


Husband said...

My love,
I'm so proud of you. You are an amazing woman, and I couldn't ask for a better mother for our children!
I love you.


Sprucegoose said...

Nice !
Thanks Brenda for this openness. I am sure this will speak to everyone who reads it.
Thanks for sharing. ...
Blessings, Bruce

SaraR said...

I know exactly what you mean! Everything you said brings me back to the first couple of months - and it makes me want it again all that much more!

I'm so happy for you that you're maturing in God, that's one of the best things a kid can do for you (in my opinion).

Jenny in law said...

Yes. Things change. Vacation won't be the same (because you can't sleep in anymore). Nights out? Mealtimes? Holidays? All different.
Not bad, just different.
What do you mean, life doesn't revolve around ME anymore?
Yeah. Life is different. Sometimes more stressful. Sometimes more joyful.
I wouldn't change mine. :)

Sarah McQuade said...

Hi Brenda -- I'm so glad you wrote this and opened up about the "real" life of a new mom. As a friend of a bunch of new moms, it's been interesting to navigate the change in relationships and discovering new ways to support and love each other. It's really cool to hear about your journey as a mother. I love reading your blogs!

Amber said...

You have put into words what I have wondered if any other mother out there "gets." Thanks for being real. I hear you loud and clear, and let me tell you...I know exactly what you are saying. Thank you Jesus for his sanctifying work in our lives!!! If you ever want to talk to someone at 7am...I am up too...enjoying my kids...just give me a call. =)

Emmy :) said...

Brendy, you are amazing! I love you and miss you! I love being able to check in on you and your awesome family on your blog. And...HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I'll always think of you on our special shared bday ;) I'm going to email you now, but I don't know if you still check that email addy. Regardless, happy birthday and lots of love to you guys. Love, Emmy M :)

The Charlebois said...

Thank you, Brenda, for being so honest - I wept as I read your words. We truly are "saved through childbearing," aren't we? :) But there's no turning back...and no desire to anyhow!
love you,