Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: Borrowed Blog about Diaper Depression

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pregnant-woman-in-greenYesterday my grandchild’s mom (Did I mention I am a grandmother??!!) wrote the following about pregnancy. She’s going to be a good mom. Find my response below her piece:

17 Thoughts on Gloom and Doom (a post where I ask you for something different)…

About three years ago, I was busy making last-minute preparations for one of the most important days of my life—the day I became a wife to my best friend. I was excited, happy, ecstatic, joyful….but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. I was scared because as a Christian, choosing the one you’ll marry is the second most important decision you’ll ever make in your whole life (the first, of course, being to give your life to Jesus). When you understand what God’s Word says about marriage, you are absolutely certain about the gravity of this decision. It’s not just a fun, spontaneous rash decision that you can rethink and get out of later if it doesn’t work out (although many today view marriage that way)—it’s forever. It’s an all-in commitment that means when you say those vows, you’re not just making a promise to your new husband—you’re making a promise to God.

But I’ve always known all that.

What surprised me was how many people talked about marriage like it was going to be SO hard. I heard story after story about how hard the first couple of years is, how marital strife was inevitable, how we were going to realize we didn’t know each other at all. Now, as a disclaimer, let me just say that I know and appreciate that all of those people who warned me about all the scary parts of marriage had my very best interests at heart, and sincerely wanted to help prepare me for this mega commitment. And I thank them. But what I’ve discovered since then is that they were right about marriage being hard—it is super hard sometimes—but it’s also fun, rewarding, enlightening, and cozy in all the best ways. Yes, it’s different from dating. Yes, it’s a learning process. Yes, it’s probably the biggest adjustment you’ll ever make. But it’s so worth it. When you marry someone who loves God more than He loves you, the bond you will develop will be stronger and deeper than anything you could have imagined while you were dating. When I look back on the trials my husband and I have faced together–all the times we hurt together and cried together–and I consider how we’re still able to laugh until we can’t breathe when we’re hanging out together, I know that God knew what he was doing when he designed marriage. More than anything, it’s a friendship, deeper and richer than any other.

See…those were the things I would have liked to have heard more about before saying, “I do.” But even with all that gloom and doom I heard while engaged to be married, I hadn’t seen anything yet.

I thought that was bad, but now that I’m pregnant with our first child, the gloom and doom warnings are disheartening and daunting, at best. These are some things I’m hearing over and over from well-meaning people:

  • Nap when you can now, because you’ll never get a good nap again for 18 years.
  • I hope you have a good delivery, because I sure didn’t—this is what happened to me…[insert horror story here]
  • You’ll never have a normal body again.
  • Try to do fun things with your husband now, because when the baby comes, your marriage is pretty much over. Date nights will be a thing of the past.
  • Breastfeeding will hurt so bad you’ll cry every time your baby’s hungry (which is all the time).
  • You’ll cry other times, too, because you’ll probably have PPD disorder like I did.
  • Get used to wearing poop and vomit for hours at a time.
  • Good luck EVER traveling again.
  • You’ll never have a normal grocery shopping experience again. It will be a nightmare every time.
  • Oh, and enjoy that shower because once the baby comes, you’ll never have time for a good shower….or any bathroom privacy time whatsoever. You can forget the bubble baths. And pedicures. And any other luxury you enjoy.
  • Finish that whole book, because you’ll never have time to read anything once the baby’s here.

I could easily keep going…and don’t even get me started on general parenting warnings (“You just wait…you think you’ll be a great parent NOW…”). Once again, let me say that I know good and well that all these warnings are legitimate and necessary. And I’m sure I need to hear all of them.

But sometimes…I need to hear some good things, too.

Because right now…I’m starting to wonder why in the world people have kids. If it’s this miserable, why am I even going through these nine uncomfortable months? Why am I signing my life away to trade my easy breezy independence for the motherhood prison?

I’m just a little discouraged. You see, I LOVE naps. I LOVE laughing with my husband. I LOVE traveling. I like alone time sometimes. I like long showers. I LOVE bubble baths. I like going to the bathroom by myself. I like reading.

So if I’m going to trade in all the things I love for this little kicker in my womb, I need to know why it’s worth it. I figured all that out with marriage, and I’m totally at peace with the little things I gave up for marriage life and I feel blessed beyond measure to have made that decision and completely undeserving of this abundant life I obtained when I married my husband. And it could very well be that I have to wait before I’ll discover this same is true of parenthood. Hard, sacrificial, scary—WORTH IT. I’d just selfishly like to expectantly feel that now, rather than 3 years from now. That might be unrealistic.

Anyway, this post obviously isn’t poignant or profound or even necessary. I just feel like I’m speaking out for not just me, but for the thousands of us pregnant-for-the-first-time gals out there who could use a little encouragement.

So, if you took the time to read my morning ramblings, I hope you’ll also take a second to leave a comment for me and all other preggo girls who want to hear about things to which we can look forward, not just dread. We still want/need your warnings. We still need to hear all the tips/advice you can share to help us figure out how to navigate our way through all this new crazy baby stuff. But, for the sake of our sanity, make sure you qualify the gloomy doomy warnings with a little sunshine.

Speaking of sunshine, it’s 60 degrees here in Louisville, so while baby’s still in my belly, I’m gonna get out there and enjoy it today. Kids or no kids, I hope you get a chance to do the same before the day’s over!

**********************************************************

And the word from the grandmother in me:

Dear Han,

IT IS SO WORTH IT! Every time that little boy brings you dandelions and kisses, it’s worth it. Every time you lie down with that little girl for nap and she falls asleep on your breast and drools on your shirt, it’s worth it. Every time she fills in the blanks when you tell her the story of Noah or David and the Giant, it’s worth it. And, especially, the first time you tell him about the cross and tiny tears roll down his cheeks, it’s worth it a thousand times-plus. Every time you blow bubbles and she chases them, every time you build towers and forts and tents under quilts pinned to chairs in the living room, it’s worth it. When you are drinking lemonade that you paid for at the grocery, made this morning and then carted out to the end of your driveway for that lemonade stand, and then you paid for it again (only it was more expensive the second time around), it’s still worth it. Every time you see tiny hands folded in prayer or hear that little shrill voice beside you in worship singing “He loves me, He loves me, He loves me, this I know,” it is worth it. And, oh, for that one moment…that moment when you take her in your arms when she’s fresh up from the waters of baptism…just that moment is worth it over and over and over again.

But you know what? You don’t even really start to understand how much it’s worth till the day she comes to you and says “You’re a grandmother.” See, Hannah, it’s something about knowing that you’re going to get to keep making investments in a little heart…investments that will not fully render their dividends till we’re with Jesus one day. Which missed naps? What pain in childbirth? Nursing soreness? Very short-lived. Scarcity of alone time with your dad? Okay, maybe a little scarce, but I barely remember. (We have wonderful catch-up time now.)

It’s that thing you said about crying together and still being able to laugh till you can’t catch your breath. It’s all the tears you invest in your kids that make them all the more valuable to you. There are plenty of biological moms out there who don’t really get much joy. See, when you don’t put in the time and tears and occasional missed naps (but, anyway, naps are more fun when they start with a fairy tale), you don’t get the return of two hearts bonded for life in a relationship that only moms and kids know. And you don’t generally get heaven together, either.
Somehow, I think there’s a sense in which I can’t even know how “worth it” motherhood is yet. But I think I will know when I’m sitting around the throne with you and Caleb (and the little people who grow up for Him) and I hear all those voices (with a sweet familiar tone) blending together. “He loves me. He loves me. He loves me, this I know.”

Love,
Mom

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