Before I had Emma, I had my own ideas of what being a parent looked like. I even gave advice to parents on what they were doing wrong (gasp!!! So sorry!). When we were pregnant with Emma, I could hardly wait for her to get here and for us to be the perfect family. Everyone warned me about sleep deprivation, about late night feedings, and about the first few months being the hardest.
I knew in my head it was all true but I didn’t really KNOW until we were in the hospital and our brand new baby was screaming and choking and I was in so much pain I couldn’t jump up quickly to help my baby. Thank goodness my mom was there!
I didn’t fully KNOW until the nurse said “ok, it’s time to go home. She is all yours!” What do you mean?? you aren’t going home with me to teach me everything I need to know!?!
I didn’t really know until postpartum depression was in full force and my baby screamed all the time. Really. All. The. Time. And choked. All. The. Time.
I didn’t really know until the doctors told me that she was milk, soy, and protein intolerant and I wasn’t making enough milk and the formula she needed would break the bank.
I didn’t know.
But I learned.
Don’t get me wrong, it was hard but there where so many great memories too. Her first smile. Watching her get better and seeing her become a completely different baby. The screaming stopped once her belly healed and she started to sleep through the night and was the happiest baby on the block.
I would go through it all again just to watch her roll over for the first time, watch her sit up for the first time, to see her crawl for the first time, and to experience her first steps again. Those are my treasured memories.
Now the baby stage is over and I feel like I slept through it! Where did time go?!? How did she get so big? Did she really just say, “no, I want my daddy”?!
And I am learning. Learning that you have to be consistent. Learning that I have to seek The Lord every single day. Learning the I will mess up and it is ok to apologize and try again. Learning that your child watches every thing you do. The way you talk. The way you dress. The way you react or act.
My prayer for Emma is that she will grow up to love The Lord with all her heart, mind, and soul, that she will seek Him first, that she will be a kind and giving person, and that she will be wise.
But if she is going to learn that she has to learn it from someone. So, this year I am applying Matthew 6:33 to my life, “but seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” I want her to see me seek Him. I want her to see me become more like Him. I want to be able to show her what loving The Lord with all your heart, mind, and soul looks like. I want her to learn what it means to give and serve others. I want her to see me make wise decisions – even if it means throwing that shirt away because it isn’t modest. These are the years that she is learning so much and I want her to learn the best things from me. She is my mission field. She is my calling.
Things change after you have a baby.