Sunday, February 18, 2007

Ramblings

I have been doing lots of reading over the past, well, since I found out I was pregnant with my first child, Thomas. I have read on how to be a good wife, house keeper, cook, mommy, friend, daughter, sister, home maker (which is SO different from house keeper, just in case you wondered), how to make more time in my life, to utilize our finances better, to train my children, to garden, and the list goes on. The Bible has much to say on these topics, as do many authors across both the secular and Christian writing arenas. There is absolutely no shortage of information/misinformation on any of these subjects. Google one, I dare you.

Don't kid yourself, I don't think myself an expert by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I find myself realizing how uninformed I really am. In an effort to learn more, I have built up around myself a community of women who are walking that same path. Many I know personally, some I know only through email, and some don't even know I 'know' them. I am an avid blog reader, and have been fortunate enough to find a handful of ladies who write on their experiences. They are mostly women who have growing families and beliefs that parallel with my own. Some, well, not so much. But even they have something in their personalities that shine through their writing and draw me to them. Many of the ladies I know personally, I am related to or I go to church with or I am 'just' friends with. They may not realize how closely I watch them, or how much of an influence they are on me. Some are older, some are younger, but what we all have in common is this road we are on.

Motherhood.

It is an overwhelming experience. Full of joys, sorrows, frustrations, laughs, tears, pride in your youngsters, and a breaking of pride in yourself. It demands so much attention and time. It is a series of incredibly long days, and weeks that fly by. It is a trial to everything that you thought you had ever learned. It is the gold medal of, well, I can't say life, as that is Christ our Savior, but it is certainly a gold medal of something. It can be a stumbling block in your marriage, and a breaking point to a friendship. It can be the point from where friendships are formed, and an amazing opportunity to build a stronger and more communicative relationship with your husband. It can cause headaches and heartaches, and joy beyond anything you could ever have imagined. Motherhood is truly a blessing from the Lord.

As several of you know, Joshua and I had been married a short ten months when Thomas came along. Thankfully, we transitioned into marriage rather smoothly, weather that was a natural smoothness or a result of realizing the fruitlessness of quibbling over the little things with the responsibility of a child so quickly on the horizon, I do not know. It doesn't matter. I praise God for the ease of which He has given us in that area of our lives. We had dated for nearly 5 1/2 years, and were pretty comfortable with each other and each others' family. Again, not to say there haven't been lessons to learn and things to work out, just that we have had fairly easy time of it. I listened to a speaker recently who said that we must vow to ourselves to be lifelong students of our partner, never thinking we know them fully, but always seeking to know and understand them better. It has been a joy to do as such with my Joshua.

For our 3 1/2 year anniversary, we are expecting our third child. If you are counting, that gives us three under the age of three. In many ways, I am glad to be having our children so close together. Thomas will never know what it was like to not be a big brother, he has had to share for most of his life, weather he was cognizant of it or not. Sarah Grace and Thomas are so fun to watch. They are just shy of one year apart, though you would guess that they were much closer in age in many ways. They will grow up always having an ally, for siblings can rain all kinds of nasty things on one another, but will always stand up for and protect the other to an outside foe. Our children will experience so many things together because of the closeness of age, and always have playmates, confidants, and competition. This thrills my soul. My sisters are 5 and 10 years younger than me, and playmates we were not. As we get older, confidants we are becoming, but it has been slow in coming, and the 'baby' is only 19, with a long road ahead of her. My children will, by God's grace, always be close, even though I know there will be the inevitable sibling rivalry.

This pregnancy, I have to admit, scares me, though. Joshua and I are about to be outnumbered. No more one on one when we go out in public, or at home. The Kids team will be bigger in numbers than the Parents team. And it doesn't help that to a person, everyone I have talked to says that number three in the hardest. That scares me, I admit it.

For the most part, I am totally fine with three little people in diapers, not totally communicative, not fully understanding that they just simply cannot have Mommy's undivided attention for the entire time that they are awake, mostly, though perhaps not fully, capable of feeding themselves, don't understand whisper, can't be relied on to not scream at the top of their lungs should their emotions be more than they know to express, still learning what is and isn't allowed, super active, highly entertaining, so incredibly lovable...what more can I say about them? If you have children, you know what the two's are like, and the one's, and then of course, infancy.

But I have doubts. How on earth am I going to manage three little ones? Joshua and I are just now finding a comfortable stride concerning training and discipline. I feel good about that area, and I feel good about how the training is going concerning the new baby. We have set up a bed for him or her, and the kids understand that it is not to throw their toys into, or to climb on or shake. We will start working soon on baby gear and not shaking it up or tipping it over, so that I don't have to fear my two older ones somehow squashing the baby. But what of just simply making it to a doctor's appointment? Grocery shopping? Errand running? Will I still be able to manage Bible study? Will I be able to maintain friendships? Will I be able to maintain a sense of sanity, patience, and a house that is at the very least livable, if not messy? Will anyone ever babysit for me again?

I am content to stay at home most of the time, which is good, as it seems to be the advice from many who have traveled the road before me. I understand in my head not to over commit, though, those who know me best know my heart never remembers that when the volunteer sheet comes my way. I have a desire to help, and even a need to command certain things, that overruns my common sense sometimes. I enjoy my home, though. I love that Joshua and I can manage to keep me here to love and teach our kids our beliefs and our morals and our standards. I have so much fun doing different activities with them; baking and block building, coloring and cleaning (take that one with a grain of salt), reading to them and snuggling with them. Oh, and this wonderful world of pretend that they are so masterful with!

However, there is this niggling in my heart or my head, or maybe both, to do more than be a homemaker/housewife/stay at home mom. I have ideas of all sorts, though nothing concrete. I struggle with discontentment, and the source of that discontentment. Is it that I really do not want to stay home with my children, or is it a result of societal expectations due to the whole feminist bit? And are those real or imagined expectations, anyway?

My fears concerning our growing family are not real defined. And I am not sure I if I should call them fears, or if it is simply just not knowing. I think they are one and the same. As I draw closer to the due date, I tend to doubt my capabilities more. This amuses me somewhat, as I ran a class of 24 four year olds. Let me tell you, a day time teaching job is a piece of cake compared to the reality of 24/7 Mommy-ing. As a Mommy, I wake up to them, I spend my day with them, I tuck them in at night, and on some of those days, one or both of them are sick! But my days are so full and, at times, so complicated, with just the two children. What on earth am I going to do with three? And three so young? There are those who pat my back and say "This, too, shall pass" or "Hang in there, it gets better" or "Enjoy it while they are young. It flies by so fast". I believe each and everyone of these phrases. I do my level best to enjoy my children, as I can already look at them and exclaim over how fast they are growing. I don't think that I am truly in a hurry to get them all grown up, I just long for a day or two of sleeping in and not being needed for every little thing. I marvel at Thomas for all the things that he is learning to do, and I still catch myself despairing that he can't do more, when in reality, I don't want him to grow up too fast. I want to savor and enjoy these wonderful days and put off tomorrow until tomorrow. It will get here soon enough!

And then I am at peace again. For I know that my children are a blessing from the Lord. He chose to entrust these precious lives to me and to Joshua. He hand picked our family. He is faithful to love me and will not give up on me. He has given me tools and resources and grace for today, and He will do the same thing tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that.

I am a music lover, and I have an inexplicable draw to country music. I have been humming Bring on the Rain (JoDee Messina, I think) for the majority of this entry. The songs chorus goes like this:

Tomorrows another day
And I'm thirsty anyway
So bring on the rain

It sounds to be in direct contradiction to the actual peace that I feel about our rapidly expanding family, but I think it is the perfect reminder that even if the sky does fall, chicken little, the Lord is still in control, ordering my steps throughout each day.

5 comments:

Amy Cranston said...

Thanks for always sharing your heart...ALL of it! You are always such an encouragement to me. I am so thankful for your friendship. You and Joshua are doing a great job and have such an awesome outlook on raising a family. When you share that insight, I am so blessed!

Love Amy

Laura Bohler Forman said...

Thank you for being so transparent with everyone. I loved being able to see inside your heart and know that you have fears as so many women do. But I love that through those fears you can see right up to our Father who gives you that perfect peace. Thank you for being willing to be used by God and knowing that you aren't perfect nor is your family perfect but you press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. I am praying for you!

The Gossett's said...

I love this entry! Thanks for sharing with everyone! I needed that today! Emily

Anonymous said...

---and God gives us, as humans, the awsome ability to adapt!! I love you all!!
Meemum

Lora Lynn said...

Note to self: Never leave best friend alone with her head for too long, not even to have a baby. She tends to come up with better blog posts than me.

I love you and I'll come up for air soon and we'll see what we can do about the length of your posts. I'm exhausted just reading it! But I'm glad you wrote it.