I love how God is using this tiny baby to purge me of so much selfishness in my life of which I was previously unaware. Day by day, Cason and I are being changed and understanding so much more about parenting and sacrificial love. People say you don't appreciate your parents fully until you become a parent. I always heard that, but thought "Oh I love em so much now, I know what they did for my sisters and I, etc etc." Surprise, surprise, I was wrong. :)
When our pediatrician said I could start pumping for bottles for Madeleine, my mom was telling me about how she waited too long and I wouldn't take a bottle, so she nursed me for my entire first year. Jokingly, I said "Mom you must've had no life." She looked at me, and very thoughtfully but matter-of-factly said "You were my life." Those words really resonated with me. They have been echoing through my heart since that conversation. I think when I thought about becoming a mom, I thought about making major changes to my life or making her a big part of my life, but not the sacrifice it would take to really have her be my life. There have been lots of things that have come up with Madeleine - I have mentioned them to mom and she would empatheically but practically say "Oh you and your sisters used to do that all the time." Sorry, mom. :)
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying we should forfeit everything for our babies - our relationships with the Lord, our marriages, our identities, our interests, our friends...but it takes more sacrifice than I bargained for. Especially in these first few weeks - she cries and I am up, trying to solve whatever quandary in which she's found herself, even if that's spitting out her pacifier 5 times during one nap. I thought I would be so much more productive as a stay-at-home-mom, but there's no more "I'm just going to run to the store real quick," or "I think I'll put up Christmas decorations/clean the bathrooms/make dinner." Things get done in pieces and they take a lot longer than they used to. As her schedule is refined and she grows, I might be able to get more done someday...maybe not. I know all you veteran moms out there are chuckling to yourselves, maybe remembering the moments when you learned this lesson. Oh how valuable it is, but how difficult. Brokenness from the Lord is such a blessing, but the process is not always so much fun.
The good news is, Madeleine did keep me company as I decorated the house for Christmas. It wasn't the day after Thanksgiving, and it took a lot longer, but this is my life now, and I'm thrilled to be her mom.
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