I woke up startled and looked over at my newborn baby sleeping in her rock n play. She wasn’t making a sound, but I said “she’s cold” to my husband. I took her temp and sure enough it was 96.1. Poor babe, she didn’t have enough fat on her itty bitty body to regulate her temperature yet. I knew because her sister was in the nicu trying to get out of the isolate which kept her warm. So for the first several months of their life the girls had their own personal space heater even though we live in San Antonio, TX where the weather rarely dips into sweater weather.
Being a new mom can be absolutely terrifying.
I’ve been babysitting since I was 11. So basically I’d been watching countless other children for 2 decades before I had my own children. But nothing can compare to the weight of responsibility of taking care of a helpless newborn. Although it was terribly sad to have Charlie in the nicu at least it gave me 11 days with just one 4 pound baby.
The first night we had Charlie home I freaked out, called the nicu who transferred me to the ER, and thankfully was able to get a hold of their doctor who calmed my fears and gave me some practical advice.
The thing that has calmed me and quieted my fears the most in these six months is believing that the Holy Spirit is leading us as parents. It’s believing that He wants us to be successful parents. And believing that He wants goodness for the girls even more than we do.
I think perhaps the most detrimental thing to parenting is comparison. It’s believing that one way is best in the thousand gray areas of parenting. In order to parent without shame we must believe that it’s okay to do things the way the Holy Spirit is leading us with our children. It will not and SHOULD not all look the same.
“He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.”
There are so many decisions to make as parents, so many choices. It can be overwhelming, but I really do believe that the same One who has knitted them together wants to lead us as parents. And thankfully, He is even bigger than our decisions. His love for them is bigger than we can even imagine, so go easy on yourself, take a deep breath, and listen for that still small voice.
One last thought… I’ve been a little shocked at times at the judgement we can easily pass on other parents. I think often it can come from a place of fear in ourselves and wanting to feel like what we are doing for our kids is the BEST thing. But let’s be kind to the other parents out there and be okay with decisions that they make and feel are best. Let’s trust that God is big enough to lead us in individual ways as families. Let’s try to encourage each other, there is so much life on encouragement, and I’ve yet to meet a mom or dad who don’t need some!
I pray today that His leadership for you as parents comes with grace and ease. May you be led by His peace with those He’s entrusted to your care.
You are doing a better job than you think you are!