It's been a few months and I feel more and more entrenched in the battle of raising a Godly son every day. Having a son is such a blessing, a miracle, and what I've always wanted. Yet having a son is the most difficult task I've ever taken on. The time and energy is extremely high, the rewards inconsistant at best. But I'm still amazed at this little gift God has bestowed on me.
I've heard it said that everything changes once you have children. Well, DUH! Not as many vacations, or eating out. No watching as much TV or going to movies. Much more crying. Ok, maybe that's just me. But there are more subtle changes you can't really anticipate.
Like friendships changing. I read in "Mommy's Locked in the Bathroom" by Cynthia Sumner that your friendships with your single friends, married friends, and married friends with children will change. Your single friends may get annoyed at you constantly having to interupt conversations to handle the latest emergency that only happens to come up when you're on the phone or immersed in a great/deep conversation (like a bugar that in the nose isn't threatening, but once on a little finger becomes a flesh eating troll). Your married friends without children may stop inviting you over because of the fear of something being broken, or because of an unconcious disagreement about how you're raising your children (hey, at least he WAS wearing clothes when he got here!). And your friendships with married friends with children may change because of the children not getting along, or disagreements on how to handle situations that arise between the children. Although I have some of the most amazing women around me, I can't ignore the fact that these are very common things to experience.
The guilt. Oh, the guilt goes on and on, much like the Energizer Bunny, constantly pounding in your ears. "I should have given him a time out, not a spank." "I've left him with Dave for too long. Will he be angry with me?" "I should be reciting the ABC's and 123's with him every moment of every day so he picks up the language faster." "It's been two months, yet I still can't manage to plan a single meal during the week." Deep breath. I'm certainly no Martha Stewart! I find myself praying God would undo all the mistakes I've made with Eli during the day.
Then there's the upside. I get to see the amazing resilence of a God-created 3 yr old. I may have to spank him at night to keep him in the bed, but he wakes up in the morning with a HUGE smile on his face, ready to snuggle with his Momma. I can still make him laugh by tickling his underarms and his thighs, no matter what his mood happens to be at that time. I have an amazing husband who supports everything I do and say, and has encouraged me through out the process. I get to experience Eli's growth firsthand without missing a thing. For example, just the other day he started to point at the letters on his bed and then point to the corresponding letter on his wall. And now he's starting to make noises to the Wheels on the bus song. Amazing. Simply amazing.
I have a new understanding of women who park their cars in all sorts of ways in the parking lot. Have you ever just wanted to escape a pouting/whining/screaming child? Because I have. I've also found myself alone in the car belting out and bopping to Eli's songs, but that's a whole 'nother story! I have also experienced "the look" in church. You know, the one that says "Why isn't your child in Sunday School instead of the service."
I guess all this to say Motherhood is a state of being. A tired, somewhat delirous state of being. And I know I'm so blessed to have so many wonderful, encouraging people around me. Because of my perfectionism, I have to really be careful that I'm not too hard on myself. This will take time to transition in to...after all, I've only been a mom for a few months.