Dear New Parent, Your Life is Not Over

DSC_0044Sitting down to write this post is no easy feat. There are several things I should be doing right now, but these thoughts will not leave my head and instead of wandering aimlessly around the house writing this post in my mind, I might as well save myself the headache and get it over with. I just laid my toddler down for his nap and after feeding and swaddling my newborn, she is on her way into dreamland at this very moment. So here I am with free time to myself and what do I choose to do? Write about my kids. Of course.

For the past two years, I've been growing, birthing and raising babies. This is my season. My calling. It starts the minute I wake up in the morning and doesn't end at night, so it's more than just a "job"... it's my life. What I've learned from being a mom (outside of how to change a diaper in 10 seconds) is that so many people today have such a negative view of children. I see it in the stares I get while toting around both babies on my hips or when we're seated at a restaurant and my toddler decides to talk in his "outside" voice, or when everyone avoids sitting next to us on an airplane (like, really, if they cry I'm pretty sure you will still be able to hear it three rows down), some people just plain dislike children. Or at least that's the impression they are giving me.

I'm not sure when or how it began, but somewhere along the lines of history these people have forgotten that they were once a child too.

Those fun memories of riding your bike and eating jello and going to Disney World? Yeah, those were real. You were a kid. And grew up to become a busy, hardworking adult who wants to live a quiet, boring life. At least that's how I see it.

Because having kids is just plain awesome. And hilarious. And so. much. fun!

To my married friends without kids or who are soon-to-be parents, don't believe the lies that your life is over when those children come along. It's not true! I don't think there could be anything further from the truth, actually. Life becomes fuller, richer, busier and crazier... but it is ANYTHING but over. You just created the single most influential being on the face of the earth... a human. There is nothing else you could create in your job, hobby or dreams that could have more impact or meaning. And the greatest thing of all? You get to re-live life with them. Laugh at things you thought were funny 20 years ago and remember how it was to learn to ride a bike for the first time.

And all of those hobbies and things you enjoy doing? I promise you can still do them as a parent. In fact, I think it's important you still do them as a parent. You are modeling for your children what it looks like to not be lazy or waste their talents.

Almost every weekend, I lead worship at my church. I took a few weeks off to, you know, birth the baby and everything. But as soon as I felt comfortable bringing my newborn out in public, I was back on stage. Singing is one of my greatest passions and leading people to worship at the feet of Jesus is one of my highest callings. Becoming a parent has not changed a single thing about that. If anything, it has given me even more reason to worship the Lord for His grace and favor on our lives.

Does it take more discipline, planning and maturity to parent a child? Yes, it does. Will you ever be completely ready financially, emotionally or physically? Probably not. Your patience will be tested, your morals questioned and you will have to put someone else's needs above your own. But those are all things that we should be striving for as followers of Christ, anyway. Children are just a blessing to help get us there a little faster.

 

Children are a gift from the Lord, they are a reward from him. Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior's hands. How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them! Psalm 127:3-5a