I recently read (and then watched on the Today Show) one of my favorite speakers/authors/people-I’m-sure-I-would-be-BFF-if-I-knew-her-in-real-life, Jen Hatmaker, refer to parenthood in the early times of your children’s lives like five minutes (a really short amount of time!) but under water (difficult!). Read this post. Seriously. As soon I heard this phrase, I totally got it. This is my life, especially now.
Sometimes I feel like I’ve totally got this parenthood thing down. Yes, I know I’ve only been doing it three months. But when I get Luke down to nap twice a day actually IN his crib and not on me, when he only wakes up once a night, when he goes an entire day without pooping through his diaper or spitting up all over himself, and smiles a lot with minimal screaming at me, I feel pretty good. But somedays, everything opposite happens (all of it, in one day) and then, yeah, I totally get that underwater part. I am ready to run for the hills, back to my “predictable” (not really – at all, but rose-colored glasses, right?) job as a DCE where I felt like I generally knew what I was doing and was decent at it, and even though I worked with teenagers – THEY never pooped and peed on me in the same day, and take that baby back to the hospital and say even though I’ve been married almost 5 years, have been an “adult” for 8, have a college degree and a Master’s – this is NOT what I signed up for! Whew! This parenting gig is way too hard for me! I am totally at the underwater stage and just trying to catch one breath! And then…
THEN I get the five minutes part.
I realize that even though I’ve been home with Luke for three months, time IS FLYING. The first few weeks of his life are such a blur to me now, and I find myself emotional that I am packing up his newborn and 0-3month clothing. What?! I spent the majority of last year waiting not-so-patiently for what seemed like forever for him to be born, and now he’s growing up and changing like crazy! My baby! I want him to stay small in my arms forever! He’s precious!
Sure, these five minutes are flying by and they are so incredibly special. The next five minutes will be too though, and so will the five minutes after that. Every stage is full of opportunity and adventure and love. There will be lots of “five minutes” – moments and stages that seem to fly by with Luke and with any future children, and some of those “five minutes” will feel like we’re underwater, barely able to breathe and gasping (probably quite literally, crying) for breath. We’ll be glad when we finally come up for air and are ready for the next stage.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
My prayer for myself, and for all my other mommy friends (and even beyond that, because in a lot of ways I think this is a “people” issue, too) is that we learn to embrace those “five minute” stages, whether they are deep underwater or laying on the beach. That we experience God’s goodness and gifts in the good times, and His grace and forgiveness in the bad. I pray with all my heart that the verse above is a constant in my thoughts, no matter the circumstance. That he would use those times, however fleeting they may be, to rest and share in His promises and show His love to our children and those around us.
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 26:3
Love & blessings,