Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Pregnancy "Encouragement" I Could Do Without

Red Beard and I are both pretty worn out by everything that's been going on. This week, I'm entering the last week of the 2nd Trimester--can you believe it? I can't!

I got a free Huggies diaper and wipes in the mail the other day, from an offer on Hip2Save.com, and I couldn't get over how tiny the diaper was!

Btw the footstool belongs to a glider that my MIL bought for us. It's more green than yellow, even if the green isn't really showing up in this photo. Red Beard and I picked it out on Amazon. I love it!
Little Man really will be here before long. My wardrobe is constantly shrinking because my stomach is constantly growing. I'm working hard to make sure that's the only part of me that's growing, too. Not easy!

Some days I am just plain exhausted trying to keep up with everything. Normal tasks, plus baby registries, people hounding me about having a baby shower (which I don't want, but that's another long story), making sure we have enough storage in our 1 bedroom apartment for baby stuff,  doctor appointments, modifying clothes so I can still wear them, etc. etc.

You know how it goes. It's exciting, but there is a lot that has to get done.

And lately, I've been even more tired out by people's commentary about parenthood. It usually comes in conversational form like this:
To me: "How is mommy feeling?"
Me: "Pretty tired today. But good overall."
To me: {chuckle} "Better get used to being tired! You're going to be tired to rest of your life!"
I hear it constantly. And it drives me absolutely bonkers.

This is hardly encouraging to a new mother. Why can't I just answer you honestly about how I'm feeling without this "joke"/"encouragement"? Instead, I feel forced to tell you "I'm fine" even if I'm not so I don't have to hear your comments. And maybe I'm tired because I had a busy weekend. Or maybe I'm tired because I didn't get much sleep.

Truly, though, there are many statements, like the "get used to being tired" comment (proceeded/ followed by a condescending chuckle), that I could do without hearing for the rest of my life.
Other Examples:
"Say good-bye to showers."
"Say good-bye to movie theaters."
"Say good-bye to dates."
"Say good-bye to privacy."
"Say good-bye to freedom."
Part of me wants to ask these people why on earth they became parents if they weren't willing to give up on or compromise on some of these things.
  • Is it that difficult to take a shower in the evening when your husband is home and can watch the baby?
  • Is going to the movie theater really that big of a priority? Get a life! 
  • Is it really a giant inconvenience to have to take your child with you to a restaraunt, especially when he or she is still in a car-seat and will probably sleep through it?
  • Is freedom really that important to you that you have to make your kid sound like (or feel like) a ball and chain?

One thing I truly appreciate about my mom is the fact that she never made us feel like we were keeping her from something. She made ridiculous sacrifices (sometimes probably more than necessary), but she did not guilt us about that ever. She never got together with other moms to complain about how hard it was to raise kids.

We always knew we were wanted. She did not make us feel like a burden.

I have no doubt that it will be a major adjustment once Little Man is finally here, especially the first few weeks. But even more so, I have no doubt that it will be completely worth every minute. I can't wait to take Little Man to the beach this summer, camping this fall, watch him discover the world, watch what God's going to do with his precious little life, etc.

The part about these comments that aggravates me the most is that they come primarily from Christians. Wouldn't it be better to say something like this to a new expectant mother...

"Some days will be really difficult, but remember to ask for God's help and guidance. Let Him carry you through the difficult days."

Do we not believe that God's power can and will get us through hard times (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)? Children are a precious, precious gift from God (Psalms 127:3, John 16:21), not a ball and chain.

In moments like this, I think about families like the Duggars. If any parents had "reason" to complain about children being a burden, it's the Duggars. 19 kids is a lot. But you know what is absent in their books and shows? A complaining spirit. And that speaks volumes about what God can carry us through.

A Few Take-Away Points: 

  • Think before you speak. If you're given to complaining or griping or, well, not encouraging someone, keep it to yourself. 
  • If you have a complaining spirit, pray about it because that is not a Christ-honoring mind-set. 
  • If you feel compelled to complain in order to have camaraderie with someone, don't hang around that person (or group). 
  • Pray for the complainers around you (yes, that's the step I need to take).

I'm not the girl who wants to get together with friends to gripe about my husband and kid. I'd rather sit at home with my husband and kid and enjoy them, in spite of difficult days.

Ladies (and gents), it's time we started truly encouraging each other instead of using each other as sounding boards for our complaints. We need to take our burdens to the place they actually belong... the foot of the cross.

Until next time, Mrs. D.

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