thinking a lot about the last time i held a newborn in my arms. thinking about things that were good, and things i wish i would’ve done differently. thinking about the uniqueness of each family — of all the personalities and preferences living under one roof and asked to get along; of the demands life asks of each father, mother, child, and how they are different; of how much this verse has impacted my thoughts on mothering, and how i want to delight to give my body, time, and life to my children (and you, too, hubby! — you’re right in the middle of this mix).
i stumbled upon this post today and was remembering those early days of Jones’s life. i strongly dislike how sharing my thoughts and experiences in the area of newborn parenting makes me feel as if i am choosing a side. so let me say that i have come to a solid and firm belief that all families and their situations, personalities, pasts, likes and dislikes are different, which necessarily demands that all families be different. as christians, our theology and beliefs should be the same, centered on the Word of God and the person of Jesus, but our implementation of beliefs and doctrines can and should be various — we are one body with many parts, and are called to be unified, even in our differences. i have no desire to make others feel unincluded, ostracized, or wrong in their choices. this is my heart, please know it!
this part of the post in particular struck me as i think about Jones’s first months and the first months of this next little guy:
I can write this now as a Not Quite Shiny Mama, a mama who looks back on those days with such regret. Not the aching, desperate kind of regret that follows me around all day. Nah. Just the resigned regret of knowing I missed out on such sweetness in D’s earliest days. I missed out on having her sleep contently on my chest (as AJ is doing at this very moment). I missed nuzzling and snuggling her off to sleep. I missed experiencing the unforced rhythms of life with a newborn because I was so angry that she wouldn’t sleep when she was “supposed to”. I couldn’t allow myself the joy of getting to know her amazing and vibrant personality because I was too busy fretting over how I was failing her. If only I had possessed a crystal ball in those days . . . some manner of seeing into the future and being able to be assured that yes, D would eventually be able to go to sleep without being rocked for even a minute. That, indeed, she would sleep through the night. It didn’t happen until she was around two, but it happened. And it’s wonderful. And she’s wonderful. And I did not fail her.
the post is good, gentle, and full of wisdom. here’s a link to a few of my own posts on the subject, written more than a year ago. if you have any thoughts to add, please do, with freedom and with grace. we are all learning how to stumble through this mothering minefield! encouragement is always needed.