This morning I was thinking about how kids are inconvenient. I thought that being married was inconvenient because I had to make sure my husband would be fed, his dirty laundry done, that kind of thing... but I really had no idea.
Do not get me wrong, I am so thankful for my little Levi and this new one on the way, sometimes I don't know what I would do without him in my life... hmmm, probably go to the grocery store a lot faster, run errands during nap time, probably meet friends for coffee at cute little coffee shops, take nice long showers without little hands pounding on the shower door wanting to come in... I used to shower while he took his morning nap, now I try to shower before Ben leaves so Levi will be distracted. Today I missed that window of opportunity and he pretty much cried the whole time. Some of you moms may be asking, "Why not just bring him into the shower with you?" Oh no, you don't know my son. He LOVES water. That is even more stressful for me because we don't have a lot of room in our shower and then when the water goes of he FALLS APART. So I'm standing there wet, trying to get my towel and then he's in a crouched position literally screaming in agony because the water has somehow been shut off. If it were up to Levi the hose, faucet, bath, shower, all those things would be running constantly. We have meltdowns over water activities more than any other thing in his whole life. It is remarkable. So then he's running around wet and naked and crying, dripping water on the carpet and I'm just trying to dry myself off... No, it's easier for me to just take a shower with him crying outside and then he stops when I get out. Much less stressful than trying to catch a slippery, wet 18-month old while I'm just trying to dry off myself. Yes, feel free to laugh at the thought because I am too.
What was I even talking about in the first place? Oh yeah, children, kids... inconvenience. Ask any mom who has had to pack her kid in a carseat, especially when they are screaming and arching their back, makes you loathe cars (I completely understand the safety factor here and wouldn't dare drive without Levi in one, more than anything, it just makes you not want to leave the house).
Other times I don't leave the house are during nap times. This was really frustrating when Levi was taking three naps a day. That was a challenge to do grocery shopping then. I remember just being home a lot.
Okay, that's enough complaining, I'm starting to get on my own nerves now. Sorry about that. The Bible says that children are a blessing from the Lord, that they are arrows in your quiver, I guess that means that they are an asset and a help to you. But I also suppose that means you have to sharpen them and make them straight so that they will go where they need to go. I sit here on my couch, semi exhausted from all the chatter, crying, doing, playing, fixing food... and I think, why am I doing this? I could have chosen to work and send him to daycare all day long, I wouldn't have to deal with this. I could have made it so that I would only have to interact with adults all day instead of baby talk... I guess my answer has several folds to it. Ben and I both had moms who stayed home with us. The whole way through. We decided that if we have children we want to be the main ones to raise them and teach them. Every day I'm teaching Levi not to throw his toy cars, not to hit, to say please, to obey, to not fall on the floor in a temper tantrum, I'm able to pick him up and hug him when he falls and hurts himself, I am able to take him on walks and we point out the birds and squirrels... this is why I stay home with him. I look forward to when we have our next one and I can begin to teach him that the world doesn't revolve around him and how to love his new little brother or sister.
The other reason I am realizing more and more each day is that it's not about me. It's not about what I want. It's not about convenience and me getting my way and life being simple and care-free. Levi teaches me every day that my needs can be put aside... to change a poopy diaper, to fix breakfast, to fix lunch, to put him down for a nap, to just play with him when he's lonely and longing at my feet. Really, I just want to read my book, or I just want to get the house clean, but sometimes these things get put aside so that I can mother my son.
It's hard, this whole parenting thing. It's not for the faint of heart... It takes perseverance, consistency, time, energy, sacrifice... lots of sacrifice. I'm thankful I don't have to do it alone, thankful that I have Ben. Even more, I'm thankful that I have the Lord. What would I do if I could not call on Him for help when I am confused or frustrated? What would I do if I didn't have the plumb-line of His Word to guide me? What would I do if I didn't have hope that things will be better when we reach eternity? I'm tired of living in a broken, shattered, messed up world where things get stolen or wear out? Where people hurt me and I hurt others, I'm anxious to see my Savior and tell Him face to face how much He means to me.
Levi is a blessing. Children are a blessing, a gift from God. Not an easy gift, not a convenient gift, but a good one. For sure.