Having a Baby is a Rite of Passage

I had to pull this tell-it-like-it-is passage out of Darlene’s comment on the previous post:

When are we going to stop making parenting “all about me”? What I tell my childbirth classes is, “Having a baby is a right of passage in which you learn that life is not about you anymore.” That always gets a gasp from my couples, but I figure it’s better to get that fact out in the open before the baby is born so they can start getting used to it. I also tell them that their life will now be MORE, and BETTER, and RICHER, and MORE MEANINGFUL. Years from now they will wonder what they thought their life WAS about before they had children. With 5 children, I had many, many sleepless nights, but I can’t remember a single one of them. In the larger scheme of things, they were insignificant. What WAS significant is that I spent countless nights tending to my children’s needs, and today my adult children are very fine people who all have a sincerely close and trusting relationship with me, their mother.

I always appreciated my mentors who encouraged me to surrender to the process of parenting, in all its self-giving. This is not to say there’s never a place for respite. But we need voices who encourage and coach us during the challenging times to “dig deep.”

Mother Teresa said: “I don’t do big things. I do small things with big love.” I always thought that was a wonderful thought for mothers to carry in their heads. We think if only we didn’t have these kids, what great things we could do in the world. But you are doing great things in your own 4 walls, you ARE being the hands and feet of Jesus in your own family.

Keep up the good work!

The image above is a detail from “African Mother and Child”, a print from an original work by Barb Kilby (Sweetb Studio).

About katiekind

Enjoying the second half of life. I have three sons who are the apples of my eye and a wonderful husband of 35 years--those are the important things. Long ago, out of the blue, I became a Christian. It was something I never planned on, but what joy it has been. I do website development and I like to read and garden and paint and I love beauty and truth.
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1 Response to Having a Baby is a Rite of Passage

  1. Shanna says:

    Reading this made me realize how hard it is doing this parenting thing alone with no mentor in which I feel close enough to share much of anything. My mother was suppose to be my mentor, but she’s more of a critical eye who either things I’m too harsh or not harsh enough–her moods shifting quicker than shifting sand (and she’s been post-menopausal for almost a decade–so it’s not menopause). One minute she accepts my more “liberal” (her words which fits as I don’t spank which means I must not discipline) leanings and other times, not so much. Two of my three sisters don’t have children and the one that does (pregnant w/her second and final child) is just like my mother. It is very lonely to be from such a large group of woman and yet so alone.

    So, I flounder in my parenting at times–especially as parenting in an older adoption is a whole sea unto itself…careful steps to not further hurt a hurting child–yet set healthy boundaries that aren’t alway pleasant…a qaundry at times.

    This inspires me to remember what I need to be for my children as they grow– an available, open, non-judging–mentor who listens, loves and gives back….because it is what I wished I had when I was in there shoes years before…

    Parenting isn’t about me….it’s about the community in which we bond and connect to make it through this life in love and in Christ–that is what I want to be a part of and pray daily for.

    Thank you for your post.

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