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).