If you have more than two children. You know the feeling. Walking through a grocery store and someone counts out loud to themselves your kids and then gasps. "Four?!" The higher the number, the more shocked they are.
It seems that the more children you have, the more people feel the need to let you know that they're a burden. That somehow there is something wrong with you for wanting so many children. Comments about birth control and other intensely personal questions that only a doctor should be asking get thrown around like candy, as if having opened your womb more than twice somehow means you deserve less privacy.
So I guess this is my answer to the gasps, to the sidelong glances, to the rude and often personal questions.
Yes. I'm busy. And my hands are full. But you look at them and see burdens and I look at them and see something more. I see legacy. I see potential.
My children are each perfect little individuals. You see my nine year old laughing and chasing around his brother and sisters. I see a little boy who is growing into the man who will one day be a great dad to my grandbabies. You see my daughter throwing a fit and me talking to her about attitude for the seventh time. I see the shadows of a young woman who will push those around her to insanity fighting for the cause of the Christ she already shows a thirst and passion for. You see my two year old dumping out all the toys in nursery. Again. I see a curious drive that pushes him to find everything new and how it works that will serve him well in the hands on fields he's already showing a preference for. You see my nine month old daughter smiling at the 30th person to hold her today. I see a budding 'people person' who charms those around her with her generous and forgiving spirit.
My children are little bits of the future. Little blessings. Yes. I'm busy. So busy. And so so tired. But they won't be this size forever. One day they will show their glorious potential. One day their lives will touch others, and I hope the message that I impart on them is not one of burden. But one of potential.
I want my children, and those who ask about why I have them to understand that I chose that potential. I chose that potential over riches or fame, over sleep filled nights, and over clear schedules to do as I wish. Because just maybe. My childrens potential is worth more than my comfort.
Tuesday, 7 April 2015
Okay ladies. Here goes.
My name is Natasha... and I am NOT perfect.
There. I said it.
I don't know about you, but I struggle all the time with realism. I mean, it's silly because all you have to do is see the baby drool or puke or food on my clothes and know that my life is not perfect, but somehow... I always want to come off that way. I want you to think my home is always clean and my kids are always happy, and that I never struggle with anger, and that I read my Bible three times a day and listen to sermons in all my spare time.
Ooooooh how far from the truth this is! Here's the reality ladies!
I struggle to read my Bible on a daily basis. I yell at my kids at least twice a day and have to repent every single time. It's 4 PM on tuesday... and I'm still in my pajamas doing the dishes. There is a patch of I do not know what underneath my rocking recliner in the living room I have been avoiding scrubbing off my floor for like... a week. Ok, maybe like two weeks. Just because I have no idea WHAT it is.
I'm nine months pregnant, and I have all the exhaustion, and strain, and hurt from that you would imagine comes with having two under three and being the size of a small whale.
And sometimes... a resent my children. And in those moments, I'm so thankful for the words of the moms of the world who say "It's hard, but they are a blessing! God says they are a blessing! We're here for you!"
Why is this so hard to admit? Why do humans, especially women and most especially moms, feel that we need to hide the nitty gritty of our lives?
I think it has to with pride. So much pride.
Admitting I suck at my job sometimes... means being humble. Means opening up my heart to the other women in my life and saying honestly "I'm struggling and I suck at this right now, and I need help. Please help me."
Ladies! There is a reason that Paul tells the older women to teach the younger women to love their husbands and children and to keep a house! Because it's hard and it doesn't come naturally!
So here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to open myself up. As soon as I'm done this post I'm going to go call a friend, and ask her if she has some time in the next week to come over and help me clean my house while we chat. And that's going to mean admitting I'm struggling to get it done myself.
I challenge you do the same. If you are struggling, or just need someone to talk to... call someone. ANYONE. Reach out for help and admit... you're not perfect and you need help.
Be humble, be real... and find that Jesus in those women will say "Then let me help."
Monday, 20 October 2014
Well, back to blogging.
I'm taking on a challenge. Lately I have found that on days when I purpose in my heart to be thankful, I am happier(Go Figure!). So I am doing a challenge. 1000 days of thankfulness. Everyday I will make a post. It might be long, it might not. But it will include something I am thankful about. At the same time I do this post, I will read my Bible and pray.
So! Day 1:
I'm thankful for babies falling asleep in my arms.
Friday, 1 August 2014
My husband and I took took our kids to a park this weekend, along with his entire family. Brother in law, his girlfriend, sister in law, and her four kids, and my mother in law. We were sitting there watching the kids play on the structure when suddenly someone says "Do you think maybe that's to dangerous for them?"
It was one of those spinny seats. You know those ones that throw your center of gravity way off? The ones that spin and spin and spin until you wanna puke and then someone stops you and you can't stand up straight? Yeah. One of those.
The kids were having a blast, but suddenly this contraption became something we had to evaluate was good for them or not. I finally just said, "Cause we didn't do worse!" Suddenly the entire group BURST out laughing. Because we all know we did! Our play structures were full of tire bridges, splintering wood, rusty zip lines, merry go rounds, teeter-totters, and that one slide that looked like it was going to topple at any time. There was never the question of "Is that as safe as it possibly can be?"
I think this generation puts to much credit in 'safe'. Our kids can't climb trees, because they might fall down and hurt themselves. We wash everything that comes in contact with the ground in case it's covered in 'germs'. Our kids are bubble wrapped from their first moments, taught to run to authority in case of fights, to never do anything that might get them hurt, and if they must do these things, to wear all the protective gear they can.
When we were kids, it wasn't like that. I totally remember eating dirt. I remember getting so dirty the bottom of the tub was covered in grime when I took my mandatory bath. I remember climbing trees and play structures and jumping off them with no one there to catch me. I remember telling my mom where I'd be in the morning, popping in every now and then to tell her where I'd been, and coming back for lunch and dinner and telling her all the things I'd done. I remember scrapping my knee and leg up riding my bike without a helmet four blocks from my house, and limping home and my mom taking care of it, cause good moms do that. I remember fighting with the kids in my neighborhood, sometimes to the point of fist fights, and the moms all sitting back and saying "Work it out yourselves!"
It taught me how to being adventurous. It taught me how to know my limits, and push past them. It taught me responsibility. It taught me to get along with others, even if I didn't want to. It taught me to suck it up and learn to live a bit on my own.
Lately I've made a point of letting my children go more. Miah puts a stick in his mouth? I don't jump to take it away. He eats a little grass? Won't hurt him. He loves to play in the grass, and it's teaching him that he doesn't need to always be with me to have fun, and it's teaching him about bugs and textures and fun. Sam climbs a tree? Sweet, go for it. Wants to ride a bike without a helmet? Sure, why not. Watch when you're crossing the street. Elsie wants to run around in the big 2 acres of fenced in open field behind our church? Go girl! Go!
You want to know what I've noticed? My kids are happier. They run more, jump more, get more dirty. They laugh more, giggle more, and are more fun to be around. They are always telling me about the cool things they've done, and I'm always thrilled to hear it. No longer do I have children who are scared of their own shadow. Rather, I have children who face challenges and trials head on. That tree can be climbed, and that counter is not to high to get to. My children have suddenly become problem solvers.
Sure. Their life is a little more 'on the edge' than most children in this generation. Miah puts things in his mouth that have been on the floor. Elsie regularly chews the handle of carts just to watch people give her grossed out looks(My mom included XD). Sam climbs trees and does flips on our trampoline.
But they are happy.
I'll take that.
Tuesday, 27 May 2014
It's that moment, that moment you've been waiting 10 months for. You've been through 10 hours of labour, and finally he's here, your baby. Your hands reach out when they hand him to you, and you look down and see...
A screaming, red, raisin. Where was the cute little baby you'd been promised? This wasn't him, this couldn't be him. This little thing is a stranger. And then the little raisin wants to nurse and it hurts and he's up every 2 hours and you just want to sleep. You think of your 1 year old back home who you love so much, and then the guilt sets in. Why don't you love this baby like you love that one?
This was me six months ago. I remember my mom coming down and asking me how I was doing a couple days after Jeremiah was born, and I broke down. Because I didn't love this baby. I mean sure, I was gonna keep him alive, and we were nursing, and I didn't want anything bad to happen to him... but I didn't love him either. He was a stranger, and a mean one at that!
I felt so bad.
And you know what my mom said to me? "Yeah. Sometimes it happens like that. You gotta get to know them first. It'll come, but for now, I'm sorry."
Just like that. Oh right, that. No accusations of child abuse, no hatred, no whispered rumours about how I'm a terrible mom. Just a quiet understanding of how hard it is.
Sometimes bonding doesn't happen in that moment. Sometimes that perfect moment, isn't so perfect.
Six months later, I can now say that I adore Jeremiah. I love his perfect little smiles, I love his awesome little giggles. I love how he prefers me to his dad. (Score one for mom!)
But I didn't then. With Elsie I had that moment. That moment where you first see them and you just love them. I didn't with Miah, and apparently, I'm not the only one.
Turns out, lots of moms have this issue. Lots of moms look at their children for the first couple weeks/months and think "Who the heck are you and why won't you sleep and why do you want to nurse again, don't you know my nipples hurt?" Turns out, it's normal too.
To the new mom who is googling this topic. IT IS NORMAL.
To the grandma who never struggled and is trying to understand her daughter: IT IS NORMAL.
To the friend who wants to assure her new mom friend: IT IS NORMAL.
Sometimes you gotta get to know them first. Sometimes... sometimes you have to be the adult in the relationship and take care of that baby even when somewhere deep in your heart, you're angry and resentful and you're sleep deprived and you just want to let him cry for a bit.
Moms, just keep holding that baby. Keep feeding him, keep getting up and rocking him. One day you will look at him and think "I love you." And you will mean it. Someday you'll look at that little baby and he won't be a stranger anymore. Someday he'll look at you and your heart will melt. I can't promise it will be today, I can't promise it'll be tomorrow. But it'll come. And maybe it won't BE that shiny moment that you're told to expect. Maybe it'll be that one day you wake up and you're happy to see him. And that's good too.
Moms, IT'S NORMAL. Needing to get to know your child is normal.
Do me a favour? Call someone, tell them you need help.
You don't have to do any of this alone. No one does. Whether you are struggling to bond, or had that blissful moment of bonding, or you are struggling with just getting up to care for your child... you are NOT alone. There are thousands of moms just like you out there, struggling to bond too, and there are those who have been there before, whose hearts break for you. Who are praying for you, the mom who is reading this post in a panic because she can't stand to hold this screaming ball of sleeplessness anymore.
Hold on. Someday IS coming.
I'm praying for you.
Now, there is a caution here. If you find yourself so upset you can't care for your baby, or you think you might hurt your baby, get help. Call your mom, your dad, your best friend, your OB or Midwife, call a help line, get someone to come over. Go to someone you trust and tell them you need help. Tell them what you are thinking and they can help you get help. Please.