Sunday, January 26

I Don't Know

Leave it to my friend Molly to write on a subject with such acuity that it a) explains exactly where I am at, and b) inspires me to write a post in response.

First, Go read her post here.

I could stop here and shout, "AMEN" and let it end at that, (ha ha) but I won't! I'll add my two cents!  

Lately I have been telling my mom and sister that the most surprising aspect of parenthood to me is how deeply I do not know. Being an only child for 6 years and then an oldest child for 30 additional years means that I always think I know, I always think I'm right, and I'm more than willing to boss you around so that you also do the right (in-my-eyes) thing.

Enter parenthood, which brings me to the place of being baffled every. day.

We're currently trying to help/guide/train Charis to go to sleep by herself without 40 minutes of rocking, bouncing, swaying, singing and butt-patting. The minute either of us put her in her crib, she wakes up. And then wails. And Wails. And Wails. She has cried for 90 minutes before. Yes, Internet, I am that horrible mother that lets her baby cry it out. (She was not poopy or hungry. And yes, I felt ripped up inside.)

And it brings up every question you have for yourself when you love someone who does not yet have life skills: Am I doing the right thing? Should I have gotten her up and patted her butt for another 40 minutes? Should I just give in and fall asleep sitting up in the rocking chair while she blissfully sleeps in my arms for 10 hours? (the answer to that one is NO.) Should I let her cry? Is she hurt? What if this time she's hurt?

And Molly defines the issue so well: If I knew, if only I were omniscient, if only I were God, then I would be calm, composed and determined.

But this is where the Lord brings me so that I am dependent on him to know. So that I am dependent on him to do the right thing where my beloved daughter is concerned.

And to know that he loves me just as much as he loves her,  as much as I love her. More.

(Ok, so Molly said all of this, and maybe a bit better. And I could have said, "AMEN!" and have been done with it. But here it is, none-the-less!)


Molly said...

It's a hard thing, this perpetual uncertainty, but since God prescribes it, it must be good for our souls. If nothing else, it's a relentless reminder that "I am God, and you are not," and since I'm constantly telling Tito, "I'm the mom and you're the child," I'm guessing I need to be out back in my place at least that often.

I'm bummed that we didn't get to hang out while you were on my turf.

Laura Ward said...

I feel like this post is so apt for my life! Even though I'm not wrestling with the not-knowing of motherhood, I'm struggling with the not-knowing of RA and I keep thinking "If I just knew it would all be ok, I'd be calm." Yet that's not how God works; He wants me to trust Him & His care for me. Thanks for the reminder of His infinite love. Praying for you with the sleep training!

Hannah said...

I wish I could "like" or "+1" each of your comments! I would say "Exactly!" to each of you!

Molly, I am bummed too...I thought about trying to figure something out, but by the time you guys were back in MT, both Charis and I had gotten sick. (which, if anyone is counting, is the second time in 2 years that I have gotten sick at the end of my Montana trip! )

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