Hey there, mama.
You look good, you do. I know — you’re dead tired. Don’t worry, that goes away and eventually you will sleep through the night again. I’m not really sure when since, eleven years later, you still have kids wandering in and out of your room all night like it’s a bus depot, but People Say it gets better. Someday.
In about an hour, you’re taking this baby and heading home from the hospital and the first thing I want to tell you is — that is going to be the worst car ride of your life. Not because anything goes wrong, but because you have this tiny new person in the car with you and although it’s 11AM, you’re certain everyone on the road is drunk and high and for the first time in months it’s raining in Southern California and by the time you get home, you will go inside and vow your precious baby will never leave it again ever. Then you will take a nap. This is the solution to a lot of problems — usually someone needs a nap.
One of the smartest decisions you’re going to make in the first few days of parenthood will be to leave the room when Chris changes his first diaper. He’s going to do fine. You know he’ll do fine. And yet, you’re gonna want to hover and make small corrections and you have 25 years of child-rearing ahead of you and if you micromanage diaper-changing you’re going to exhaust yourself before the end of this thing. (Er. About that. You’re not exactly done having kids. You’re kind of having three more, but it’s all good. Gonna get noisy up in here, though.)
Now, for some advice that sounds depressing but is oddly freeing. You’re never getting rid of the mom-pooch. It gets better but you’re never really the same as before. On the plus side, you do take up running — eventually finishing half and full marathons (which is when you accept the pooch. Because if it’s still there after running a freaking marathon, it’s time to accept it as a Force of Nature and expend our energies elsewhere. Like on camouflaging it.)
This parenting thing is going to alter you, you know. You won’t watch crime dramas involving child abuse or abduction. You won’t go see movies where kids are threatened. You’ll be the only one of your friends who won’t read “The Shack.”
You’ll sponsor a few more children in poverty, because if you’d give your last breath to feed your own kids, it only makes sense that the mamas of these children feel the same way.
You’ll find yourself sitting alone in your car one December, sobbing for a class of kindergartners, brutally murdered in a place called Sandy Hook. And for their parents who somehow have to figure out how to live afterward.
You’re going to pray, every time you send them out the door to a place you can’t be, and you’re going to give them into the care of Someone Else, and trust Him to look after them because if you don’t, you’ll never let anyone out of the house again.
One more thing:
In about two years, there’s going to be A Diaper Incident. The horror of it will defy description. It will involve three trash cans and a janitor with an industrial-sized mop and bucket and before it is over, it will make a grown man cry. Here’s what I have to say to you: Dummy, don’t forget the diaper bag! But you will, and everyone will survive, and after that event, nothing can touch you.
Congratulations, mama. You got this.
Thank you for reading Peace but Not Quiet. I’d love it if you’d take a minute to like me on facebook and follow me on twitter!