Thursday, June 07, 2012

Walking the Line

It's been awhile since I've blogged. Mainly due to lack of time or a belief that anyone will care, or maybe some will care too much. Maybe some will judge me...or even be happy to see that I struggle. But at the end of it all, I don't care anymore. I'm tired of Christianity being about wearing a mask and looking and acting like everything is perfect. Only celebrating and sharing the good stuff. Let's be real. I want to, so here it goes.. My life as of the last 7 months has been about how to be a mom. I had NO idea how hard being a new mom would be. And I have been ashamed at how hard it has been for me. Embarrassed, sad, disappointed...but mainly ashamed. Ashamed that I could let this seriously AMAZING baby boy be anything to me but wonderful. But it's not him you's my own struggles, my own insecurities, my own places of woundedness that are now being exposed through this new mommy hood time.

You would think that after leading and sending out hundreds of mission teams that one would be cool with not having a daily agenda and life being interrupted whenever. But then I realized, I was the one planning the trips, leading them, making the calls, setting the schedules, choosing each day's itineraries. Yes, I did submit them to God while planning them and also while on the trip, but usually each day worked out the way we planned and when it didn't, one or two days out of ten, it was fun to let God rearrange things and see Him work. But being a mom to not just a text book baby, but an extraordinary one, leads each day to letting this little guy make the calls. I could plan each day that he is going to finally sleep those predicted 2 two hour naps that he SHOULD be sleeping these days, but we are far from that goal. Or, each night for that matter could be the night that he sleeps all night, or even only wakes up once, but again, we are far from that goal.

You see, I have read probably five different books on the subject of baby's sleep and how to "make" them sleep like they should. Honestly, I should be an expert now about sleep training. I even implemented the Baby Wise technique with an infant when I was a nanny years ago and it was truly EASY. He cried 20 minutes the first day and only 5 minutes the second day and from that day forward we were on a perfect schedule. I have tried the techniques in these books probably 3 or 4 different times with my baby. I believe they do work...I did see some difference in my baby's sleep the last time I did it...but at what cost? The cost was that he would cry for an hour to an hour and a half and lost his sweet little voice. For two weeks, his gorgeous squeals of delight, were replaced with sqeaks and instead of his sweet "bababa'ing" he was instead silent. And I was unable to continue the "gentle" sleep techniques I had set out to do. My heart was broken. The lactation loving Physicians Assistant we see for his medical care even said he must have been in distress to have cried hard enough to lose his voice. Can you imagine the pain I felt hearing those words?!

I honestly don't like the idea of letting him cry so he can sleep "independently", but on the other hand, how else will he ever learn to sleep? Isn't that where all us new moms are? I am trying to walk the line between what these books say is proper and appropriate for his sleep and trying to just be led by the Holy Spirit in how He designed MY baby - who again, in MY opinion is EXTRA - ORDINARY and DESTINED for Awesomeness!!! :) So, here I am...I have no answers. Each day I struggle with my own emotions. Will it be a good day because my baby "slept" the way "they" said he should or will I have FAITH and trust to believe that GOD is in control. That He has not forsaken us. That He will finish what He started and perfect that which concerns me? Can I just relax, surrender and LET God be in control? Can I be at peace even on the days that my baby decides to fight each nap or on the mornings that he wants to wake up at the literal crack of dawn to start his day? Can I forgive myself each day when I am unable to have the heart to "teach" my son how to sleep at night or nap? Believing that I am NOT doing him a disservice? Can I walk that line of peace and that line between what God says and the books say? 

That line seems VERY narrow these days and I seem to fall off it more than balance on it. But hopefully, I am truly learning, FINALLY, how to daily, in EVERY tiny circumstance, to trying walk by the Spirit and maybe even hear His voice more clearly and louder. Maybe this is what God has for me through this time and why He gave me such an awesome child! Maybe that's the real question I should be asking..."What Lord do you have for me to learn through this time. Change ME Lord, not my child."


  1. "What Lord do you have for me to learn through this time. Change ME Lord, not my child."

    Great perspective! (though I know it's a hard one to live day-in-day-out)

  2. Thank you Amanda for your honesty and transparency. You are a talented writer and your struggle is not alone or in vain! I'm sure many moms, and all Christians, can relate to the struggle of trying to follow wise counsel while listening to the Spirit at the same time. You are setting a wonderful example for your child. May God continue to build your joy in this season of your life.

  3. You are a great Mom. Let me tell you though not getting a solid night's sleep just takes its toll on you. And you won't to fix the "problem" and get on a "schedule."

    If I've learned anything the past 13+ years of parenting, sleep is over-rated! ;) Ha, ha! Take it when it comes and rejoice on the nights no one's cries wake you up. On the night they do, thank God for that child and that He calms to your touch and voice.

    I think you are just experiencing what all of us Moms experience in one way or another. For one, it might be sleep issues. For another, feeding difficulties. For another, lack of weight gain. The list goes on and on and we as Moms feel responsible. But we don't have to take it all on ourselves (though we so often do).

    Just enjoy him even in those early mornings and how wonderful your DH is there. Mine leaves so early in the AM and I always struggle with being mad at him for not being here (which is ridiculous on my part b/c he is working when he has too and he is a great father and very involved), but anyway my point is that the struggles will always come. Sleep will seem but a distant memory someday as you are wondering how in the world to get him to get UP in the morning! ;) I have some teenagers in the house now, can you tell?!

    Love your honesty on your blog Amanda. It is so refreshing to know you are willing to share struggles and in so doing, you encourage us who read to go back to the basics: God is in control and His plan is GOOD!