I know your heart aches as you look at that stick with only a single line on it. And the one that clearly reads, “Not Pregnant.” I know you are yearning for a baby to fill your belly, and then your life. I know it feels like it will never happen.
But savor this time of carefree spontaneity. I can tell you that there are times you will long for these days.
Once that baby arrives, you will be exhausted. You will be physically exhausted from the feeding and the crying and the rocking. Then as babies turn into toddlers you will be awakened for potty trips and fevers and bad dreams. Your body will ache from tiredness.
You will be emotionally exhausted from the constant demands of a tiny human being who needs you every moment he is awake. This giving of time will take a toll on your friendships, and your marriage, and your sense of self. You will be tired of not being who you used to be.
You will have curfews and limits that are far worse than those you railed against as a teen. You will now need to be home for babysitters, or will have to turn down offers for last minute fun because you have no one to watch the kids. There will be days you will wish more than anything you could just walk in the door, suggest to the husband a movie and dinner, and turn right back around and walk out together. But you can’t.
You will worry all the time. At first, you will worry about ridiculous things, like if the baby pooped today or if he is sleeping for too long. Then it will be worry about all of the milestones the books and the pediatricians shove at us – the walking, talking, vocabulary, skills, abilities. Then you will worry even more as he walks out the door to somewhere you can’t go with him. You will worry about his heart and his feelings. You will worry about friends and bullies. You will worry about him growing up too slow and especially about him growing up too fast. You will lay awake at night, asking God to help you through the reality of not being able to keep him safe, and happy, and perfect forever.
You will lose your patience with the noise, and the energy, and the schedule that accompanies kids. You will want to, and sometimes will, scream for it to be quiet. You will be unsettled by the running and wrestling and jumping that accompany children. You will be frustrated by the events and practices and games and sign ups and “nights” at school and church and teams and clubs. You will just want to stay home, and have that home be quiet and calm. You will very rarely get that.
But, in case you are thinking of turning back, you will also understand pride in a way you never before have. You will swell with pride at your child’s every new skill and accomplishment. And you will really understand pride when he does something he worked hard at, or better than he did before, or the best in the group or on the team. You will learn to take pride in this job of parenting. More pride than you take in your cuts-you-a-paycheck-every-other-week job, because this one matters more than anything else ever has. You will take in pride in the fact that most of this greatness is from them, but a little bit can be credited to you.
In the middle of the chaos and the crazy, you will find a peace you have never known. When a small head rests in that spot between your shoulder and your neck, and you feel his breathing become slow and steady and his neck grow sweaty with sleep, you will drink in that feeling because it is better than almost everything in this world. When you stare at two sleeping boys and see the peace and calm you so long for at times during the day, you will sigh a deep breath of contentment and marvel at how amazing they are. That little face with the fish lips searching for a kiss will vanquish the bad from the day and remind you how good life is.
You will love more than you knew was possible. You will sometimes feel as if you simply cannot contain all the love you have for these little people, becoming more and more them every single day. Somehow, the mix of worry and pride and sleeplessness and wildness and joy will come together into this perfect, strong, and endless love for these children.
So have patience. Enjoy the scenery around you on this journey. Because you have one hell of a ride ahead of you, and you won’t want to miss a minute of it!