Everyone faces changes in life, and with that, often comes some form of adjustment. Sometimes these are positive and refreshing, and other times they feel negative and repressive.
Me? I have an aversion to change.
Actually, I have an issue called Metathesiophobia; the fear of change!
(it is an actual word… look it up!)
So you can imagine; anytime I know a big change
is headed my way, I brace myself by reading everything
in sight that sheds light on the topic! Hey, best to be prepared!
So what was the most recent transition in my life? You guessed it! A little, wiggly bundle I call my son! He brought quite the revision to our household, but I must admit, the adjustments weren’t quite what I was expecting! The books told me one thing, but something rather different ended up happening.
So what was the one major adjustment that came with this new thing called parenthood? Was it the short nights, the crying infant, or maybe the constant feedings? Perhaps the difficulty of getting out the door with a baby and half the house in a diaper bag? Was it the loss of spontaneous excursions, quick trips to town, and last minute dates? How about constantly fighting sleep, forever changing diapers, and the never-ending laundry? Maybe it came in a form of a self-identity crisis or a struggle with post-partum depression? Was it from work piling up or from feeling so house bound? That one major adjustment… did it land in the husband/wife relationship category; with misunderstandings, frustrations, and estrangement to one another?
It was none of these.
I was blessed with a ‘good’ baby, but he was still a helpless infant. Dragging myself out of bed every two hours to nurse a crying baby was difficult, but you learn to deal with it. Having a super helpful husband made it so much easier to catch some winks in between! Breastfeeding had its adjustments, and though it took some time for visions of cows to leave my mind, I began to enjoy it! Leaving the house on time didn’t happen, but you settle into a new routine and just accept the fact that leaving on the fly usually isn’t possible. Diapers and laundry were just a fact of life that wasn’t difficult to accept, and I was able to stay on top of my house work enough to keep me feeling human! I felt more like my old self than when I had been pregnant, so the whole self-identity crisis was fairly easy to maneuver and I thank God that I didn’t struggle with depression! Perhaps the biggest thing I had feared was a marriage that would struggle, but this did not happen. Sure, we had things to work through as we settled into a new routine, but I never felt like I was suddenly married to a different person! We became a better team and now I love my husband more than ever!
No, it was not all sunshine and roses! Yes, my husband found me in tears numerous times! Being sleep-deprived is absolutely no fun, adjusting to more responsibility takes some time, but all-in-all, it wasn’t nearly as difficult as I was expecting. You cope, you learn, you find yourself, and life moves on. And who knew that newborn snuggles could be so much fun? It makes all the work completely worth it!
So then… if none of these things were too threatening, then what was it that threw me off guard? What had those articles not covered?
The day my son was born there was also a second birth... the birth of a Mother’s heart. The old heart was replaced with a much bigger, softer one that could feel things never felt before. This new heart brought with it a new perspective. The glasses I had once viewed the world through were now replaced with a new pair, and it took some time to adjust to the view. This all happened the day my little boy was placed into my arms. This new heart is my biggest adjustment.
No longer can I go on my merry way without a care in the world excepting for my own. Despite the fact that Baby is in loving hands, not for a moment can I forget. When he isn’t near me, there’s something missing in this new heart of mine. I miss him. I wonder if he misses me or if he is scared. Suddenly, it’s not as much fun to go capering around town by myself as it once was in my pre-baby lifetime. Strangely enough, I realize that I enjoy having him with me even if it slows me down and he gets grumpy in his car seat.
As I squint, trying to see through these new glasses of mine, I realize that date nights have changed. Once again, the completely carefree days are gone where it’s just the two of us and nobody else. While it still feels so good to be alone together with no one vying for our attention, there’s a small piece that’s missing that used not to be. It is strange to me, how one little fellow can add so much color to your life that leaving him behind for a few short hours can bring a touch of sadness. Oddly enough, I almost enjoy family outings more, because our son is right there, and if he does well, Nolan and I enjoy those quiet moments to reconnect, even more.
This new Mother’s heart takes some getting used to. No longer can I hear some poor child’s fate on the news without immediately thinking of my own son. At one time in my life, I could have pushed it out of my mind, but now it takes effort not to cry, because in some weird way, every other child suddenly becomes my own. This new heart is definitely an adjustment!
This heart… this mother’s heart tends to worry. In pre-baby days, worrying mothers drove me crazy, and I had vowed I wouldn’t become one. Yet this new heart made this resolution a struggle. I doubt I’ll ever fret too much about the little hurts and bruises that come with childhood… but I do worry about the wounds that I could cause in his little heart. Besides meeting his physical needs, can I meet his emotional needs? Can I be a mother that is strong and always pointing him to Jesus? What will he face in his life-time? Can I instill in him a love for God when so often I feel weak myself? These are the worries this new heart brings me.
I was not prepared for this adjustment; the incredible depth of emotion that comes with this new heart. It is filled and bubbling over with a love like no other, and yet, somehow it stretches even larger to include a myriad of other emotions. These feelings of happiness, worry, joy, anxiety, pain, healing; are all mixed together and felt with a depth I never could’ve fathomed with the old heart. Yes, it’s an adjustment.
As I hold my baby, his eyes, so full of trust, look up at me. When others are holding him, I’ll see him searching, and his gaze will fix on me and follow me when I move away. It melts my heart, and I cry out to God to give me wisdom in guiding this little soul that He has entrusted into my care.
So yes, Baby changes your life, your schedule; but nothing comes close to the adjustment brought on by the heart transplant that is performed on the day of your child’s birth. Nothing.