Do you feed your child organic unicorn poop as part of your parenting style? No? That’s okay, it doesn’t matter anyways. Here is why!
This is my late Father’s Day post for my husband (and for others who get tired of father’s being told they are fit to parent).
It’s 10:25 and we are just walking out of the house. The options are run to church, and I mean run down the road since it’s about a half mile away, or try and load the kids in and drive there. Which one will take more time? Probably getting all four kids in and buckled. But I am rather pregnant to be running down the road to get there in five minutes.
I don’t know how we are late again. The past few weeks we had done amazingly well; we left early enough to get in some fellowship as we brought Monkey and Bug to the nursery. Yet, here we are again, running late. Part of me wants to crawl back into my house and go back to bed – after all, there were sick kids this past week and I am in my third trimester…no one would judge me for that.
But I don’t. I push on. We get there five minutes late, me sneaking in the back after an opening prayer and dropping the two littler children off. I sit down and settle in for worship.
I would be lying if I didn’t tell you parenting took a huge toll on my faith. We grew from just being us, a husband and wife, to having five kids in less than a year thanks to foster care. My time went from being spent leisurely; I could put hours into worshiping and fellowship to suddenly being a huge schedule filled with appointments, extra curriculars, and late nights nursing. I was always early and left last for the party. I volunteered for everything. And I couldn’t do that anymore. The impact was sudden and intense and many days, I missed the positives of it.
But parenting also impacted my faith in such wonderful ways.
It strengthened my trust in God’s will. I sat in a court room, swearing with my right hand up, and testified to adopt my foster children, well aware there was no way to know what God’s plan for their life or mine was yet. I spent nights agonizing over what would happen-would we be their forever family? Would we be a blip in their lives? My faith grew astronomically during that time frame, as I whispered to myself day after day, “Your Will Be Done.”
Parenting strengthened my faith in His Sovereignty . I am a complete control freak. Parenting is not an area where you have control. I was not in control with foster care; I never would be. I was not in control with pregnancy nor was I in control with my son’s birth. I am not in control of my kid’s bio parents choices. I’m not even in control when it comes to getting my kids to church on time! It’s been a constant reminder in God’s control and to bow down to Him being in charge of every area of this world.
And lastly, parenting impacted my faith by showing me the closest worldly show of what God’s love truly means. This is totally cliché, but that is okay with me. Becoming a mother showed me what undeniable and unrelenting love of Jesus. Becoming an adoptive mother reminded me that we are all adopted by God into His family – and like I love all my children equally, no matter their failures or mess ups, God loved me.
My faith has grown by so much since I became a parent. The impact parenting had on my relationship with God is indescribable and I am so thankful for it.
Even on those days we are ten minutes late for church and I forget to put lipstick on.
Lauren is a young Christian mother to 8 children. She is passionate about her children (foster and biological <3 ) and her faith. You can read more about her at her website: www.bellowintheberkshires.com!
While I was pregnant with Bubba, there were a few things I heard with regularity. Among the snoopy questions, snide remarks, and congratulations on my pregnancy, one phrase stood out: “Trust birth.”
“Trust birth” was the mantra of all the pregnant women around me. Every time I hear it, I get an interesting picture in my mind. I envision pregnant ladies sitting in a circle and holding hands while repeating “Trust birth” as they get henna tattoos of trees drawn on their bellies. Of course, there is also a copy of Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth sitting in the middle surrounded by softly flickering candles.
I always wondered what they meant by “trust birth”. When I pressed for an explanation, I usually heard things like “Your body knows what it is doing, don’t let doctors intervene!” and, “Birth is safe, your body will do exactly what it’s supposed to when it is the right time.”
“Sure,” I said, “that sounds nice.”
I should’ve been fine, after all, Bubba was my first pregnancy and I had no reason to worry. I watched as women were reassured that their baby would turn after being breach, maybe even during labor, and that they had nothing to worry about…Right before they didn’t and the mamas had to have emergency c-sections. Countless other scenarios came and went, all ending with me asking myself what happened to their “trust birth” experience. I observed these devastated mamas as they mourned the loss of their easy, “natural” birth.
Although I was skeptical of this mantra from the start, each new story filled me with more doubt. Still, I told myself that these ladies must be the minority, that Bubba and I would have no problems. I tried to find something that they must have done wrong during their pregnancy to attribute their outcome to. That seemed to be what everyone else did, and they always seemed to find a reason as to why these things happened.
Maybe they didn’t try enough things to flip their baby, or maybe they didn’t use enough essential oils, or perhaps their undesired birth experience merely came from their lack of trust in their body’s ability to give birth. Whatever the reason, I was sure we would be fine.
And then we weren’t. Turns out, my body didn’t know what it was doing, besides not cooperating. It was VERY good at that. There was nothing safe about me laboring unsupervised and without intervention. My baby and I were in danger, and trusting my body, or birth, was about the worst thing I could do.
I can hear it now…
“Things would’ve been different with a midwife!”
“A doula might’ve prevented it!”
(She actually was wonderful, the situation just wasn’t preventable)
I don’t “trust birth” because my body and my ability to give birth aren’t trustworthy.
And you know what? That’s okay.
I know, I know. Revoke my crunchy card if you must, but its the truth.
This isn’t meant to be discouraging, it’s meant to be realistic. You can keep chanting “trust birth” and I’ll hope and pray you are able to. But at the same time, I’ll be supporting and encouraging those of us who haven’t been and won’t be able to “trust birth”.
While the phrase “trust birth” is meant to be empowering to pregnant women, it can have a negative effect on those who are unable to. Being open to and prepared for a variety of situations in labor may mean the difference between a stressful birth and a peaceful one. Educating yourself, no matter what kind of birth you end up with, is what is truly empowering.
New Crunchy Mom
I wrote a guest post for Anne Cohen over at arcwrites.blogspot.com and didn’t want you to miss it.
Here is a preview 🙂
“Lo and behold, our completely PG-13 thoughts were pierced through with a shrill cry of an abandoned baby. As we went to go rescue our little bundle of joy from his confining baby jail, tears were already springing from his eyes.”
You can view the full post here!
Happy Sunday! <3
New Crunchy Mom
Hi there 🙂 Just a few days ago, Bubba turned 8 months old!
I can hardly believe it! Time is flying by and he is growing so quickly. The last we knew, he was over 20 pounds. He wears different sizes depending on the brand, but is generally wearing 18 month old clothing now. Not that his clothing size matters much, he usually likes to channel his inner nudist…
This year was his first Christmas outside of the womb, so he was introduced to Christmas presents, wrapping paper and tissue paper. He loved playing with the wrapping paper and presents, but as you can see, he was a little suspicious of the tissue paper.
At 8 months, Bubba has learned to scoot, crawl, roll across the living room and stand with a little help. We are currently in the process of rearranging the living room to better accommodate his newfound abilities.
Bubba has also gotten a new car seat because he hit the height limit on his old car seat. He likes the new one significantly better than his old car seat. It allows him to sit up straighter and isn’t quiet so cramped. 🙂
A lot of things are still the same, but he’s added a few likes and dislikes this month. 🙂 Here is Bubba’s 8 month list:
- Rolling across the living room
- Getting into things he isn’t supposed to
- Trying to grab cords
- Playing with mommy and daddy
- Reading books
- Hearing daddy on the phone
- Visiting daddy at work
- Saying “Baba” and signing for milk
- Saying “Mama” and reaching to be held
- Pretending to drink water
- Pretending to eat mommy’s food
- Eating sweet potatoes and pumpkin
- Gnawing on raw, washed potatoes (with supervision).
- Playing with his ring stacking toy
- Playing with his shadow
- Playing with his new projector aquarium toy
- Playing peek-a-boo
- Ripping magazines
- Playing patty-cake while nursing
- Playing with hangers (with close supervision)
- Attempting to pull out electrical babyproof plugs (until mommy says no)
- Pulling mommy’s hair
- Taking baths with mommy
- Pretending to be a merman in the bathtub
- Being worn in one of our baby carriers (Especially the new Mei Tai we got for Christmas 😀 )
- Playing with his new baby friend
- Tongue and lip stretches after his revision
- Being told he can’t play with or eat cords (this is definitely new…)
- Being told he can’t eat a dirty diaper
- Being sprayed in the face with milk after unlatching
- Not being allowed to stick his hands in his poop
- Not being allowed to bite
- Taking naps and going to bed
- Diaper changes
- Scary people
- Car rides without daddy
- Poking himself in the eye with his finger (yes, this is a common occurrence)
- Mommy and daddy being upset with him
- Hats (Obviously they are torture devices, and why would he want to wear that?!)
- And worst of all…having his boogers taken away
What was your baby like at 8 months old? 🙂
New Crunchy Mom
Hi there! 🙂
Bubba turned 7 months old a few days ago. I can’t believe my baby is getting so big! 🙁
To celebrate, New Crunchy Dad and I took him to a children’s museum. 🙂
He got to meet this other baby who looked just like him! Admittedly, he was unsure about this…
He also got to be a weather man for a day!
His hand is missing because my wonderful husband, New Crunchy Daddy, put a blue sock on it as an experiment. As luck would have it, the color blue confused the poor machine and caused most of Bubba to disappear! While this was fun for us, Bubba was pretty ambivalent about this part of the museum.
We didn’t spend much time in the nursing room, but it very snazzy. I think I was the most excited about this discovery though.
We had a lot of fun celebrating Bubba’s 7 month old “birthday”.
At 7 months old he dislikes
- Being told no.
- When mommy is upset with him.
- Being tired.
- Wearing clothing.
- His toys being on the other side of the room because he tossed them there.
- When mommy and daddy won’t share water or food.
- His carseat.
- Having paper taken away.
- Diaper changes.
- Solids (especially pumpkin and sweet potato).
- Water bottles
- High-fiving (especially while nursing).
- Making funny faces.
- Showers with daddy.
- Being silly.
- Being worn in our baby carriers.
- Being told he is stinky.
- Making funny dinosaur noises.
- Stealing receipts.
- Saying “Mama” and “Baba” at random times.
- Pulling his own hair.
- Grinding his teeth.
Bubba now has 6 teeth in various stages of erupting. He can sit up on his own now and gets around by rolling and scooting. He is also quite proud of himself as he has learned to pull his toes up to his mouth and suck them.
Silly Bubba. :p
What milestones did your baby hit at 7 months?
New Crunchy Mom
I’ll be honest, I wonder why you don’t.
Most of my friends breastfeed, so we sit around while nursing our babies and commiserate about teeth marks and pumping. This is our way of bonding.
I don’t know how to do that with you.
Without knowing why you use formula, it’s hard for me to approach the situation. I would just avoid it completely, but it inevitably comes up.
If you wanted to breastfed and couldn’t, I’m sorry. I know using formula isn’t always a choice. I mourn your loss of that choice with you.
If you had the choice and chose formula, or formula and breast milk, I know that must have been the right choice for you and your baby.
I don’t talk about it when we are in person though, because I don’t want to offend you. I don’t want to feel compelled to spew off a list of reasons why breastfeeding can be hard sometimes. Even when it is hard, it is what I have chosen. I don’t want to feel like I should apologize for that.
I don’t know what to say to you when the topic comes up in conversation. I’m not going to say, “It’s okay.” because you don’t need my validation for how you parent and care for your child. I don’t see myself as a judge over other mothers. I don’t want you to think I’m curious because I want to know if your reasons are “good enough”.
I just want to be friends and to support you in your parenting endeavors. Breastfeeding is a significant part of my identity as a mother, but I don’t expect everyone to do it.
I don’t want to cause you pain or say the wrong thing, so I try not to say anything at all.
Dear Formula Mom:
How do we get past the wall between us? I want to be friends and I want to support you.
New Crunchy Mom
It has been quite busy lately and Bubba is going through some difficult times…
This was Bubba’s response to me having to put him down, after HOURS of holding him, to use the bathroom.
I would’ve just worn him, but it’s incredibly difficult to use the bathroom with a 19 pound wiggly baby boy strapped into a K’tan. Plus he likes toilet paper, and he would’ve unrolled the whole thing.
Those tears are real, folks.
They appear every time I put him down, or look at anything else but him.
When I hold him, all he wants to do is wiggle, or bite, or pull all of my hair out.
You could say we have a strained relationship at the moment.
This whole thing usually begins when Daddy leaves in the morning. It goes something like this…
New Crunchy Daddy : “Okay Bubba, I love you! I’m going to go to work now. You be good for Mommy.”
New Crunchy Mommy: “Please don’t leave me here with him!”
New Crunchy Daddy: “I love you both, goodbyeeeeee!”
Bubba: *face crumbles*
New Crunchy Mommy: “No, it’s okay. I love you. Daddy will be back soon.”
Bubba: *hysterical crying*
Repeated that process, everyday for at least two weeks, with the crying lasting for hours.
This is our current situation when New Crunchy Daddy leaves every morning, until nap-time anyway.
If you would like to send chocolate and non-alcoholic beverages, I would be extremely appreciative.
New Crunchy Mom
Hey there 🙂
Bubba and I were supposed to go to a wedding that starts in about 3 minutes.
I don’t know if it’s teething, tiredness or tummy ache, but this child cried for an hour straight. I hope he’s happier when he wakes up! :O
It’s been a bit rough lately. He’s acting up when New Crunchy Daddy has to go to work and he’s learned to pinch, hit and kick.
Not maliciously, yet, thank goodness. But this baby has some claws!
We’ve been trying to redirect him, and at first it was working.
He’d pinch, or hit, and we’d pry his nails out of our flesh and tell him, “No, nice hands.”
The novelty wore off and he’s back to it. I tried fake crying today. Any guess as to what Bubba did?
Yeah, he laughed. Guess I need a new plan…
Every time I get overwhelmed or angry or frustrated I just remind myself that he doesn’t have the same understanding of the world that I do, and crying is his only form of communication.
The best way I’ve found to calm down during his more intense moments is reminding myself to treat him the way I wanted to be treated as a child: with understanding, patience, and an overabundance of unconditional love. <3
How do you keep calm during your child’s crisis?
New Crunchy Mom