Monday, September 10, 2012

Choose to have a baby every day

Um, no, this isn't about contraception or the lack of it.

I was just thinking the other day about that saying that goes, "You need to choose to say 'I do' everyday." It's supposed to remind us that staying in love in marriage requires an ongoing commitment to love the other person.  Good point.  Must remember that.

But I wasn't actually thinking about marriage at all.  I was thinking about my children.  At the start of this year, I was feeling a bit gloomy about the whole kid-thing.  There were some challenging behaviours running amok and I was tired.  After many years of parenting small children, I'm a bit over the playdough and the singing and the constant negotiations over the nonnegotiable (yes, you do have to brush your teeth every day).  With only one child still at home during school hours, I can see the end of the little years but I'm not quite there yet.  And I know I'll cry buckets when I get there but a few months ago I was on the verge of making up a wall chart and crossing off the days until the house was my own from 8 till 3.

Stop being shocked.  I do still love them.

As I was busy grumbling about all of this, I finally remembered, somewhere in the distant past (B.C. - before children) I'd actually chosen to take this particular path.  I was blessed that I could even have kids.  I was also blessed that I was able to make the choice to stay home with them during the preschool years.  And actually, at the time, I was thrilled to make that choice.  We'd planned for it and saved for it.  I was really excited to leave work and begin raising my first baby.

Where did that go?  When did I lose the joy of that?  How did I forget that this isn't some kind of cross I've been called to bear but a joy and privilege?

It's then that I thought of that old marriage line.  No love stays fresh forever if you don't feed it and care for it.  I'm pretty sure that applies to mothers too.  Every day is a new opportunity to love my small people - actually many, many opportunities. So I'm going to work on saying "I do" to my kiddos every day.  Even at 4.30pm. Because I want to be glad to have them all over again.

And, don't worry.  I'm not having some major mothering-crisis which might require you to rush over and bring chocolate.  I'm okay really - just was having a gloomy patch.  But bring the chocolate anyway.

6 comments:

Petrina said...

Thanks Deb, this is so true.

Alice said...

Oh gosh. THANK YOU. This has encouraged and helped me so much. Thank you for being honest and saying how I've been feeling.

Deb said...

Thanks, Petrina.

Deb said...

Thanks for the encouraging words.

Susie said...

Deb I totally understand the many rugged features of 4.30 in the afternoon with small and large people! In opening your life up a little here you have given us all permission to say it is hard with kids - but I do choose you and I choose love. S x

Tasmanian said...

In my house, I often recite the words "serving my family with a cheerful heart" under my breath many times a day. I also remind myself of how it felt when I was told by an oncologist that I would never have any children... and now I complain about all three of them being noisy and messy?! Every time your TGIF post rolls around, I feel like thanking God for my children. I just need to do that when I am exasperated too.