This active and big baby is coming my way. I can’t even stand the wait. Like, give me this baby. I want to smell it’s head. But another part of me knows what’s coming, and it’s not all firsts and sleeping on my chest and watching my kids all fall in love. There are hard days ahead and I wanted to write a short note to my future self. I imagine her up in the middle of the night, changing a diaper and then nursing again. I’ve spent a lot of time with middle-of-the-night me and while most times I’m totally fine, I have those nights where I just don’t think I can take it anymore. This letter is for those nights.
Hey Mama, I see you.
Even though it’s dark out and everyone else on the face of this ever-loving earth is deep in slumber (or at least out at da club where 3am wakefulness seems like fun) I see you.
I’m writing to you as your pregnant self. I’m carrying the child that you’re currently nursing for the 3rd time tonight and I want to remind you of a few things that you’re too exhausted to even think about right now.
- You wanted this baby with an ache deep down in your soul. You prayed for this baby over and over. It was all you could think about. As I write this, that very baby kicks inside of me. This baby that the doctors said we’d lose in the 6th week is getting stronger by the day. As you read this, you are holding an actual real life miracle. God is so gentle to your heart.
- These days are filled with millions of tiny invisible sacrifices. Look at them as investments into this little life that God has entrusted you with. You’re a bricklayer. You are underpaid, your back is killing you, and you are overworked, but the work you are doing is laying down the foundation for a beautiful construct only God could have planned. Hear that sound in your work. Spread the mortar, set the brick, wipe away the excess, repeat. Change the diaper, spread. Nurse, set. Bounce the baby on your hip, wipe. Feed the others, repeat. I know all you see is a seemingly never-ending pile of bricks, but one at a time, they will become a solid foundation because of your diligent work and the guideposts you have set in your faith and love. You’re showing your baby that they can trust you. Day or night, you are there for them. They will know it in their bones for the rest of their lives because of the seemingly invisible things you are doing today.
- This is not forever. I know everyone says this, but you’re hearing it from yourself, and you know you aren’t a liar. Girl, you are no rookie. This first year is a huge deal. It takes an eternity but as soon as it’s over, it feels like an instant. I know you don’t feel that right now. I know you feel that crazy person type of tired where you want to just cry with the baby because you are both helpless. I know. I know. BUT, that baby will sleep through the night someday. That baby will learn to sit up, or crawl, or walk. That baby will be able to eat big food with the older kids and you, sweet mama, will eat with an empty lap and both hands free to cut your own food. You don’t believe me, but I swear to you, it’s true. The hardest part of the Marathon is pretty much mile 17. So close, yet so far away. You’re there. So turn on some pump up music and just keep putting one foot in front of the other, and don’t forget to refuel with coffee and funny videos of cats being friends with puppies. (PS. you’re welcome for not buying a puppy today. I’m thinking of you. How can you ever repay me? Oh, I know, please don’t cut all your hair off or trim your bangs yourself. Then we’ll be even.)
- Speaking of marathons, I gotta be honest with you, I don’t know how you’re going to swing this whole exercise/daily devotional time thing. I’m just here to remind you that you are you, and you don’t do well when you aren’t getting some kind of workout in and getting some quiet time to read and reflect. Go on a walk, put in a video, go for a swim. If you can’t find the time then you have to ask for help, okay? Don’t be dumb. You aren’t doing anybody any good if you’re pouring from an empty cup. Also, if you are still wearing the yoga pants we wore when we were pregnant with Daniel, get up and go throw them in the garbage right now. I’m not kidding. You at least deserve new yoga pants. Actually, throw away those other ones too, those ones that have the designs on the top? Yeah, it’s time to say goodbye. You now have an excuse to go to target. Don’t bring the kids. (You’re welcome again)
- Jordan is really nice and hot and you love him. I know you don’t think that right now. All you see is his young, never fat, effortlessly good-looking body in blissful and deep sleep and you want to hit him. Please don’t hit him. You really need him. He is your best friend. You are on the same team and he does a ton of invisible and thankless tasks for this family too. So don’t take your tired out on him. Just lean on him because he’s your person.
Take a deep breath Darla Jean. You are such a good mommy. You are helplessly in love with your family and you try your very best. It counts. You aren’t invisible. You are a brick mason: strong, diligent, steady, tireless even in the most tiring role. One day, you’ll step back and see the beautiful fruits of your labor and you’ll hear His voice over you’re shoulder, “Well Done, my girl.”
With love, your more rational, well rested, clear sighted self.