If you’ve had a difficult first labour or hard first few months with a newborn you will understand what I mean when I say the thought of another baby can be slightly traumatic. So how do you prepare yourself to do it again and avoid getting into a place of fear surrounding the next birth?
Ever had one of those days when you feel totally overwhelmed by your child’s behaviour? You feel like you’ve given all you can, encouraged and disciplined but they still behave badly. A tantrum on the way to playschool so getting out the door and arriving by 9am is near on impossible. A meltdown at bedtime so the 7pm deadline goes out the window… making their behaviour the next morning even worse! What’s behind it all? Is it us, are we missing something? Are we being too strict or too soft? So often we second guess ourselves and our actions, but what if they are really just trying to tell us something?
These were words I found myself thinking a few weeks back when I was in hospital. I was 39 weeks pregnant. I’d prayed over so many things surrounding my second labour and God had given me a very definite faith for what it would look like. But here I was, being told I may need to stay in hospital until the baby comes (potentially two weeks). Not being with my son at home, labour being induced, perhaps a caesarean section. Nothing I had been in faith for. God this wasn’t meant to happen.
The other morning I woke up and immediately things were weighing on my mind, challenges that I constantly tell God about and pray over.
I was running late and so had less time than I wanted to spend reading the Bible before my son woke up. I was desperate to really receive revelation from God and so I prayed God would speak to me in just those few minutes.
I find this whole parenting job fascinating. Some days it’s a breeze, our children respond instantly to our reminders and warnings about behaviour. They are fun and loving and it all just feels easy, like we’re finally getting on top of this parenting thing. And then other days… well you feel like it’s an endless cycle of setting boundaries and them being crossed, crying out to God for wisdom, phoning friends for advice, constant battles with a toddler that could so easily be resolved if they just listened the first time and by about 3pm you’re desperate for your husband to come through the door.
I’ve been thinking about the importance of our words recently. It’s something I’ve felt challenged about for a long time and over the last week I’ve started noticing more and more reference to this in the Bible. We all know what we say is important, but just how much do our words affect? Here’s why I think our words literally have the power to change our life.
As I write this my son’s at Playschool. I’m sat here with a cuppa and cheeky piece of chocolate cake and actually getting time to sit and write, something I love and I’ll be honest, I feel energised. Getting time to myself isn’t something I have a lot of chance to do and yet I’m starting to realise just how important it is.
Isn’t it funny how things can change. How we can go from a place of fear to a place of faith without really noticing it even happening. How we can long desperately for something and it feel so distant and then suddenly find ourselves with the very thing we’ve longed for without really giving it a second thought.
We’ve spent the last week in Spain visiting my sister. For the last few years this has been our summer tradition and so every year we come I find myself naturally thinking of how things were the previous year. This year marks a biggy for us. This is our last summer holiday as a family of three before very soon becoming four. I can’t help but remember how different things were a year ago.
Do you ever feel guilty? Do you feel bad about little things and worry what if you’ve got it wrong? It’s a challenge for many of us mums, it’s not fun and the question is how do we avoid that unexpected motherhood guilt?
No one really warns you about those feelings of guilt that can seem to suddenly bombard us as soon as we give birth to our little ones. I still remember those early days of motherhood, how easy it was to feel bad. How I felt guilty about so many things such as my decision to stop breast-feeding or the odd times I asked my husband to settle our son instead of me. This new weight of responsibility had suddenly been handed to me and alongside my great love for my son came feelings of guilt over many little things and a striving to be perfect.
I love bedtime with my son. Not because he goes to sleep and mummy gets a break (although that is always nice!), but because I believe it’s a massively important part of the day and one that could so easily be overlooked in the rush to get the lights out. The question is are we using this time to really impact our children or is this just a quick kiss goodnight before we rush downstairs to put the TV on and our feet up.