Lijit Ad Wijit

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Day 12

This is the hardest thing I have ever done.

Finishing graduate school doesn't compare. My first heartbreak can't hold a candle to it. Moving to a new town where I didn't know anyone was child's play.

Everyone tells you that becoming a parent will change your life. "Yep," you mentally agree as well-wishers inform you of the hardest thing you have yet to do. In retrospect, this statement never took root. Of course my life would be different after Reed's birth. But twelve days later, I understand this statement with more clarity than I ever could imagine.

No one told me there would be grieving with the joy. The life that was will never again be. Some might criticize me for grieving that loss while I enjoy the small warmth of my son laying in my lap. But I aim for honesty here.

I get mired in the small picture, the minutae, the details. But Ben reminded me the other day - we make sacrifices now to know a greater joy later. And I've got a strangle hold on God's Word that says children are a blessing from Him.

The greatest loves in our lives tend to expose our emotional insecurities -- even ones we imagined were long laid to rest. And so I worry about how my marriage will change. I worry if it will make us weaker or stronger, distant or more loving, stingy or more generous. But as I think over the past twelve days, I realize a sweetness in our marriage that may have gone unrealized without our tiny redheaded boy.

And so I write these things for those who lives have been changed, are changing, and, Lord willing, may change.


  1. Make a goal to accomplish one thing each day besides eating, sleeping and taking care of the baby. Usually that goal will be to take a shower. Sometimes that goal is a nap. It does get easier and more routine and you sleep again, I promise. Keep asking others for help. As soon as you can, venture out alone. Even the grocery store. It helps to have room to breathe and to periodically eat a meal with both hands. :) Rock and hold him, rock and hold him. Relax in the rhythm you will soon find.

  2. Allison,

    I love your honesty. Even when wonderful changes in our lives occur there is usually a time of mourning for the life that once was or the life that cannot be because of the new path you are on. So few people want to admit this because of fear that people will look at them as unappreciative. Although Reed is a gift that I know you would never give up, your role in life has shifted from Allison to Reed's Mom. Certain goals and dreams you have are either going to have to wait or shift into something different. For someone who likes to methodically achieve your goals, it is going to be hard to let that control go. You are totally NORMAL. Mourn for the life that will no longer be but don't forget to celebrate the life path you do get to follow. Whatever dreams or goals you had before if they are meant to be will eventually come to fruition and along the way you'll have a wonderful little redheaded helper.

    Love You,

  3. Yes, you are doing the hardest thing you probably have ever done. On all levels, physically, emotionally, and spiritually - you aren't quite your own anymore. Sure, you experienced some changes of yourself and life when you got married, but now there is a tiny life totally dependent on you for so many things. You'll experience all sorts of changes in these next few years, but ultimately in the end, it will be absolutely worth it. It's amazing how children make you realize your own imperfections and bring out all sorts of things in yourself you never saw before. And they do change a marriage, but in good ways. If you continue to work on your relationships with as much fervor and attention as you did before (which is a little more difficult now that you have less time & energy) the evolution of them isn't necessarily bad. You'll probably also realize the things in life that really truly matter. This may be in the way you spend your time, money, resources, or even in the relationships you keep.

    Truly parenting is a wonderful experience. You learn daily what grace is about. I never fully understood unconditional love and sacrifice until having children. And you'll find new rhythms and ways of doing life. It's definitely different, and some days I still mourn what children take the place of - but overall it sharpens us as mothers and draws us close to the Creator of that life in your arms. He's only yours of a little while to steward. Enjoy every precious moment. (And it's okay to have moments you don't enjoy! )

    Love you!

  4. I thought I knew what sacrifice was when I left everything and went to college... and then I thought I really knew when I married Aaron... but nothing, absolutely nothing compares to the self sacrifices you have to make once you have a baby. Nothing of "you" is yours anymore... it's all your beloved baby's and whats left is your husbands... and then there is overlap where they both want the same parts of you for totally different reasons... that's a whole other struggle you will have to figure out. Communicate with everyone. Moms, friends, family, definitely your husband, and always with God. I won't lie.... I had an extremely difficult first few months with Maddie, and once that got better, I found struggles in other areas of life. My role, intimacy with Aaron, and wanting to be "me". I'm not through it, but being molded. I don't know if that helps, but it helps to say it... for me at least. And it helped me to know I wasn't alone and a bad mom for feeling this way about so much. Don't smile if you don't feel like it, but always try to brush your teeth in the mornings... even if you don't feel like it. That will help. : ) Always keep Ben up to date, even if you are just repeating yourself. That helps even more.