As you very well know, I obviously spend a good deal of time posting on here about the trials and tribulations of parenthood, while framing it what is typically a humorous way. I don’t often drift into sentiment, mainly because I find humor an easier medium in which to express myself.
But I’ve got the feels. So I’ll share them with you.
While diligently networking* today (*meandering on Facebook), I came across a video clip that caught my eye, mainly because the still picture was that of a newborn, and as you may have deduced by now, I looooovve the babies. LOOOVEE THE BABIES.
The video features comedian Michael Jr. discussing what he noticed as he re-watched the video of his daughter’s birth one day:
Cue the waterworks…
My first thought was, “Damn! Why didn’t I videotape any of my childrens’ births??”
Then my second thought was, “Because you DIDN’T WANT TO SEE WHAT WAS REALLY GOING ON DOWN THERE….”
But there were several poignant moments that radiated to me as I watched this video. My heartstrings were initially tugged by the idea that a father would even watch to watch the replay of his child’s birth- amirite??
But as I watched that tiny, helpless, precious newborn grow calm at hearing the sounds of her Daddy’s voice…
And watched her open her eyes to find the source of the “I love you” that she knew, in her heart- the words that she had likely heard while still safely ensconced inside her mother’s womb- was meant just for HER.
I cried those big, fat, ugly tears. I cried because birth always tugs at my heartstrings; I occasionally find myself hurtling down YouTube’s rabbit hole of watching couples welcome their child into the world with joy and elation.
This video reminded me of what it’s all been about. I’ve been blessed to be in the position of witnessing the beginning of six lives, and each time, it was no less miraculous. No less awe-inspiring to pause and realize that a entirely new person has arrived into this world, with his or her own features, personality, gifts, quirks, and needs.
It brought me back.
Even though I’m one of those crazies that adores the newborn stage, I’m not romanticizing the sleep deprivation and constant effort that’s required to keep a baby safe, fed, clean, and loved.
- The unwashed hair.
- The hormonal tears.
- The silent resentment when your spouse asks you “what did you do today?”
- The days when you feel defeated because in addition to not napping when the baby naps, you sit on the couch in a pool of hormonal tears with unwashed hair, because you’re not even sure WHAT you did all day other than take care of the baby.
I remember those things.
But I also remember the feeling of curling my babies into the crook of my arm and nestling my face against theirs, breathing in that newborn smell.
I remember the thrill of their first smile. The excitement over their first tooth peeking through the gums. The babbling that turns into sounds that turn into words. The slow scoot of something that resembles a crawl, followed by the halted, timid first steps.
The actual, physical memories fade in my mind (though there are massive folders of digital folders to document it all!), but the emotions are still there.
With six kids ranging from 13 to 2, we’ve been in the throes of parenting for awhile now. And often with a crowd like ours, it’s easy to lose sight of the miracle that our children are.
It’s easy to overlook that when they say “no!”. Or spill sticky drinks on your floor. Again. And again. And again. Or break things. Or fight with one another. Or tattle. Or complain about the food that you’ve labored to prepare.
(I’d keep going on this list, but we’d be here allllll night…)
But this video resonated for me, because it brought all of that emotion right to the forefront again.
I’ve been blessed to have experienced a lot of really cool, wonderful events in my life thus far. But I could say with certainty that if I had to make a Top 10 list, six of those events would be the birth of each of my kids.
There are very few moments in life that exceed the wonder and gratitude I’ve felt when I was fortunate enough to lay eyes on each child of mine for the very first time.
Or to watch The Captain meet his son or daughter for the first time, delicately cradling their tiny bodies in his big ole’ man-hands.
The end of the video, however, is my hope. Michael Jr’s analogy is what I try to live each day. He compared his daughter’s calming at the sound of his voice to being still and listening to God’s voice as He calls us.
It was the reminder that I needed.
And those who know me well know that I do my best to live out my faith- quietly, behind-the-scenes, in that non-preachy way. That’s how I roll, and I don’t typically talk about my faith my blog in fear of alienating others.
But today I am, for a moment, because my blog is all about getting to know me, my family, my parenting, etc., and this is one of the very many dimensions of who I am.
The video was also a reminder to me that I am loved, despite my shortcomings.
Despite my failures as a parent.
Despite the times that I go to bed wracked with guilt when I feel like I haven’t done enough, or been enough.
Despite the times when I yell because I’m just tired.
Or cranky. Or overwhelmed.
Despite the times when I gossip about someone because it’s just too tempting NOT to.
Despite the times when I use my words to inflict pain on others.
Despite the times when I want to give up on this world because there are too many stories of darkness, and evil, and pain that wounds our hearts that we can’t even wrap our heads around.
Despite the times when it feels too hard, when there is too much to do and too little me, and I’m angry and pouting like a petulant child.
If I make myself be still and listen, I hear Him: through what I’ve read, through the perfectly timed words of others. It gives me the strength, the comfort, and the feeling of being unconditionally loved.
Don’t think for a minute I’m trying to convince you that faith makes life easier, because it doesn’t.
I’ve tried to knock that imaginary pedestal down, because the “Supermom” is a myth. We all just to the best we can.
My faith makes me strive to be a better person, though. Strive to be more loving. Strive to be more patient. Strive to be more willing to reach out to a hurting world. (Disclaimer: I’m a work in progress, baby!!)
But also to forgive myself on the days when I’m not ANY of those things. And to be thankful that I get the opportunity to try again tomorrow.
To answer the question I’ve been asked countless times before, “How do you DO it??”:
This is how I do what I do. Every day.
© Copyright 2015 Six Pack Mom, All rights Reserved. Written For: Six Pack Mom