I Didn’t Ask for This

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It’s been a rough week over here. My toddler’s been having sleep problems lately and has been keeping us up half the night. Because of this, it’s made for some long days and cranky family members (parents included). Extra whining, extra discipline, extra exhaustion. Of course, being sick and pregnant doesn’t help things either. Without my normal energy and gusto, the house is also showing signs of being ignored. The state of my house often reflects the state of my mind, so as my home starts to collect clutter in the corners, so I’m also collecting clutter on the inside. I don’t always feel this way, of course. Just today, perhaps. Or really this week. But there it is.

It’s days like today that I start to question things. I start having second thoughts. Why did I want to be a Mom again? This isn’t as fun as I remember it being last year (y’know, back when I was energetic and on top of things). And now I’m about to bring another little one into the world? What was I thinking?! Will I ever see a full night’s sleep again?

Then this little voice speaks up inside. It’s the voice of the rest of the world, looking at me as I wander through the grocery store with a whiny child. You asked for this.

When my child wakes up in the middle of the night for the umpteenth time, I hear it again. Remember, Kelsey. You asked for this.

When I’m on my knees in the bathroom, doubled over and about to lose breakfast yet again, there it comes again. I asked for this. I even prayed for it. I begged God for this child.

I now I have three. Two out, another in. I should feel blessed, not overwhelmed. What’s wrong with me? Was I wrong to ask for something I’m obviously incapable of handling. Do I have any right to complain about any of this? After all…

I did ask for it.

After my husband watched the kids for an hour, I got a long nap in and woke up with a clearer head (amazing, the miraculous powers of sleep!).  I was able to realize that was not exactly true. I didn’t ask for this.

When I asked for God to bless me with children, it wasn’t because I wanted babies. I’ve actually never been much of a baby person, until I had some of my own. They’re smelly, irrational, pukey little things that have no sense of personal boundaries or basic hygiene. I do love children, but prefer those who have some basic conversational and reasoning skills. Let’s just say, I never saw myself collecting babies as a hobby. If I wanted something cute, cuddly and fun to play with, I’d have gotten a puppy that I could stick in a crate at night and move to the garage if he got too noisy.

Baby giggles and chubby thighs have their delights, don’t get me wrong. But the irrationality and upkeep of a toddler outweighs the cuteness factor pretty quickly. When I asked God for his blessing, I was asking him to fill my hands with productive work and good fruit, to give my life purpose. I wanted to build a godly legacy, a heavenly heritage, and build the only kind of reward I could take with me into the next life.

I wanted to raise world changers, society builders, Word wielders, faith defenders, family protectors, and Christ worshipers. I wanted people I could mold from the very beginning, to turn out the best I could enable them to be. I wanted future friends and comrades. The kind that were ‘stuck’ coming to my house for holiday dinners and birthday parties for years to come. I wanted people who would love me, care for me, and change my diapers when I’m feeble, worn thin, and used up by old age.

My babies don’t reflect all that just yet. We’re still working on walking straight and eating with a spoon and not their fingers. So though we have plenty of joys and delights in the present, these days are not what I ultimately asked for. Its easy to forget the promises of the future amid the exhaustion in the present. I have been blessed with great heavenly wealth, to be sure. My arms and heart are full. But in many ways, I’m still in the investment stage. And it’s okay to wonder sometimes if this is not all there is. In the words of one of my favorite bloggers, I am taking blunt-edged babies and turning them into sharpened arrows. It’s a work-in-progress, but we’re getting there.

Though we should learn to give thanks in all circumstances (I’m still working on having a contented heart, as you can see), it’s okay to want more out of this parenting thing. We moms of littles are still weeding and plowing. God knows, the work can be backbreaking and sweaty. The fruits of our harvest are yet to come. But they’re coming. And twenty years from now, we’re going to look back on these sleep-deprived days and count every single one as worth it.

24 thoughts on “I Didn’t Ask for This

  1. Jen says:

    It’s nice to hear I’m not the only one who feels this way! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  2. Jeanine says:

    Amen. I loved your post (again =)
    As a mom who has moved out of the baby stage with all school-aged children now, I can say I tried really hard to enjoy every stage so I wouldn’t have any regrets, and I honestly don’t have to even hold someone else’s baby! =)
    One thing I didn’t really think about though when they were little is the fact that even though we’re ‘teaching’ good and right things to our children, and my husband and I weren’t ‘rebellious’ teenagers, some kids are more strong willed and can be irrational, and it’s then that you remind yourself that it’s not a reflection of your parenting, and hopefully you learn more patience and pray that it will pass, and that they will grow up and become wiser!
    And no we will never regret ‘asking for them’ =) Our family is our ‘heritage’ our ‘legacy’ our ‘treasure’!

  3. Well.
    I love the way you write, I love your honesty, and I love your heart.
    =)

  4. Angelika says:

    Ha! That had me laughing..and crying…must be the last night where I was up 13 times. Uuurgh…lol! Could not have summed things up better, and what a hopeful and encouraging perspective you keep in the midst of all the challenges! Much needed today. Some days you just want to resign! But the rewards of our labors are indeed eternal. I have no idea what gets women through this job who do not know that!
    Hang in there, and know you are not alone! 🙂

  5. Nancy says:

    God bless you! The baby stage goes by so quickly. Wish I were close to you to come and get some “baby time”. Enjoy

  6. Zania Kaas says:

    Thank you for being honest… I’m glad, I’m not the only Mom, who hate to love her kids 😉

    Mine are finally old enough to understand reason… sort of… and finally sleeps through the night… sort of…
    Now the fun begins: Pre-teens 😀 I KNOW how to handle those!

    Fantastic blog… Looking forward to reading lots more from you.

  7. lina says:

    Loved this post and smiled more than once while reading 😀
    I am glad you were able to see the incredible effect of good sleep , it does wonders to our moods .
    BTW, my kids are 20,16.13 and 10 and I still get up a lot at night to check on them bc the teens sleep late, oh well LOL

    • I'm Kelsey! says:

      Yes! My husband learned quickly that if my life seemed to be falling apart, a solid nap works wonders.

  8. Keri says:

    Thank you for sharing your feelings in this post so honestly. I recently found your blog and I’ve been enjoying it. It’s funny, I had a day just like this yesterday, with my toddler screaming through the day and throwing food on the floor, wondering what I’ve gotten myself into and thinking I must be crazy planning on having more. So when I finally got to check my email today and I saw this post, it was so timely! I read a book one time that suggested thinking about the number of children we want in the long term – thinking about how many we want when we are older and they are grown, instead of thinking about how challenging it can be in the baby and toddler phase with lack of sleep, strong-willed toddlers, etc. Like you are saying, these baby days are temporary (although they feel like an eternity sometimes), and in the future we can look back and laugh – or so I’ve heard, since I’m not there yet 😉

    • I'm Kelsey! says:

      Always good to know I’m not alone! I do think thinking ahead to when they’re older and more able to help makes it all seem less overwhelming. I won’t ALWAYS be doing every single thing for them (from diaper changes, to baths, to household chores). Someday they’ll be able to do the dishes or laundry for me! 😉

  9. Vikki says:

    Thanks for the reminder that I am not alone. I am out of the baby stage but I have a 7 year old that is trying to figure out her personality and how she fits into this big world in wanting to act older then what she is and still be a kid like I want her to be. I also have a 4 year old that loves to test me and is very strong willed and likes to do things on her time not anyone elses.
    I love reading your blog! 🙂

  10. Beth S. says:

    Praying for you, Kelsey!

  11. Helen says:

    I needed this today as I struggle with being a good Mom and wife during a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome flair up. My son can bring me so much joy and even make me laugh when I’m not feeling well, but he can also make me want to scream and pull my hair out.

    • I'm Kelsey! says:

      I’m learning more and more not to take good health for granted. It really impacts everything, doesn’t it? Hang in there, Helen!

  12. Marielle says:

    Very encouraging, Kelsey! Thank you!!

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