Parenting 1.0

Hi friends! We just celebrated Mother’s Day and I am proud to say that this is my fifth one! My firstborn Matthew Josiah Tucker was born on April 29, 2013. His due date was May 4th and I actually thought that I would make it to our due date. My husband was so confident that he purchased tickets for us to see Iron Man 3 on Thursday, May 2nd. Well Matthew had other plans and he bust onto the scene via emergency C Section and into the arms of a nervous and overbearing mom. I had read both What to Expect when Expecting and What to Expect the First year so I felt somewhat prepared. I had a fabulous mom and knew that one day I wanted to be just like her so when it came time for us to bring Matthew home I was a big ball of emotion.

Once Tucker (my husband) and I arrived home we were greeted by my mom and sister. Ironically we were released on Thursday, May 2nd so once we got settled Tucker headed to the movies. I still feel some of type of way about that…….

My mom and sister made sure I had plenty to eat and drink and they went upstairs to get some rest. They were exhausted since arriving to our home because they cleaned, organized, went grocery shopping and prepared meals. After they went upstairs Matthew and I headed to the master bedroom to hang out for the night. Here I was at home not surrounded by a nursing staff to wait on me hand and foot, just me and my baby. I looked at him, he looked at me. I smiled at him, he looked at me. Well…..I guess I will lay him down in the bassinet for the night.

Two hours later I hear what sounds like a cat hiding underneath my bed! Well this “cat” is Matthew and he is awake, hungry and getting louder by the second. I was so startled and taken aback because I do not remember Matthew crying ONE TIME while we were in the hospital but all of sudden he wants to flex his lungs. I remember freezing in that moment because I did not know what to do. I picked him up and thought maybe he was hungry. I was breastfeeding and yes he ate right away. Winner! I figured it out all by myself. Once I lay Matthew back down in his bassinet Tucker had returned from the movies and we all decided to get some rest. Well some of us got some rest because every 2-3 hours the “cat” cake back to visit and for some reason he was always hungry.

Whew. We made it through our first night at home and around 7 am I hear a faint knock on our door. My magical mom has arrived to bring us breakfast in bed and to take her first grandchild away so that we can enjoy our breakfast and discuss Iron Man 3…. You see all this time my mom was spoiling me because I was able to eat breakfast and take a shower uninterrupted. So when my mom and sister left I cried because I knew that was when the rubber would meet the road. I would like to tell you that my three months at home with Matthew were glorious but it was tough. This new unchartered water required me to be a mom, wife and Felicia was somewhere in the mix. My emotions were all over the place. Tucker and I seemed to be on different pages about everything and I was unsure if I was living up to the standards that my mom embodied. I was so grateful when my baby sister, Kirsten, came and stayed with us for 2 months. It was great having someone always around when Tucker went back to work. While Kirsten being around made me feel better I still wrestled with feelings of inadequacy as a new mom.

I vividly remember whenever I would nurse Matthew during the wee hours of the mornings I would visit one of the popular mom advice websites. I would search everything from sleep training, nursing, spoiling your baby and everything in between. At one point I had a mini panic attack because after reading one of the articles I just knew that I was setting Matthew up for failure. Mind you at this time he was the very mature age of 4 weeks. In the midst of that panic attack my wise husband rolled over and said you need to get off those websites and promptly rolled back over. Although I didn’t admit it at the time I knew he was correct. I was allowing all of this information and opinions of others to dictate my interactions with Matthew. I had to take a step back because if not I would have been devastated if Matthew was not rolling over at 4 weeks. He rolled over at 3 months and his gross motor skills have developed without a hitch!

From that night on I decided to pray more and pick up my Bible to see what the Lord had to say about being a parent. By that time Matthew was about 6 weeks and we had settled into a morning routine. I had a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast (breast milk booster) and afterwards Matthew and I would settle in for our morning devotion. For all new moms these were my go to scriptures.

Psalm 1 – My prayer was that Matthew would stand firm as a believer and always follow Christ.

Mark 11:23-25 – I prayed that He would have great faith and never doubt what the Lord has said about Him. My desire is that all of my children would be fearless because they know an awesome God.

Before I ended each prayer I would say “teach me Lord how to be the parent that Matthew needs for me to be”. Why? Matthew, Madelyn and Ethan are all wired different. They will have different passions, interests and bends and my job as a parent is to help foster and develop those things within them. I’m sure you’re asking “why”. We want those passions and interests to bring glory to God. The greatest gift that I can give them is to pray for them and to teach them about Christ. This doesn’t guarantee that they will never face hardships, battle certain issues or even choose to not accept the faith BUT I know that the foundation will be laid so I can lean on that truth.

The Lord is my light and salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life of who shall I be afraid?
Psalm 27:1

Matthew is a gift. The Lord gave him to me and He wants to show me how to raise him. The Bible gives practical wisdom and advice on parenting. In addition, He wants me to be reliant upon Him and not think that I have to do this on my own. Oftentimes I have to remind myself of this more than once a day.

I will never leave you or forsake you.
Hebrews 13:5b

So fast forward to Mothers Day 2018. A lot has changed since Matthew was born. We have added twins to the equation. They bring an entirely different element to this motherhood journey but I’m grateful to be their mom. Everyday isn’t perfect but I believe that I have matured and many of my struggles as a new mom have been buried. I have more confidence not because of I know more but because I know He does. So mom’s and future moms try to relax, breathe a little deeper and enjoy your gifts. Always ask the Lord for help and remind Him that “hey you gave me these kids”!