Finding my delight in the journey of adoption.

The Elusive Nap

First, a gratuitous Fred picture.

Image

I’m in a blogging slump, as the four of you who are still reading have seen. I struggle with perfectionism, so unless I can come up with a really witty and thoughtful post, I usually don’t post. I still have so many thoughts about adoption – there have been a few thought-provoking articles lately about Christians and adoption. I also have thoughts on motherhood. But does anyone want to read them? I am drowning in self-doubt.

That’s really my biggest issue these days – self-doubt. I have spent most of my life running from anything that I wasn’t good at and only doing things at which I could succeed. I don’t play games that I don’t win, I don’t try new things. I really hate failing. {side note – who doesn’t hate failing? This sounds a little pompous – oh you other people must love failing, but I just can’t handle it. blah blah.}

I’m pretty much convinced that I am failing as a mother. Fred doesn’t sleep the required amount of time to ensure that his brain actually develops. His poop is green all the time, which either means I’m starving him or he’s dying of a terrible disease. He still sleeps in our bed, which means (a) he will die or (b) he will still need to share our bed when he’s 16. And on and on and on.

I spend 60% of every day trying to get him to sleep, 20% feeding him, and the other 20% worrying about what he’s not doing right. This motherhood thing is basically pure torture that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

Sure, there’s joy. There’s nothing better than his smile and laugh. His smooth, soft squishy skin against mine. His beautiful blue eyes and sweet personality. Of course, I wouldn’t trade that for a few full nights sleep. Seriously, I wouldn’t.

But man, how did I go from a reasonably competent lawyer with multiple degrees, fairly confident in my abilities to being completely brought down to a sniveling puddle of mush by a 16 pound human-parasite? At this point, I barely trust my ability to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich correctly.

I just want to watch a YouTube video that tells me exactly what to do. Or is there some sort of consultant who can come over for the day and tell me how to care for my child? I’m really good at following directions.

It gives me a new appreciation for mothers. I don’t think I ever quite realized the barrage of worries and concerns that comes with this little bundle of joy. I’m not, by nature, a worrier. I don’t care enough about anything to really worry about it. But now! Ugh.

It reminds me of something my sister-in-law said when she was a new mom. The only way you can really sleep at night is to decide that you will survive if your child dies. It’s a morbid thought, I know. But it is true, the child cannot be an idol. Even the child has to be held with an open hand. I can’t stop the hurt that’s coming his way. I can try and minimize it, but I do want him in the battle of life. I want him to become a fierce warrior, able to change the world. But first, he needs to be able to nap.

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4 responses

  1. Valerie Schultz

    Hi Amanda!
    I just read this post and was clinging to every word. I simply cannot express how much I feel the EXACT same way about the doubt and worry that comes with being a new mom. I have not been sleeping well for weeks because I am so anxious about what my son is doing and whether or not he is still breathing. I don’t have any real words of wisdom for dealing with what we are both going through, but please just know that you are completely not alone in feeling this way and at least from other moms I have talked to, it does get better—-I mean we will always worry as mothers, but our confidence will build and I have found that praying hard for the Lord to take some of this worry from me and to give me strength and courage in this new role is all I can really do at this point. Thank you thank you thank you for your honest post……seriously I have to re-emphasize how much I can relate to every word and it has made me feel assured that maybe I am not really going crazy, but that this worry and self-doubt is normal to go through as a new mom.
    God Bless,
    Valerie

    April 25, 2013 at 8:08 pm

  2. Hang in there, girl! You’re going to totally eff this thing up at least 10 times a day, and you’re going to be the best mother in the world at least 10 times a day. I remember feeling the exact same way when Miles was born – and being so in awe of your SIL Amanda and how casually she handled everything that seemed to happen with her kids. You’ll get to that place too – probably when you start getting lots more sleep! 🙂

    April 25, 2013 at 8:20 pm

  3. Anonymous

    Have you read the book The Baby Whisperer?

    April 25, 2013 at 9:02 pm

  4. I want to hear more about your thoughts of adoption and motherhood! I love your writing (no pressure), but you articulate things in a way that is raw and funny at the same time. You so easily put so many things into beautiful, thought-provoking words that I’m trying to process in my brain (that I often feel is dumb-my brain, not your words-since I can’t verbalize what I’m trying to process). I can’t wait to hear about your adventures and see how God continues to stretch and grow your family. You and Bill are amazing people and parents.

    May 1, 2013 at 9:13 pm

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