16 May, 2013

Invention and Insanity

"Parenting is a tough job." I have heard that phrase frequently for as long as I can remember. It is completely true, but such a simple statement that it is impossible to comprehend it until you experience it. Parenting is not some task that you can put down when you are frustrated and return to when you feel like tackling it again. Parenting is not some job that you leave at the end of the day and come back to after a good night's sleep. There are no vacations. There are no sick days.

I have always had the utmost respect for children's caregivers. It does not matter if you are a parent, a grandparent, a daycare worker, a teacher, or anyone else caring for a child, you are amazing! However, my short time as a parent, has brought my awareness to a whole new level. This thing is TOUGH! It is a job that has 24/7 on-the-job training, while living with a crazy person. It does not matter who the crazy person is --your child, your spouse, or yourself -- you all take turns being crazy. It just happens. The worst part is when everybody's crazy falls on the same day. Then you break out the drug of your choice (candy, a movie, a glass of wine), buckle up, and try and make it until bedtime.

This brings me to Albert Eistein's definition of insanity. Which is "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Dr. Einstein had three children of his own and I wonder if he saw the humor in this statement? Many books that I have read tell me to continue doing the same things over and over again with my son. If it does not work today, try it again another day and see if it does work! Parenting books encourage insanity (although that is true in more ways than one)!

"Necessity is the mother of invention." As I told my in-laws today, there is a reason she is called a "mother," because no one I know is more inventive than mothers. If you don't believe me, watch this video:

Yes, I did put the little bear to sleep with a staring contest last night. Did it work tonight? No. I had to dance him around the room. Will either of those work tomorrow night? Probably not and I'll have to come up with some other way of getting him to sleep.

The thing about being a parent is that doing the same thing over and over again ALMOST ALWAYS gets you DIFFERENT results. If it got the same results every time I did it... well, then I'd write a parenting book!

I am insane.
I am inventive.
I am tired.
I am a mother.

I love this job. I have no desire to quit and I know that God will get me through it. I am trying desperately to savor every moment and not wish these days past. I love my little guy's giggles. I love to watch him discover his hands. I love listening as he finds his voice and experiments with sounds. I love cuddling him when he falls asleep nursing. I love his first night-time feed when we sometimes fall asleep together and I wake up later and see him peacefully resting there. These are the times that I cling to when he is screaming/crying and I don't know what's wrong. Or when I cannot get him to sleep even though I know he is exhausted.

He challenges me in ways I never thought possible. Makes me realize how selfish I still am. When I think I have nothing left to give, he asks for more. Somehow, by God's good grace, more is there to give.

This is the toughest job in the world, but he is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. And I don't think that's crazy at all.

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