A common friend and enemy.
Parenting has given a whole new playground for fear to explore inside me. With flips off the monkey bars and jumping from the top of the slide, fear runs amuck and my heart beats faster, my mind races, and I ask All The Questions.
Am I doing this right?
Am I doing this wrong?
Should I be doing something else?
What is everyone else doing?
Do they need this?
Or do they need something else?
As we hopefully grow our family this year, I realize that fear ruled many of the early months with Madison. Since she wasn’t doing what I thought she should be doing (ie: SLEEPING), I feared what I was doing wrong and how I was making all the mistakes.
I’ve caught myself lately thinking, ‘With this next baby, we’ll do XYZ because we tried ABC with Madison and it didn’t work/was so horrible/hardly helped, so XYZ must be the solution.”
Deep down, I am terrified.
That another child will enter our family and tear me to pieces and rend me useless. I will resent and disconnect and blame. We will all suffer. I will want out.
I let the fear of what was grow into the fear of what will be. Before our next child is even conceived I am living out nap times and diaper changes and screaming fits and bath times with three kids under four years old. So scared to be dragged down to the place of desperation and helplessness that I visited oh-so-often during Madison’s first few months of life.
I am allowing fear to rule how I am parenting these little humans…and the little humans to come. It’s been almost 18 months since Madison’s birth, and I am just now able to think about those early months and look at pictures of her infancy and not immediately feel negative or upset or stressed. And Hunter…oh Hunter. His precious heart endured so much chaos during his sister’s first season of life here on earth. We all had growing pains I guess.
I don’t want to make decisions based on fear. I want our family to be governed by the leading of the Holy Spirit, the sensitivity to each other’s emotions, and the principles of life and freedom in Jesus.
If it’s solid food or purees, babywearing or strollers, bedsharing or crib, homebirth or hospital, time outs or positive reinforcement…
Fear? get the heck out.