Before I had my own baby, I didn’t have any experience with babies. I am an only child and I never really baby sat growing up. One time in high school I baby sat for two kids who were just about 5 years younger than me… we played Super Mario Bros while their parents went to dinner. Not really “baby” sitting. More like playing video games with kids who wouldn’t need a “baby” sitter in another year.
Another time, when I was about 24 I baby sat for my boss and his wife. This time it was a real baby, about 3 or 4 months old I think, and I had no idea what I was doing. The poor baby cried the entire time until the parents got home. I rocked him and fed him and changed his diaper but nothing I did soothed this child. Eventually I started crying too. I was convinced the baby could smell my fear and deep sense of inadequacy.
Now that I am a parent, I know how this couple must’ve felt when they returned home from their date night to a baby that had been crying for approximately two straight hours. They probably wanted to cry, too. Needless to say I wasn’t asked back to baby sit. Not sure I would have even offered to do it again but still, this event reinforced my fear of babies, especially crying babies, at night, when its time to sleep.
There was a time I wasn’t sure if I would ever even want to have a baby. Being a parent is the biggest responsibility ever and with my obvious deficit in the childcare department I wasn’t sure it was in the cards for me. When we got married we agreed to be on the “5 year plan” for kids, meaning we wouldn’t start talking about it until we had been married 5 years.
I’m glad we had this time for many reasons, but mostly because God used those years to show me that his plan for my life did include birthing, mothering and parenting. He also used that time to work on my heart, healing areas of hurt and insecurity and ultimately teaching me to trust him in my weaknesses. In fact, I’ve come to really believe that its better to embrace my weakness and inadequacies and let his power work through me so that he gets all the glory.
I’ve only been a mom for 4 short months, but the concept of God working through me and his strength being perfected in my weakness has never been more real to me than it is right now. And the fruit of trusting him with my weakness is the greatest love that my heart has ever known…
Thank God for qualifying those he calls, especially new parents with no experience.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10