I thought that becoming a parent was instinct. Maybe not instinct like the need to eat and breath, but instinct like learning to walk or talk… it takes practice, a couple non-monumental fails and then you get it. You lay your life down effortlessly, you go out of your way to make happiness and you find joy when your babies find joy.
At least that’s how it worked for me.
I didn’t always “feel” good at parenting. I’ve spent plenty of nights crying out to God for wisdom. Often, they were spent with a crying newborn right next to me. I’ve made mistakes; I’ve learned and I’ve grown. My heart has broken to pieces when I didn’t feel capable. My soul has ached… and my #momradar has grown in soundness.
#momradar : that gut feeling, that scrolling news feed in your conscious, that “just know it” that leaves you are keenly aware of your child and their needs.
Even when I didn’t “feel” good at parenting, I knew that I was giving it my best. I knew (and know) that I would do anything to protect, nurture and love my kiddos. I willingly cancel plans, stay up all night and give up “fun-things” , just to know that my kids are taken care of. Just to know they are safe. That’s what parenthood is.
It’s about turning the car around and staying home, if you have to. It’s about cuddles and forward thinking. Its a grocery cart of kids snacks, a long wait at the doctor and a “day off” spent at the Children’s Museum. It’s a continual removal of selfishness.
Sometimes, parenthood is hard. Sometimes you want to cling to the selfishness, but you know you can’t…. and when you look at your little loves, selfishness doesn’t exist. It burns out immediately, holds no value to you. It’s a beautiful gift to be a parent-the best thing that can happen to you!
So, why do some parents not have this instinct? Why do some not give parenthood their best shot? Why do they crawl instead of putting one foot in front of the other? My heart aches, my stomach tightens, my brow furrows to think of the innocent kids who don’t know how wonderful they are, what a beautiful precious gift from God they were intended to be. To think there are kids being put in knowingly unsafe situations, not given consistent food or a stable attachment figure- it makes me angry. It makes my #momradar go off the charts.
Parenthood is meant to be this instinct that erupts inside out of you. It is this drive, this pulling inside of you. It wills you to grow and change. It forces away selfishness and leaves a joyful peace in its place.
The world is suddenly vibrantly alive. The color of the birds mater, the brightness of the stars and the strength of the wind. You hear everything, see everything, feel everything- expect you don’t sense it all for you. You sense it for this little one, this extension of you that lives outside your body.
Parenthood is amazing.. and I do believe it is instinctual. There are choices people make, but we were all created by God and He equipped us with all we need to take the first wobbly steps and eventually, to run with confidence. We can run- proud of the effort we put in! God gave us these little beings! He believed we were capable before we believed it. He created our bodies, our minds, our souls… even our hormones to foster the development of a child.
As for me, I know God trusted me with the greatest gifts. He gave me all that I need to raise up these two amazing kiddos. He gave me #momradar and He taught me how to use it! 🙂 I will give these two precious gifts nothing less than my best.