On expecting perfection and finding freedom instead

by arianne

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So many of you have had experiences in your mama-hood that were so out of nowhere, so not how you saw things being, that it rocked you to your core. You weren’t prepared. Was this the child I dreamed of? The new book Spirit-Led Parenting is going to be balm to your soul, mother. It’s written by two mothers just like you, who want to share some beautiful heart words with you today. A guest post of the ‘salt of the Earth’ variety is below. I loved this book so much and stand behind it nodding and clapping and shedding a tear or forty. Please welcome Megan and Laura today. xoxo

For forty-one weeks, I dreamed by day and at night of who my first child would be. That’s what you really expect when you’re expecting, isn’t it? You expect the child of your sweetest, happiest, most peaceful dreams.

The parenting book I studied so carefully helped me form the image in my mind of who this child would be. As she kicked and turned and grew within my body, expectations of the model baby grew within my mind.

The book I was studying assured me that if I followed the plan, if I directed her days and her nights, if I listened to logic without getting caught up in those pesky emotions, then my baby would, of course, respond to my obvious parental prowess by becoming the baby everyone wished they had.

And then she was born, my first child, and she was a real baby, real flesh and real blood and not the wispy stuff of daydreams. And so I obediently put us on the plan, the one that promised would bring peace and joy to our family, and I waited for things to fall perfectly into place.

My foundation crumbled when it became apparent that my new baby was no model baby. My heart sank when I realized no one was going to envy me with this baby who constantly wanted to be held, who wouldn’t get with the program. My mind reeled as I desperately sought solutions, better ways to fix her, to fix me.

A darkness settled over me as days bled into weeks and weeks took shape as months and every single morning, I awoke to the tension and turmoil that waited for me as I went about parenting the baby I had who was so different from the baby I expected.

In the midst of this darkness, God began to woo me to Him with whispers of tenderness and mercy. He gently uncurled the white-knuckle grasp I had on the parenting books and filled my hands and my heart with His truth. And the truth of His words clanged a bell of freedom.

As He began to lead me in the way of knowing that He knew what was best for this dark-eyed baby, I found the freedom to relax. As He began to assure me that doing what He helped me to know in my heart was right for her, I found the freedom to embrace her for who she was. And as He opened my eyes to the miraculous and spectacular creation that was my squirmy, snuggly wee daughter, I finally found the freedom to turn loose of my attachment to my daydream child.

Partnering with God in creation is no small thing, and though the process can be physically exhausting, there is something spiritually exhilarating about being pregnant. Each movement, each change, each inch of widening speaks testimony to how we are all so fearfully and wonderfully made.

And then the big day comes and baby is born and new life is celebrated! But when the wee clothes are washed and put away and the visitors stop coming around and the meals are no longer delivered to doorsteps and life settles into routine, we are finally left to really and truly discover who it is that we have helped to create.

Spirit-Led Parenting offers an approach to parenting through infancy that honors the little person swaddled in that baby blanket. What we found in the one-size-fits-all-ness of other approaches was a lack of respect for the individuality of God’s creation. Some babies drift easily off to sleep when laid down drowsy, but some don’t. Some babies crave the predictability of a schedule, and some are amazingly easy-going. Some babies fuss and cling when those teeth start coming in, and some surprise us with grins revealing newly popped teeth without shedding a tear.

Our heart for new parents is to filter out the voices that want to intrude on the first year and leave enough quiet for the conversation to take place between God the Creator and the parents He chose to bless with this new creation, this new little person, who is unique and individual and created perfectly according to His plan.

Thank you so much for allowing us to share our hearts and message with you today. Please join us as we continue our blog tour in the upcoming weeks:

Spirit-Led Parenting book coverSpirit-Led Parenting is the first release from authors Megan Tietz and Laura Oyer. Megan writes about faith, family and natural living at SortaCrunchy and lives in western Oklahoma with her husband and two daughters. Laura blogs her reflections on the real and ridiculous things of life at In The Backyard, and makes her home in Indiana with her husband, daughter, and son.

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