Monday, January 13, 2014

Affirming the Stories of Life

Hi Friends! It has been a while on the blogosphere for me. Since I last posted, I finished my first semester at Northwest Nazarene University and moved to Zillah, Washington. It has been a busy couple of months, that’s for sure!
What has brought me to the blog today is a trend that I keep seeing on Facebook and on the internet in general. I am sure this is not a new thing, but it seems as though it is more popular lately than I have noticed before. I see so many new mommies posting all these articles about “The Right Way to Give Birth,” “What Brand New, Super Hip Items You Need In Your Nursery,” and other such nonsense that seems to proliferate the web. I know you believe in these things, because they worked for you. They were a part of your story and that is fantastic! We appreciate you sharing your stories. What we don’t appreciate is the implied notion that you have it right and everyone else has it wrong.

The truth is whatever way any of us gave birth is the right way to give birth. There is not a “wrong way” to have a baby, as long as it results in a baby. New moms and dads have never experienced giving birth before, or life with a newborn, and all the various posts on how to do it all seem to contradict one another. They all give various perspectives and viewpoints that are unique to you and they are very interesting and fun to read. I like them a lot! But, they have the adverse effect of making people believe that something is wrong with their perspective or experience, and that is not okay.

Most of this is in our heads, I am sure. We like to compare ourselves to others while thinking that somehow we are less than them because our experiences were not the same. Personally, I loved the epidural! It helped me cope with the pain and gave me some time to rest. My children have yet to have any adverse effects from it (they are 9, 7, 4 and 2) and it was just a good thing. But I have a good friend who did not feel complete without a natural birth. And that is okay too. Her heart, perspectives, experiences, and feelings were involved in that decision and that is good! I have another friend who had a C-section because her son was not moving in the womb, then spent weeks with him in the NICU. He is now a healthy boy and his mama is very happy with her experience! See??? All three experiences are just as valid, good and amazing because they resulted in children who are wanted, loved, and enjoyed in this world. That is the point I am trying to make.

As someone with a nine year old, there were decisions I made and products I used that I thought were safe. I read all the research and did everything I could to maintain a safe and healthy environment for him. All parents want to do this! Yet, all that work won’t mean a thing in a few years when half those products have harmed or killed other children. Accidents happen and decisions are made that lead to hurtful things. We cannot protect our children from life! Life itself is fraught with good and bad, accidents, heartaches, happiness and joy. It is part of how we learn, grow, and become better human beings. All the new stuff that we think is super important to the well-being of our children today will be completely outdated in 3 to 5 years!

When we look at our lives ten years from now, we won’t think about or remember half the decisions that new parents think are incredibly important today. Stop stressing about all those things and enjoy your pregnancy/new baby/toddler! When it comes to parenting, the best thing you can do is seek the fruits of the Spirit while continually asking the Lord’s grace to transform you into the heart and mind of Jesus Christ. Model godliness first, the rest is just icing on the cake. Stop second guessing yourself and others and learn to affirm the choices and experiences of others in positive ways. Accept, love, and embrace one another while sharing our stories and experiences in ways that uplift others. 

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