Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Flying Solo (with a Safety Net)

I am very blessed. 

Not only do I have a beautiful new baby boy, not only do I have the privilege of staying home to care for him and my other children on a full-time basis, but my husband received four glorious weeks of parental leave from his employer.

This is the first time Brian was able to stay home for more than a week following my births since Sophia was born. Since we have no family in the area, I'd nearly forgotten what it's like to rest after birth. The past month reminded me, and oh... it is so, so good.

I'm forever spoiled. Endlessly, deliciously, unapologetically spoiled!

If there is one gift I could give to every new mama the world over, it would be one month of care--to know deep down in every exhausted cell of her being that she is loved. Actively loved. Cared for. Cherished. Nurtured.

Every mama needs a little TLC, and never more than when she has a newborn.

But, all good things must come to an end. And so, on the last week of June, Brian returned to work. I got lots of sympathetic texts and Facebook pings. Everyone wanted to make sure I was doing alright flying solo for the first time as a mama of four.

(Mama of four!! Still so exciting.)

Honestly, the first few days were amazing. Not because it was easy by any means. It was a lot of work. The usual laundry, cleaning, disciplining, and homeschool had to be done -- now with a new baby thrown into the mix. The children were a bit mopier and less cooperative than usual because they missed Daddy and because Mama lacked an extra arm and the ability to be in ten places at one time.

We moved more slowly through the rhythm of our days, but we were making it through. And, you know what? It was good. Like, really good. Like, holy cow, I didn't know it would be this good good.

And I'll tell you one thing: It wasn't good because of me.

It was good because God is good. Because God is faithful. If I can give myself any kudos, it's in that I've realized so completely as a parent that I need Him.

I'm weak. I know that. I have a short temper, especially when I'm sleep deprived. A side-swiped glass of juice or an attitude-tinged whine, and I snap. I crumble. I fall and fail, and I know I cannot fly solo.

I need the grace and the strength of Jesus.

And you know what? He never fails me.

Even with four kids at home...

Even when one of them gets the stomach flu...

and then another...
and then another...

(Oh yeah. Did I not mention that starting Wednesday my family played stomach bug dominoes? One by one, they fell, until Will and I were the only ones left standing.)

But even in the midst of vomit, mountains of contaminated laundry, and a zillion surfaces to sanitize, God is good. Like, really good. Like, holy cow, I don't and never can deserve this good.

And He is merciful.

It's no small miracle that my baby and I made it through that awful virus without a trip to the hospital for dehydration, especially with a heat wave in the area. And I make no bones about the fact that I shamelessly plastered details of the whole experience all over Facebook, pleading for prayers from anyone who would offer.

Because my body is weak, and that virus was strong, but God is stronger.

And I can't do it alone.

So, yes, I'm flying solo now. And it's good. But only because I've got my safety net, and I'm not afraid to use Him. I know He'll never drop me. And Lord knows I need Him!

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