Mr. H was a wailing, unhappy little thing for several hours until he restlessly fell asleep nuzzled up against me. (Don't judge me, all you strict-by-the-book followers. You weren't there.)
I woke up this morning to some scratches and even a little bruise from the Pork Chop as well, giving glaring evidence to his unhappiness. (Little Man is strong, y'all...)
I don't know what I did to cause such Wildebeast behavior, but I'm blaming the shots from Monday. I think he just spiked a fever and pure panic set in, poor pitiful thing.
However, not fun for Working Mommy, who started her day a little tired, a little resentful at Mr. Smith who slept soundly, and a little bitter at the Wildebeast who took over my precious angel baby.
Cue Kelly's Korner., who must have somehow heard my silent prayers to make it through the day without falling asleep at my desk (or in the restroom pumping... OMG, can you imagine? I would die. )
She posted something that literally got me choked up, so I wanted to share:
MOTHERHOOD AS A MISSION FIELD
by: Rachel Jankovic
As someone once said, “Everyone wants to save the world, but no one wants to help Mom with the dishes.” When you are a mother at home with your children, the church is not clamoring for monthly ministry updates. When you talk to other believers, there is not any kind of awe about what you are sacrificing for the gospel. People are not pressing you for needs you might have, how they can pray for you. It does not feel intriguing, or glamorous. Your work is normal, because it is as close to home as you can possibly be. You have actually gone so far as to become home.
If you are a Christian woman who loves the Lord, the gospel is important to you. It is easy to become discouraged, thinking that the work you are doing does not matter much. If you were really doing something for Christ you would be out there, somewhere else, doing it. Even if you have a great perspective on your role in the kingdom, it is easy to lose sight of it in the mismatched socks, in the morning sickness, in the dirty dishes. It is easy to confuse intrigue with value, and begin viewing yourself as the least valuable part of the Church.
There are a number of ways in which mothers need to study their own roles, and begin to see them, not as boring and inconsequential, but as home, the headwaters of missions.
At the very heart of the gospel is sacrifice, and there is perhaps no occupation in the world so intrinsically sacrificial as motherhood. Motherhood is a wonderful opportunity to live the gospel. Jim Elliot famously said, “He is no fool who gives up that which he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” Motherhood provides you with an opportunity to lay down the things that you cannot keep on behalf of the people that you cannot lose. They are eternal souls, they are your children, they are your mission field.
If you are like me, then you may be thinking “What did I ever give up for them? A desk job? Time at the gym? Extra spending money? My twenty- year- old figure? Some sleep?” Doesn’t seem like much when you put it next to the work of some of the great missionaries, people who gave their lives for the gospel.
Think about the feeding of the five thousand when the disciples went out and rounded up the food that was available. It wasn’t much. Some loaves. Some fish. Think of some woman pulling her fish out and handing it to one of the disciples. That had to have felt like a small offering. But the important thing about those loaves and those fishes was not how big they were when they were given, it was about whose hands they were given into. In the hands of the Lord, that offering was sufficient. It was more than sufficient. There were leftovers. Given in faith, even a small offering becomes great.
Look at your children in faith, and see how many people will be ministered to by your ministering to them. How many people will your children know in their lives? How many grandchildren are represented in the faces around your table now?
So, if mothers are strategically situated to impact missions so greatly, why do we see so little coming from it? I think the answer to this is quite simple: sin. Discontent, pettiness, selfishness, resentment. Christians often feel like the right thing to do is to be ashamed about what we have. We hear that quote of Jim Elliot’s and think that we ought to sell our homes and move to some place where they need the gospel.
But I’d like to challenge you to look at it differently. Giving up what you cannot keep does not mean giving up your home, or your job so you can go serve somewhere else. It is giving up yourself. Lay yourself down. Sacrifice yourself here, now. Cheerfully wipe the nose for the fiftieth time today. Make dinner again for the people who don’t like the green beans. Laugh when your plans are thwarted by a vomiting child. Lay yourself down for the people here with you, the people who annoy you, the people who get in your way, the people who take up so much of your time that you can’t read anymore. Rejoice in them. Sacrifice for them. Gain that which you cannot lose in them.
It is easy to think you have a heart for orphans on the other side of the world, but if you spend your time at home resenting the imposition your children are on you, you do not. You cannot have a heart for the gospel and a fussiness about your life at the same time. You will never make any difference there if you cannot be at peace here. You cannot have a heart for missions, but not for the people around you. A true love of the gospel overflows and overpowers. It will be in everything you do, however drab, however simple, however repetitive.
God loves the little offerings. Given in faith, that plate of PB&J’s will feed thousands. Given in faith, those presents on Christmas morning will bring delight to more children than you can count. Offered with thankfulness, your work at home is only the beginning. Your laundry pile, selflessly tackled daily, will be used in the hands of God to clothe many. Do not think that your work does not matter. In God’s hands, it will be broken, and broken, and broken again, until all who have need of it have eaten and are satisfied. And even then, there will be leftovers.
Thank you Kelly.
I know we don't know each other, but I needed this today.
You had your pediatrician's visit yesterday, so we didn't snap a snazzy growth picture since you were feeling sort of puny from your FOUR shots in your innocent little thighs. Those dang vaccines!
You now weigh 11 pounds, 3.5. ounces. You are such a cute chunky monkey!
You are in Size 0-3 clothing and Size 1 diapers. However, you love Naked Baby time. I have to admit your ever-expanding rolls are the cutest thing ever...
Your favorite hobbies are eating - still at least every 2 hours - and you take a bottle a lot easier now.
You also love your Little Lamb swing, but only if you're wide awake when we put you in it. If you feel like we're sitting you in it to get some housework done or dinner fixed, forget it.
You've just discovered your play mat, and it's been a big hit, particularly the black & white rattle.
You are at your happiest in the morning and sometimes in the evening. You have just begun to smile, coo, and giggle back at us, which we think is the best thing since sliced bread. You already have such a personality!
You do not like bedtime, however. Once 10pm rolls around, you are a totally different baby. You cry and are a tad fussy trying to get ready for bed. I'm assuming it's because you know you will not be getting as much attention during the night. You have just decreased to one feeding - usually around 3am - at night, which Mommy likes a lot. However, I'm sure that now that I've typed this for all to read, it will change tonight and you'll go back to your old feeding habits. ;)
Today is Mr. Smith's first Father's Day as a Daddy.
We had big plans intended for today: H and I were going to make breakfast in bed for Daddy, followed by our first attempt at church, and then a nice relaxing Sunday afternoon.
What happened was the total opposite, as Mr. Smith was up at the crack of dawn doing manual labor, installing a French Drain and gutter on our house. Long story. Don't get me started. Special thanks to my brother who came over to provide his assistance all day long.
However, this is just one of the reasons we love our Daddy. He takes care of us, no matter the circumstances.
He's yet to hesitate changing a diaper - even the bad kind, that burn your eyes.
He loves to give H a night time bottle.
I've caught them whispering and making big plans for when H is older on more than one occasion.
Their usual snuggle spot is in the recliner, where I frequently catch them dozing or watching "Boy TV" like ESPN or the last part of the US Open. I'm sure this has nothing to do with the fact that H spent the past 8 weeks absorbed in Khloe and Lamar, multiple Real Housewives, or The View.
There's really nothing like the feeling of seeing your Husband with your child.
I highly recommend it.
Here's to you Mr. Smith! Thank you for being our #1 Daddy! We couldn't ask for better!
Can we take a time-out and talk about those delicious chubby cheeks on H? Swoon.
I survived my first day back to reality. It wasn't easy, I'll be the first to admit it, for a variety of reasons. Parting from the precious babe for a WHOLE DAY being Numero Uno.
(Lack of sleep and the thought of not having a day in my old sorority t-shirt and Old Navy yoga pants running a close second place.)
But... I survived.
And, like usual, starting preparing a couple of days early.
Freezer packed with stored mommy milk? Done.
Handy tote and cooler with pump? Done.
Clothes ironed and laid out the night before? Done.
However, even with all the preparation, there were some surprises pop up.
Here are the ones I'm willing to share:
1. I forgot how to get ready. The act of fixing my hair seemed too much in the morning, so I went to bed with a wet head and pulled it back into a ponytail. However, shaving my legs and putting on a full face of make-up seemed absolutely foreign. (I know you're thinknig right now... isn't Mr. Smith a lucky man?) I'm not quite sure H even recognized me when I left!
2. I had to re-think my working wardrobe that morning. That cute shift dress didn't quite work for pumping, and the ladies looked a little too volumptuous in it. Read: too skanky. Guess I was just too excited to get it zipped up to notice that it wasn't agreeable to pumping in the restroom.
3. I forgot how to walk in high heels. Suffice it to say I fell over more than once in them yesterday and am nursing a hurting right ankle. Just when I got over those killer cankles...
4. I cried on the drive in. Special thanks to Journey and the song "Total Eclipse of the Heart" for the water works soundtrack. It's all gangsta rap from now on. The heavy stuff... you know... about being a thug on the street. Stuff that gets you pumped up, not sappy.
5. I didn't know H would grow so much he would be speaking complete sentences by lunch. (Um, yes, that's right. I'm running home at lunch to feed him. Baby steps, people.) I swear he looked completely different when I got home.
6. I had guzzled my way through about 3 Cokes by lunchtime to combat the zombie state I was in.
7. How exhausted I would be by 5:30. I felt like I was pregnant again. Thank goodness for Mr. Smith, who sprung into action with a frozen Publix pizza.
Things I didn't know would be an arch nemesis until Doodle Bug made his appearance:
... the "gassies." Yes, I have ridiculous baby names for stuff now. But the gassies? A mother's #1 enemy. We hate them, and when H gets them, it's pitiful. I know it's so painful, and thank the Lord for Infant Mylicon drops and Gripe Water (thanks Kathryn!). The gassies are no friend to anyone, especially the precious babe.
.... baby boogies. Yes, another ridiculous baby name. The baby boogies are impossible to get rid of. You can't exactly tell your almost 2-month-old to blow into a tissue. And the boogies mock me within his little nostrils, and that dang turquoise bulb that we janked from the hospital is huge compared to his baby nose. The boogies and I go round and round almost every morning now.
... formula. Yes, sometimes we give H a formula bottle at night to fill up his belly right before bed. Yes, I understand it might be a little cheating from the breast feeding, but it lets him sleep an extra hour. Read: lets mommy sleep an extra hour until the 1-2am feeding. However, the face he makes when giving him the formula bottle is priceless. And the ladies deserve a break sometimes.
... changing H's clothes. I dread it, even though I love to put him into one of the precious outfits people gave us. If it were up to me, he'd be "Naked Baby" (a common occurence in our house, unless we have guests) all the time. Maybe it's because his little tummy and rolls are just so cute. I digress. Those onesies are getting a bit easier, but I'm still paranoid about those little fingers getting caught!
... time. I have an almost 2-month-old? Where did the time go? I start back to work this week, and I'll admit.... I've gotten choked up about it once. I think it was just one of those days where everybody I ran into asked "Are you going to be able to stay home with him? Oh no? You're going back to work?" And then... the face was made. You know the face, working moms. The one that makes the hair on the back of your neck bristle? No? That's just me?
So... we've been doing A LOT of movie watching in the Smith household. Our traditional Friday Movie Nights turned into more of an everyday movie night.... I mean, what else are we going to do with Doodle Bug? Hit the town dancing or something? I think not.
So far, we've watched the following at the Smith Cinema:
1. The Tourist - very nice! Two thumbs up for Johnny and Angelina.
2. The Kids Are All Right - um, how many ways can you say awkward? Even as a 28-year-old watching with my husband.... AWKWARD.
3. The Black Swan - I'll never look at mirrors the same. Psychological thriller at its finest, but just in case you have trouble, you can watch...
4. The King's Speech - great movie, but "Best Picture?" Really? Colin Firth shines, but the whole thing flatlines and is very anticlimatic. 5. I Am Number Four - much better than we anticipated! 6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows... I think we needed some Cliffs Notes to help us through this, even though we've seen all of them up to now.
I've also been catching up on TV's finest, like the 87 marathons of Khloe and Lamar on the E! channel. I actually think of Khloe as a pal now.
Anyone else watching The Real Housewives of New York? Is it opposite season on there? Why is Kelly the sanest one this season? Why is Ramona officially the Captain of Crazy Train? I like Sonya last season, why can't I stand her this season? Why do I care so much about these women when there are important things going on in the world?