Over the course of the last eleven years my husband and I have brought home 6 children from the hospital. Five that I gave birth to and one that God gave us through adoption. One thing that held true with all six children was, I wish I had known how lonely the nights were going to be and how absolutely head over heels, love sick I was going to feel.
Do you remember when you were a teenager and you fell in love for the first time. There were times when your heart just ached for the boy at the center of your puppy love dream. Well, the love sick feeling you have after you look into the eyes of a tiny human that you had a part in creating, or that God so delicately made just for you, holds no candle to the puppy love of your teenage years.
This feeling is partly why the nights are so lonely. You lie awake in fear and wonder of missing a smile or the tiniest movement that your baby may make in his or her sleep. The worry of the day and the days to come keep you awake at night. How will you provide for this child? How will you love this child enough? How will you protect this child from harm? How will you teach this child? How will you make this child feel special, confident, and enough all the days of his or her life? These are just a few of the questions that will run a marathon through your already exhausted brain.
Not only are there the lonely nights of the baby phase, but you also have the lonely nights of the toddler years, the adolescent years, and the horrifying teenage years! I don't recall anyone warning me of the late nights I would lie awake worrying, wondering, and laughing at all that my child had done during the day.
I remember thinking through the toddler years. What am I doing wrong? My child is out of control, with tantrums, hyperactivity, a sense of bravery that I don't hold. Then during the adolescent years I remember wondering. Will my child survive, the taunting, the bullying, puberty? Will I survive it? My household hasn't made it to the teenage years yet, but when we do, I'll be sure to let you know!
To answer the question: What do you wish you'd known?
I wish I would have know that I am enough. I love enough. I do enough. I give enough. My children are going to be enough. 1 Corinthians 3:16 "Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?"
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