“Does he sleep in his own bed?”
The question makes me cringe a little.
“No,” I say, somewhat shamefully, as it feels like a confession.
“How long did he breastfeed?”
“Have you started potty training?”
*Confession time* Might as well put me under a bright light and hook me up to a lie detector machine.
I’ve lied about it before if I’m being honest.
But I shouldn’t have. I shouldn’t feel like I have to. And neither should you.
Because we have big, big mountains to climb in this parenting thing, but we keep rolling backwards down the same tiny hills.
While we have these giant fish to fry, we’re left swimming in circles, chasing minnows.
We have decisions to make and people to raise and do you know what our best tool is?
Not a book. Or a coach. Or a friend’s advice. Or a lecture.
It’s our intuition.
An intuition we shouldn’t have to defend; a feeling that shouldn’t turn into a confession.
I’m done feeling ashamed for the choices I make.
I’m done spinning tedious circles over the little details and missing the big picture set in front of me.
I’ve spent too much time in a blur of open-ended opinions and mindless wandering
and not enough time preparing hearts for eternity.
So now, If you ask where my toddler’s crib is,
I’ll tell you—my room.
If you ask when he stopped nursing,
I’ll tell you—around TWO.
If you want to know what I tell my big kid when he says, “I don’t like to sleep in a room alone”,
I’ll say, “I feel that way, too.”
‘Answer shamelessly’ is my only advice if you were to ask me what you should do.
I can’t tell you what to do. I don’t have the answers. I haven’t read the parenting books. I haven’t had a consultation. I haven’t attended a lecture.
But I know in my heart it doesn’t feel wrong to pick up my crying son in the middle of the night.
I know I’ve never felt my kids were missing something because they were late on learning to “self-soothe”.
I know, as a mom, I feel safest with them close.
I know that with all the big decisions I have yet to make—that these fleeting moments aren’t as pivotal.
I know that with this world’s obsession of numbers and milestones, I’ll make a point to be more lax on the tests and more present in the moment.
Where they sleep, what they eat—these details we let consume us take up the space for the trials they face and the love they need.
So my kids may not seem “independent” enough for some, and that’s okay—
because these kids? They’re mine to bring up.
They’re my responsibility to prepare and pour into.
It’s my heart that has been softened in the exact way that God intended for it to be
and no one person knows my kids…like me.
*Whitney Ballard, Trains and Tantrums blog