I Am Not Ready

Three months ago my time, energy, and schedule were my own.  Most mornings I had the luxury of waking up whenever I wanted and I had the joys of quietly listening to the birds chirp on the back patio while I enjoyed my hot cup of coffee, warm piece of toast, and Jesus Calling devotional.  Morning time was my favorite as it was so peaceful and quiet.  I often took long, hot showers while planning my agenda for the day.  My day was my own.  My only responsibility was myself.  I was never behind on housework.  The laundry hamper was rarely full, the floors were always clean, and bathrooms were spotless. Never was anything out of place.

My how things have changed drastically since 5:30pm on January 10th when Daniel and I decided to foster a ‘cute as a button’ three year old little girl.  It’s has now been 82 days since the hamper has been empty, the end tables have been free of tiny finger prints and crumbs haven’t been scattered all over the kitchen floor.  It’s been a challenge as I have traded in my schedule for hers and my wants for her needs.  I no longer wake up to the sound of my alarm, but rather the sounds of pitter patter feet coming down the hallway or the soft whisper of “Wisha? Wisha? Wake up.  Me thirsty.”

It’s been over two months since I have heard the birds chirp in the morning or enjoyed a hot cup of coffee while not rushing through my Jesus Calling devotional.  My agenda no longer consists of watching Good Morning America, taking long showers, reading books in the afternoon, going on quiet walks, or visiting with friends over a nice lunch.  Instead it is filled with her doctor’s appointments, playing with baby dolls, and trips to McDonald’s for a happy meal.  My time from the second my feet hit the floor is spent taking the crust off her sandwiches, refilling her sippy cup, teaching her how to color, identify shapes, play hide n seek, and mold little people out of play-doh.  Good Morning America has been replaced with Mickey Mouse and my afternoons have turned into ‘gulping’ down whatever ‘Chef Goldilocks’ has whipped up in her ‘kitchen’.

I’m going to be honest and you can judge me if you want, but there have been days when I missed my life before Goldilocks.  The first few weeks were fun and exciting.  Everything she did was humorous even though it might have warranted a ‘time-out’.  I had the energy to play “kitchen” for extended periods of time and creativity of an art teacher to make crafts.  I had the patience of a saint with each foot stomp and “NO! ME!” that she would scream.

But lately, after five minutes of ‘gulping’ down tomato sandwiches from her ‘kitchen’, or coloring just one page in her Hello Kitty coloring book, I am ready to go back to my ‘to-do’ list; and as much as I hate to admit this, sometimes (not always), when I am in the middle of a task and I see her bringing me a book to read, I cringe. I don’t want to stop what I am doing in order to read to her Mrs. Wishy Washy or Why the Old Lady Swallowed a Fly for the 13th time. I just don’t.

At night, when the prayers have been said and I collapse in the living room chair, I think back to the 16 times I listened to “Wisha?  You done yet?” not long after getting into the shower, and the 36 times I heard “Whatcha doin?” before noon, or the 54 questions of  “How come?” by dinner, and the 187,932 curious questions of  “Why?” by bath time.  I glance over at the dirty floor in the dining room, notice the sticky finger prints on the end table, and remember the laundry I put in the washer two days ago.   I am tired and worn out and I can’t help but ask myself, with tears streaming down my face, “Is a child what I want or am I just in love with having a baby in my womb?”

Do I want a child because I am just going through life’s motions of first you go to college, next you marry a nice man, and lastly you start a family?  Am I so determined to get pregnant because a doctor told me I can’t, and like a 10-year-old, I am screaming, “Yes I can!  Watch me!”  

Having a child is more than just having all of the fun and excitement that comes with baby showers, sharing ultrasound pictures and shopping for cute outfits.  It’s more than just dreaming of beautiful maternity pictures taken at sunset or registering for baby strollers, high chairs, and car seats. It’s more than just pinning cute nursery ideas or coming up with creative ways to announce your miracle.  Having a child is more than just all the fun and exciting aspects of pregnancy.  I sometimes get so caught up in the “idea” of having a baby tossing and turning inside my body and the notion to prove the doctor’s wrong, that I forget what having a child is really about.  It’s a life long commitment dedicated to meeting their every need while sacrificing my own. It involves wearing snot on your sleeves, having bags under your eyes, and eating bites of your lunch in between folding towels, reading stories, and paying bills.

So back to my question, do I really want a child? The answer is without a doubt yes. I do want a child and everything that comes with having a child. I want the laundry hampers to be overflowing with dirty clothes, temper tantrums when it’s nap time, and sticky fingerprints on windows, cabinets, and doors.  I want to stop everything I am doing so that I can read Dr. Seuss and explain the answers to all of the why questions.  I want to spend my mornings reheating my coffee ten times because I’m too busy helping with puzzles and building Lego towers.  I know that having a child is so much more than just a baby in the womb, and I want it…I want it all.

However, wanting it all, is not the same as being ready for it all.  So I have to ask myself another, much harder question, am I ready for it all?  Am I ready to trade in my quiet day for chaos of their musical toys, loud banging of pots and pans, and never-ending chatter?  Am I ready to wake up early and go to bed late in order to fold laundry?   Sure I am ready with nursery ideas and cute pregnancy announcements, but am I really ready for it all?  This question is not so easy to answer because as hard as it is to admit, I am not ready.  I have spent too much time and energy planning for a baby in the womb, that I have neglected what’s most important, and that’s ensuring I am ready for a baby outside of the womb.

Starting today, instead of pinning nursery ideas on Pinterest, planning perfect pregnancy announcements to show on Facebook, and daydreaming of maternity pictures plastered all over my living room walls, I am going to spend my time preparing and praying to become the Momma bird my baby bird is going to want and need me to be.  I am going to pray for patience to lovingly teach new skills, creativity to help their mind grow, endurance to keep playing when I want to stop, empathy for when they scrape their knee after I told them to quit running, humor to see past the small annoyances, and ultimately the willingness to read “one more” story even though I have 10 more items to check of my to-do list.  Children are more than just the excitement of having a baby in the womb, and I want to make sure that I am more than ready to give my all, when I get it all….

 Because they will go from this…

womb

to this…

Eliza crying

 

 

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71 thoughts on “I Am Not Ready

  1. What a wonderful post, Elisha! So very, very true….and wise. You will be that person when God’s time comes to send you your miracle. I just know it. He is now preparing you for that day. 🙂 His timing and your timing will correlate, and it will be perfect. For now, little Goldilocks is one very blessed little girl. She couldn’t have landed in a better place or be surrounded with more love…perhaps her need of you is one of the reasons for God’s delay. She will remember you forever…no matter where her life or future takes her. She will always remember her sweet “Wisha”! God bless you for your kind, caring, big heart. 🙂 Lots of love to you, Cheryl

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      • Bless your dear heart! I pray for you so often, as the Lord brings you to my mind. I am doing SO much better now, physically, thank the Lord. Still looking to Him for complete healing. I put your sweet post card on our refrigerator, and each time I see it I remember that you are praying, and it has meant SO much! You are such a special blessing from God to me, and I am so thankful for you.

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  2. Wow, this was so well thought out. You are so right in that the idea versus the reality are two very different things. Just when we aren’t sure, God proves to us that he really does have the right plans in store for us 🙂 I just know you will be a wonderful Mommy!

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    • Thanks girlie!! I’m glad I kinda figured this out now. By being more prepared later, I may have fewer meltdowns…? That’s what I am believing for at least. wink, wink

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  3. I swear every time I worry about something and pray on it, you write a post that addresses my issue!

    That aside, this was such a brave post to write and your feelings are very valid. You have great insight to the way forward and when (not if) your time comes, you will be ready physically, emotionally, and spiritually!!

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    • Thank you so much girlie! I encourage you spend this time now praying for everything you want to have and instill into your future children. Love ya girl!

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  4. A very honest post, I love it!! Even with the 3 at home, I can say that I romanticized what life would’ve been like had Aj lived, or how wonderfully things will flow when God blesses us with another. Motherhood is hard work, but I know you will do excellent at it when your moment comes, excellent!!

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    • Thanks girlie! I am praying God prepares me to give my all during this waiting period I am in. How silly would it be for me to just sit back and not prepare for the most important part of motherhood? Love ya girl!!

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  5. Love this! I came to a similar realization this weekend as I was baby sitting my friends 2 kiddos and both were screaming, demanding my attention at once all while I was balancing the toddler on the toilet seat and about ready to get sprayed. Eye opening. I don’t think you can ever fully prepare, except for preparing your attitude and yourself to be the best mom you can be. Thanks for sharing!

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    • YIKES!! You had your arms full! I agree you can’t ever be FULLY prepared, but I believe that if I seek God and spend time preparing my attitude and heart now, I might have less meltdowns later when my baby bird arrives. Make sense?

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      • Totally! We are constantly learning and growing. I know for us it looked like some financial and personal prepping to get us in the right place to know we could be “ok” parents. Hopefully when God does bless us with kids, we don’t mess them up too much. Lol.

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  6. Excellent point! Even though I grew up in a home daycare & have been a child care provider (personally & professionally) for my entire adult life, I still find this post to be a “wake up call” of how demanding parenthood is–it’s not finite–there’s no “that’s not in my job description”–it’s 24/7, 365 days a year, for the rest of your life. No pressure or anything. Love ya girl! XO

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    • It’s funny because we always gripe about all of those mothers who complain about their kids…but seriously…when Daniel would come home I would just start complaing about how it took me FOREVER to strap her in the car seat, load the groceries in the car, dig out the cheerios from the seat, and strap the donkey to the back of the car all while it snowed and I had icicles coming down my nose. It’s not easy and I WILL never get upset when a mother vents. I love Goldilocks but geez louiz! They are more than a baby in the womb fo sho! lol

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  7. This is a really great post. It is so important to be honest about what parenthood really entails, or else we will end up disillusioned and angry, even with our children.
    A bit of my background – I lost my first baby at 20 weeks into the pregnancy. It was heart-breaking. I longed to be pregnant again, and conceived again after 3 months. During that whole pregnancy I didn’t really think a lot about what being a mother was going to be like, or prepare myself for parenthood. Instead I fretted about whether my baby would survive, and bought clothes etc. Emotionally I was not ready. When she was born, perfect and beautiful, we brought her home, and we were clueless, like many new parents. However, what was worse, I developed post-natal depression that was undiagnosed until she was 9 months old. The lack of bonding with my baby caused a lot of problems further along the road as she grew into a toddler and preschooler. I could not believe how far my dream was from the reality. I felt trapped and suicidal. But thankfully, God has done a huge work of healing in my life and in my relationship with my eldest daughter. He is so good. Every day now is a gift. Sometimes I forget that, but I’m reminded by reading your post.
    So happy that God is showing you now how you need to prepare. I am sure that you will be an amazing mother as you will rely on Him. God bless, Johanna.

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  8. I have had those same thoughts while watching certain children for extended periods of time, but I don’t think any parent would ever say they were fully prepared for children in every way (and I would question them if they did!) I always hear how they weren’t prepared for how much time a child takes, but also, how much love you have for them too that gets you through those monotonous times! What you’re describing above is a season, and seasons change and some will be more enjoyable than others, but you will be a great (and i mean GREAT) Mother to Josiah and every other baby God brings into your life! Love you Beautiful Butternut!!:-)

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    • I totally agree that no one is FULLY ready to be a parent. This post has been in the making for almost three weeks and I have spent lots of moments with God about this “not being ready” thing. I know no one is fully ever ready, but I know that I can be more ready if I spent time preparing myself now rather than later or in the moment. It’s like insurance…you don’t buy it once you are hurt, you get it before you need it. I am asking God for all the areas He has shown me that are in need of improvement so that I can I work on them now. I believe its so important for people to spend more time praying before they were parents about the parent God wants them to be for their child, then parenting (especially in the early months) would be easier for them. Hugs to you girlie! I so wish you didn’t live so stinkin far away :/

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  9. aahhh, the “do i want this/am i ready?” stage. that one is a tough one! i have revisited this one many times through the last 4 years. luckily it has finally passed for me and i am more motivated and focused than ever.

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  10. Trust me, you’re not alone in having these thoughts. I’ve had them lots of times too when we have my nephew and niece over for sleepovers – it’s not a long period like yours but, the feeling that your time is never yours is still there! I do know this though, that when you do have a child, your life will change to a new normal and I’m trusting God to make the transition as smooth as He can, with minimal emotional outbursts! 😉 I was recently struck with the thought that once you’re pregnant and have a child, there’s no turning back…you can’t give the child back saying it’s not working out…I feel very guilty to be nervous about that. So, I’m just praying that when it’s time, God will equip us with all the super powers a mom needs to maneuver through this life-stage called, motherhood 🙂 You’ll be an awesome mom…not perfect in all your ways, but the perfect mom for your little ones…just like God intended.

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    • Thanks girlie!! I have been praying about his for weeks (three to be exact) and God has really shown me areas I need improvement. It’s better to improve in these areas now before he gets here so that I don’t have too many mistakes and wish for too many do overs.

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  11. I think the same thing too – do I want this because I want it or because I can’t have it? Sometimes I realize I focus so much on the “wanting” that I forget what the end result will be if I get it.

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    • right?! This has been something I have been praying about for three weeks. God is using this time o waiting to help me become the parent He wants me to be for my children. I believe we spend so much time for everything but the actual parenting part. Kinda like those people who spend more time planning for a wedding but forget it’s the marriage that matters.

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  12. I agree with everyone here…VERY brave & VERY well said. Your thoughts are I guarantee what each and every one of us have thought or felt at one time or another. Don’t get me wrong… I can’t imagine life without my boys & I’m beyond grateful and thankful for them, but I too sometimes miss the simple things. Who doesn’t? I believe It’s a lesson learned: appreciate the gifts we’re given & embrace the change. 😉 I think you’ll be a great Mom and you’re well on your way my dear! 🙂

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  13. This post was wonderful. Tonight I sent my husband to dog obedience class without me because I was overwhelmed and needed to catch up on housework. He resisted at first but I replied with well what are you going to do when we have kids and we both can’t be everywhere together at the same time? In the end, he went and I got my house cleaned. I get you though. I often wonder how I will deal with the lack of sleep, constant routine and messy house. I just hope that when my time comes I will be more than ready.

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    • I hear ya girlie! I plan on spending my time in the infertility waiting room preparing myself for the life after the womb. I have realized that is so much more important. I am praying for fewer meltdowns and wisdom and strength to get me through the day. Like I said in some earlier comments…you don’t buy insurance after you get hurt…you do it before. I am praying that God equips me before I need it so that I have it when the time comes and I’m not running around all panicky. I’m glad you got your house all cleaned up 🙂

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  14. I have been reading through your blog this morning and just wanted to say that you are such a blessing and such an inspiration to the many women who battle with infertility. Thank you for sharing!
    lifeslittlebump.blogspot.com

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  15. Thank you so much for your honesty. I had a revelation along the same lines a few months back. I have a 10 year old daughter, so it’s been a while since I have had a little one with 24/7 demands. Even so, between my husband and she needing my help with things quite often (along with the daily laundry/grocery shopping/cooking/cleaning and working full time), sometimes I feel myself get frustrated because I am spread so thin – and it dawned on me . . . what do you think is going to happen with a BABY added to this?! I’ve raised a daughter, mostly as a single parent, so I do know what it takes and how all consuming it is. . . but how soon we forget what it’s TRULY like! I have been able to slowly allow more “selfishness” or “me time” back into my life just due to my daughter’s age. She sleeps in, so I have about 45 minutes on weekends to enjoy my coffee in silence on Saturdays and Sundays. She picks out her own outfits (which I only correct when they are absolutely heinous or not weather appropriate), I cook her breakfast IF/when I have the time after the gym and before work/school (otherwise she can grab some cereal), she takes the dog out to go potty and gets her backpack ready to go. She’s always ready to leave the house before I am. I believe God gave me a little nudge and reminded me that tiny babies do nothing but create work and take time (they give us love and joy, of course. . . ) but they require so much effort. It helped give perspective to what exactly I am asking for. Do I want all of that responsibility again? Absolutely. But it will definitely take adjusting to and I will have to be ready to surrender allllll of myself all over again to taking care of yet another person ahead of myself. There goes the hour I spend doing my hair and makeup every morning before work. 🙂 SUCH a great reminder! Thanks for the post! ❤

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    • No problemo girlie!! I figured it was best to start praying and preparing myself for all of the ‘work’ now rather than after the baby gets here…it might prevent fewer meltdowns :/

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  16. i once wrote a blog post about this too. I compared it to getting married and being ready for what comes after the pretty white dress, the beautiful wedding cake, the fragrant flowers and thousand photos. What comes after all of that is WORK. Having a baby is the same way, once you get past the ultrasounds and baby showers and growing belly comes the real work. I love that you are praying that God will prepare you for this. You are a wonderful momma already and I know that God is going to bless you so abundantly. Lots of **HUGS**

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    • Exactly! I was going to add what you put about girls who worry so much about the wedding that they forget to prepare for the marriage but I couldn’t fit it in very well so I left it out. Thanks so much for your support and encouragement. I think you are so awesome!!

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  17. I laughed quite a bit as I read this post, but especially at the end when I saw the 2 pictures. What a contrast! You’re so right, there’s much more to pregnancy and raising a child. Glad you’re ready for it ALL!

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  18. This is why I LOVE reading your blog. You take the time to ask yourself hard questions and you are so honest about the answers! I, myself, have wondered this more often than not and well… it’s tough. Having a baby means learning how to put someone else’s needs before you… all of the time. Every day. On repeat. I, too, hope to cultivate patience inside me, infinite patience, so I can be a good mother. Thanks for this post!

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  19. Such a hard post to admit! I have the struggles and doubts while I nanny. Some days just seem like too much, but at the end of the day I would do it all for my own child.

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    • Oh I would too but caring for her has taught me areas that I need improvement. I would rather pray and work on those now before my babies get here, then afterwards. hehe

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  20. Nailed it! Such a good post! I often ask myself the same question and always come to the same conclusion as you. It is scary and a bit overwhelming to think about but we will learn and grow and adapt! Xoxo!

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  21. I really love this post. I’ve been asking myself this the deeper I get into this IVF journey. I ask myself do I want to be pregnant or do I want to be a mother. I’ve concluded that thought I am not completely ready I believe God has already equipped me like he did Gideon. He told Gideon he was a mighty warrior long before he was one and we will be great mothers. It’s just not an over night process, I am absolutely not ready today but I know God is working on my patience and my ability to be more loving.

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    • Yes He is 🙂 But He will only work on us as long as we ask and seek Him too and that’s where I was failing. I was just expecting it to happen but I need to seek Him for all of those things and not rely on my own strength. Prayers for you girlie!!!

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  22. You are in my head Woman! This post came at the most perfect time for me, I have often wondered the same thoughts, because that sexy baby bump is something I dream about! But then what about when that baby bump turns to saggy baby leftovers and I now have a full time job as a mother? This is a hard thought to process and you nailed it! Your honesty makes me be more brave to admit these are completely normal thoughts! I pray for you, You pray for me! 🙂

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    • you crack me up with the “saggy baby leftovers”! bahahaha! I think if we teamed up to write our posts, they would be HILARIOUS! I sho will pray for you girlie! xoxo

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  23. So smart and levelheaded of you to think about it so realistically. So many people do get caught up in the dream that they are completely shocked once motherhood actually arrives at how hard it really is. If I’m being honest here, I’m scared to death about a lot of things. I think all those things you’re praying for will absolutely make you a better mother, and the sacrifices you’ve made to foster will as well.

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  24. I am going to try this again! I had issues posting on your blog the other day.
    I think this post is amazing is so honest! I love it! I have some crazy emotions some days when I nanny. I question what I am doing etc, but at the end of the day I would take all the crazy for my own child. I have dedicated years, energy, and time to other peoples kids. I want my own. 🙂

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  25. You are going to be the best mom. And this post is so good. I feel not ready and unprepared for motherhood every single day. And like you, my thoughts have changed from cute nurseries and outfits and baby registries, to things like patience, empathy, willingness, godliness… Being a mother, and teaching and showing Jesus to your children is just such an enormous responsibility. Praying for you each and every day. And I am so excited for the day you do become a mother. Josiah is going to be one loved and precious little boy.

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  26. You nailed it! Thank you for being so brave and sharing this with all of us. I’ve had similar thoughts after spending the day with friends and their little kids. It terrifies me that I could want something so badly but also be so afraid and terrified of it actually happening..

    Thank you!

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  27. Pingback: So Do You Get To Keep Her? | waiting for baby bird

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