When I found out I was pregnant with Anna I was devastated and sunk into a deep depression for several weeks. With a grateful heart I think back to the day God gave me a dream of myself holding a baby girl, and with that dream a certainty that I was pregnant with a girl and her name would be Anna. I was grateful then because this knowledge drew me up out of my depression and gave me an excitement about the life growing inside of me. I am thankful now because Anna’s birth and presence in my life has rocked my whole world.
Growing up I was never the girl who couldn’t wait to have children. I just figured it was something that would “happen to me” after I got married and due to a lot of experience babysitting, the idea simply seemed tiring. Truthfully, we got pregnant with Sofia so that I could get a break from my stressful work situation. We had Charlie because two was the number we had planned on.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my children, but over the years since becoming a mother, I have struggled with a desire for more (not more kids FYI). In my head I was always thinking of what came next after this tiring, trying, stage of infancy and toddlerhood: going back to nursing, beginning a career in interior design, sleeping….Instead of enjoying the stage of life I was in, I was dreaming it away and letting discontent affect my interactions with my children. My sense of entitlement (to my own space, to my own career, to my own dreams) resulted in less than favorable attitudes towards my children at times.
But like I said, having Anna has rocked my world and I can see it as nothing other than a giant, God initiated change of heart. Anna is the sweetest baby you could ever meet (God knew what I could handle!). Her presence in our family has softened me, but also my children. Their sweetness towards her, and delight in her, helps to remind me that my two older children have potential for great kindness (a reminder I need when they are screaming at each other). Both Sofia and Charlie take great pride in the responsibilities I give them in regard to Anna: “Sofia, please take away the toy Anna has, it’s too small” or “Charlie, protect Anna (in her stroller) from bad guys while mommy is in the toilet stall”. Having Anna in our family has given many opportunities for praising Sofia and Charlie which are affirming to them and encouraging to me.
At a deeper heart level, having Anna has helped to bring focus and purpose to my life. Instead of spending my time dreaming about the future, I am spending more time being present with, and delighted by my children whilst enjoying the crazy fun they bring to my life. I still struggle at times with a sense of entitlement to “self” but I am aware of it and praying through it. Becoming pregnant with Anna blew all my plans out of the water but since having her I have been holding much more loosely to my own plans and approaching life with more of a hands open, God knows best attitude.
Does Anna sleep well? No. Am I tired? Yes. Do I sometimes lose my cool with my children? Yes. But my heart is thankful and I have been finding a contentedness in this stage of life that I did not think possible. As has been the theme in my life, it is better than expected. So much better.
Might a fourth make it even sweeter? If God gives and poor planning prevails 🙂 My heart is open.