Thursday, April 8, 2010

And God Said: "You're Not the Boss of Me"

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." – Jeremiah 29:11

Do you know what's good for you? If you are like me, you think you do. You know that if things could just be... everything would be just fine, am I right? The Bible passage I quoted comes up frequently in my small group discussions. Often we talk about how God always answers prayers, but it's not always the answer you wanted.

I had a moment this morning when I woke up next to Little Kidlet where it was as if a veil obstructing my understanding had been lifted and I realized something important. In making my way through this postpartum depression, I have fixated on the fact that Little Kidlet would not sleep neatly and compliantly in the wonderful and comfy little co-sleeper I had set up next to my bed. I lamented to myself, and yes, said prayers, that if this child would just sleep where I needed him to sleep (emphasis on I) then I would be better rested, my husband less cranky, etc., etc.

I didn't set out to bed share with my children, although I wasn't opposed to it...up to a point. With my first child, he hated the bassinet, and ended up sleeping with us for several months, but ultimately we transitioned him to his own room and a crib by the time he was six months old. The transition at night was just fine, although daytime took several more months. We had no need of even contemplating the loaded and loathed method of "cry-it-out," and nor would I have pursued that option. In fact, I took pride in honoring my mother's instincts and after attending a "sleep specialist's" talk to my local moms' group, only going because daytime sleeping was an issue, I flatly rejected her proclamation that I could never expect my son to be able to sleep interchangeably in the bed and crib--it had to be one or the other. I went back to the drawing board, tuned into my son, equipped myself, and in time he did just that with no draconian methods employed. He's been a "good sleeper" ever since.

When number two was imminently arriving, I made plans to be able to have the baby with us as we had had my oldest, but with an added measure of safety with the co-sleeper. The Husband doesn't sleep as soundly because he was/is paranoid that he will roll onto the baby. Ultimately "the plan" was to transition Big Kidlet into his "big boy bed" and have the baby join him later in the room in the newly available crib. I figured by six months, we should be fine. Cue laughter of the reader to this obvious example of "the best laid plans" of an overachieving delusional mother. I blame it partially on my background in management. I was used to people doing what I (benevolently) directed them to do.

To say that parenting has been a "humbling" experience in this regard would be a massive understatement.

So when Little Kidlet had a different agenda, in my fog of exhaustion and depression, I cried out to God, "Can you help me out with this? I need this kid to give me some space, I'm drowning here!" And He didn't answer this perceived need, at least I thought he didn't, until I awoke this morning.

When I woke this morning snuggled to my child I realized that God had given me exactly what I needed. Because, I was drowning, and I needed a life preserver...a little warm bundle of life preserving wonder that would not leave my side...even in the dead of night, or the deepest darkness of my depression.

God blessed me and answered my prayers for help, but not in the way I directed Him to.


  1. Thank you for this beautiful post. It was just what I needed to read after days/weeks of difficulties getting my 6 yo DD to bed since she gave up sucking her thumb. My kids don't operate according to my plan or schedule, and it is a constant reminder to let go, and that I am not the boss! Thanks again!

  2. Thanks so much for your kind comments, Bettina! I'm so happy it spoke to you :) Prayers for you and your little one as you move through this transition. Hang in there!


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