Being a new parent is difficult I must say and I feel okay saying it. Since I get asked about it almost constantly I sometimes feel like I need to put on a facade and act like everything is perfect, lest people think Rachel and I are bad parents. But the truth is, it can be incredibly frustrating at times and it feels good to be open about it.
I tend to get frustrated easily, not one of my best traits. This has be been made particularly clear to me having a newborn. When my son Archer is red faced and screaming while I’m trying to put him to sleep, while I myself am very tired, it makes me mad at him and wonder why he’s doing this to me. Sounds pretty selfish, huh? I guess that’s what makes us human. So, I often find myself praying and asking God for patience, understanding and to be reminded that Archer is just a baby and doesn’t know any better and isn’t out to get me or Rachel. Although he did projectile poop on her once, so maybe he is out the get her. Thankfully she is much more patient than I.
The praying has helped, and I know God is working in both Rachel and I, changing us in ways we’ve never imagined. However, at first I couldn’t help but think, “hey God, you really could have done a better job at this whole baby thing, maybe you could have came up with a better form of communication than crying… just saying.” Sounds silly, I know, but I was serious. Then something struck me. I’m sure I read this somewhere at some point in some form, but what I realized is, if God made babies able to clearly communicate what they want and need, it would be, well, easy. Sounds great, right. The problem is, easy doesn’t require sacrifice and every good, healthy, meaningful relationship does. The core of who God is and at the heart of His story is relationship (okay I’m sure I’m steeling this from Donald Miller). And God made babies cry so we the parents would have to sacrifice ourselves for them, creating a deep bond and relationship like no other. In fact, it’s a pretty awesome reflection of God, both in marriage and then in parenting. With that In mind, I’m thankful. I’m thankful for God teaching me how to be more like him through my son and my wife and by extension showing others what God is like. It’s a beautiful thing.
Finally, I must say, parenting is also a lot of fun and brings a lot joy into Rachel and I’s life. God didn’t make it easy, but He threw some truly joyful moments to lighten the load. Archer is sleeping across from me now in his swing and he’s just amazing to look at. My favorite times are when Rachel and I are at home together and Archer is awake, happy and alert. We’ll lay him on the floor or on the bed and talk to him and he’ll put on a little show for us. God definitely knew what he was doing. Plus, how can you not love this face?