When Parenthood Doesn’t Go As Expected


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Sometimes parenthood really doesn’t go as you expect.

Like when your baby is only a few weeks old and you realize you and your husband have different views on some aspects of parenting, in spite of all the hours of discussion prior to having baby.

Or when you say, “I’ll never stick my kid in front of a TV.  Especially not my baby.”  And then your 5 month old screams every time you put him down but you and your husband have to pack for a trip.

Or when you decide, “I’ll never CIO.” (CIO – a parenting method called Cry It Out.)  And then you are so frustrated you can’t see straight and you are pushing yourself right off the edge and your husband has to intervene otherwise you and/or the baby might get hurt so one night he physically removes the baby from your arms and tucks you into bed.  And you realize that really was what was needed.

Or when you have a goal to breast feed until 9 months or a year.  And then at 8 weeks old, your baby decides that he doesn’t love nursing anymore and you fight and wrestle him for weeks until you have to introduce formula in order to get some nourishment into him  and he continues to cry and squirm and flail and it’s a wrestling match almost every nursing session and you do your best to hang in there and fight to keep nursing until you finally have to realize that it’s over and at 6 months old your baby nurses for the last time.

Or when you say, “I don’t want to put my baby in the church nursery.”  And then you haven’t sat through a full sermon or Bible study in months and you are desperately hungry for the Word and realize that you just might want to try to put your baby in the nursery.

Or what about all those times over the years where you said, “I will not be one of those Moms that talks to their baby in a baby voice.”  Um, yes.  I may or may not do this.

None of those goals were wrong.  In fact, I still stand by them for the most part.  But sometimes….life just doesn’t go as you expected.

The shame sets in.  You are discouraged because you did (or didn’t do) x, y, or z.  You are ashamed when you go into the cry room at church and pull out a bottle of formula as the Mom next to you nurses her much older child.  You hope CIO doesn’t come up in a conversation where you’ll have to admit that you have CIO.  People just don’t understand when you talk about your goals for your child being (or not being) in the nursery.

And here I am preaching to myself as well as my readers.  Don’t be ashamed.  Life is hard.  Parenting is hard.  Motherhood is hard.  Breast feeding is hard.  The exhaustion is hard.

Have goals.  Make goals.  Spend time researching and figuring out what you think is best.  Do all that you can to achieve those goals.  But if something happens and you realize that another decision needs to be made…..or you realize the decision is out of your control….it is okay.  Don’t worry about what the Mom next door will say.  Don’t worry about what your family will say.  Do what is best for your family.  Don’t listen to the voices that will try to tell you that you gave up or you didn’t try hard enough or that you don’t love your child enough.

Don’t give in to the lies!!  God gave your baby to you.  God gave your circumstances to you.  Seek Him as you make and evaluate your goals.  He is the only One you need to please!



8 thoughts on “When Parenthood Doesn’t Go As Expected

  1. I’ve always said that as a mom, you have to do what’s right for your child and your family. And that might look different than what’s right for another child or family, or different than what was right a month ago. Parenting is tricky business because it’s constantly changing and you have to adapt and keep figuring out what’s best. 🙂 Many blessings to you in this time!

  2. A wonderful reminder for all of us – not just in parenting but in life. Whether it’s a new job, marriage, or parenting, we all find ourselves in situations where life intrudes on our fantasies of how we’d have things all together. Many times, the differences between our fantasies and realities aren’t wrong, they’re just differences. Some times, the difference is sin – and we need to repent and do right. But either way, we can continue under grace, with heads held high, knowing that regardless of our faults (or just our natural human limitations) God has still entrusted us with this life (sometimes these little other lives) to live for Him.

  3. Thanks so much for sharing this at Spiritual Sundays. So true! It’s so hard to stick with all the things you hope to be as a mother– it’s a battle every day! I hope you’ll continue to share your awesome posts with us!

  4. A wonderful reminder – especially for me today! Today didn’t go as expected. I am feeling like an overwhelmed mom with not much to give today!! I have to remind myself of the lessons you stated: being a mom is hard, we have bad days, and that doesn’t make us bad parents. Great post!

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