My due date was four days ago. I was two days late with Scotland and nine days late with Anders, so I expected it this time around. Especially since I’ve been measuring small. I can genuinely say I haven’t felt any frustration. I believe in letting babies come when they’re ready. So despite the many queries, I don’t plan on inducing. I’m grateful for midwives that feel similarly. I’m also grateful that I’m blessed with healthy and strong pregnancies that, while including their measure of pain and discomfort, are very manageable. In preparing for childbirth this week I’ve been reading “The Gift of Giving Life.” It’s a compilation of essays by LDS women about various aspects of pregnancy and childbirth. I’ve appreciated their sacred, optimistic approach and found great peace and comfort in their view points.
I was feeling rather grumpy a few weeks ago, I was experiencing a lot of pelvic pain, and was getting frustrated with how it was limiting my activity level. I allowed my own discomfort to seep into my interactions with the boys and I let things go sour for a little while, until I got tired of myself and decided it was time to take a different approach. No body likes a negative Nelly. I determined to spend more time in prayerful contemplation, and to find some literature to help me garner greater optimism in my situation. It’s worked marvels. Instead of grouching about my inability to do some things, I’ve savored the opportunity to do other things like reading and playing the piano. Instead of pushing the boys and trying to keep things uber productive, I’ve slowed down and done more with them. I’ve taken time to linger at the playground, or take a picnic. (The gorgeous weather has been a HUGE boon!) Their behavior has improved significantly, there’s been more love in our home, and we’re all a LOT happier. I’ve gone from dreading and stressing about the delivery to looking forward to it. I’m not sure I look it, but I feel “the glow.”
This all goes to show the power of spirituality. I’m reading a book called “The Spiritual Child.” It’s a fascinating book! It discusses the scientific research behind spirituality and its merits. I highly recommend it to everyone, but especially to those who aren’t religious, and who are unsure of how to approach spirituality in their children. I credit this book also for helping me flip my perspective- at least in my interactions with the boys. I can be a pretty high-strung, intense Mom. And my tendency is to run a tight ship- whether my boys like it or not! But this book really emphasizes the importance of focusing on more than academic and intellectual pursuits. It’s helped me re-analyze where I should be placing my emphasis as a mother and helped me decide that teaching collaboration, friendship, kindness, service, anger management, joyful living, and spirituality is more important than time management, reading, taekwondo, cleanliness, or organization. And interestingly as I’ve given greater emphasis to things like kindness and service some of the other things that I used to harp on have become less of an issue- like messy eating, or defiant behavior. I believe strongly that example is the greatest teacher. (Though I think about it more than I do it!) As I’ve tried to set an example of helping and service these past weeks, we’ve done chores together– instead of me doing one thing and they doing another. I’ve sought to be playful and collaborative about it, and then been surprised as they continued to help as we moved from one chore to the next to the next. (While normally I’d be happy if they completed one chore.) We’ve spent more time reading the Friend, singing primary songs, and memorizing scriptures. I’ve been more vigilant with FHE lessons. And, as promised, the spirit has increased in our home. The boys have been less contentious, and I haven’t been stressed out and annoyed by the time Tom gets home.
I’ve relied on the empowering nature of the Atonement. Each morning I’ve prayed for the power to use a soft answer, to feel greater love and understanding, to be more patient and creative, and each night I’ve marveled at how God blessed me with each of those things. God is real. He has such a desire to uplift us and bless us, to help us become our best selves, but we must ask!
I know that the next six months are going to seriously test my grit. For a while I feared it. I thought: If I’m struggling to be level headed and patience with my boys while sleeping eight hours a night, how on earth am I going to survive when I’m sleep deprived? And then I turned to my Savior, and the last few weeks have been, beautiful. I feel hope that with complete reliance on Him these next six months need not just be endured but enjoyed. Of course, I’ll have to do things His way. But having reaped the blessings of doing just that these past weeks, I’m looking forward to it!