I did a double take just this morning as I looked at my 9 month old. You know you have given birth to the “clingy-est” baby in the world when you cannot even go to the loo for 60 seconds to empty your bladder. Like many mums out there my baby has been very attached to me and I haven’t complained….(not unless it was a really stressful situation involving time and dead lines). I have loved having him in my arms, sleeping next to me in my own bed, feeding him, bathing him and what not.
My oldest is turning seven very soon and I am a witness to how time can fly really quickly and one can end up wondering where all that time went. So for a mum like me who has very gratefully and prayerfully decided not to have any more children, I have been relishing and cherishing every moment spent with my “last born” (as I believe God has said Amen to my request).
During this process I have found out that once life has happened, it is uncontrollable. By this I mean, conceiving and birthing him was my last assignment in terms of what he will physically become. God does the womb bit and his genes determine the rest. To explain further….my baby looks like a one year old although he is only 9 months. If I could make him a certain physical stature, maybe I would be tempted. However his size and appearance has already been predetermined by his genetic make up.
I love that he might be the tallest in his class, and that he will be taller than me in no time. I struggle though with holding him for long periods because he is heavy. The other day in church, an unsuspecting congregation member offered to hold him during the time of worship. I chuckled to myself as I watched her pass him from left arm to right arm and back. She finally sat down and eventually handed him over to me with a smile which I decoded as “please carry your property, thanks”. Unlike mums with lighter and less clingy babies, I get to carry my baby myself a lot and like I said I’m enjoying it.
Recently, I have had to make a move towards independence. I began to replace breast feeds with bottle feeds. I also started trying new food textures. There were so many hitches with the weaning process. I would so easily fall back to breastfeeding for the purpose of comforting him. I knew it would become very difficult if I didn’t put my maternal instincts aside. A “take-it-or-leave-it” approach was necessary for him to embrace the bottle; albeit reluctantly.
The nights were horrendous. We previously had our little system going and we both slept very well because of it. Now I had to totally separate myself from him at night. The boundaries were frustrating for me and even more so for him.
Long story short, today he began to fuss and so I knew he was hungry. I went downstairs to make him his bottle. He watched the process patiently knowing what was coming. It took him 6 minutes to empty the bottle and he began to fuss again. It was sleep this time. I put him on my bed which previously was his haven…much to the displeasure of hubby. Rather surprisingly he kept on fussing. Eventually I put him down in his cot. This very cot I have sometimes wondered if he would ever get used to sleeping in. Just as if he had had a shot of tranquilizer….my wee man fell asleep immediately his head touched his cot. It was the miracle of the century. For this young man to choose his cot over my bed was a revelation to me as to the power of consistency through discomfort.
Coming to other aspects; in life, it is possible for what once seemed like a bad idea to eventually be the best decision you ever made. The key to seeing this play out for you, is determination and a little persistence. You may be struggling with something which you are not winning at. Remember that we live in a fallen world and this has now meant that in life you meet resistance. Unfortunately though, we often respond to resistance by giving up rather than striving to outlast it. We make a couple of attempts and then we let it go. I have realised that to beat anything, your determination must be only slightly greater than that of the resistance.
Based on a biblical school of thought, I recommend 7 attempts at things before you give up. Truth is you wouldn’t have to give up if you follow this 7 time or 7 season principle. I will explain why and the kinds of situations I’m referring to in another post.
As I watched my baby show preference to the very things he would have cried so terribly about just a few weeks ago; I realised this truth. Resistance is part of growth. Get used to it and be more determined to see your resistance give up first