Our morning walks and playground times seem to be a little earlier than most of the young families in our area. We generally are the only ones at the park, hanging out with the before work dog walking crowed. I think Caleb secretly wakes up early so he doesn’t miss watching his furry friends run around. He sure gets a thrill from it.
This morning, one of the dogs ran up to play with Caleb, so I asked the owner if the dog was used to kids. He told me that they had a 2 week old baby boy.
I jumped to offer my congratulations and starting jabbering on about how wonderful being a parent was and all the blessings that come with a baby. I stopped halfway through my passionate soliloquy and noticed that the man didn’t seem to be relating.
All the feelings of the first couple weeks with Caleb rushed back to me, the exhaustion and the overwhelming sense of life never being the same. I shut my mouth and stopped my congratulating.
Instead I looked at him and said that when my husband went back to work I cried everyday, not knowing how I was going to get through. I told him transparently that the first six weeks were really hard, but then everything got better all of a sudden.
My dose of honestly refreshed him, and he said that when he gets home and his wife is crying and he doesn’t know what to do, he feels guilty for going to work, but he has to. He was encouraged to know that this is just a stage that will pass by quickly.
The opportunity to validate what that couple was going through was huge. Instead of just rushing on with the blessings on parenting (which are endless to be sure) the Lord had me bring a message of hope. Hope recognizes the challenge and provides that things will get better.
Romans 5:2-5 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us
Sometimes congratulations are not in order, but a listening ear, love and understanding are!
I hope you can take the opportunity to encourage a new parent today!