I remember when my oldest, now 19 years old, was a newborn. I had never babysat. I honestly did not know they were not born sleeping through the night. I had never changed a diaper. Boy, was I in for a shocker.
Those first few weeks were harrowing. No sleep, a breast infection, yeast infection, and a baby with jaundice just about did me in. One night in particular, Daly Kay screamed non-stop from 11pm to 2am. Finally my husband looked at me with complete exhaustion and confusion and said, “Don’t you know how to make her stop?”
Oh man. The jig is up. He actually thinks I am supposed to know what I am doing. We are both in a world of trouble.
I had fed her, multiple times, changed her, rocked her, driven her around the block. Finally at 2am I strip her down to nothing and discover one of my long brown hairs had wound tightly around her toe and it was cutting off the circulation! Removed the hair and within 1 minute the child was out cold.
I tell you this because those first few weeks of her crying rattled me in ways I never knew possible. I sat outside her nursery door many times crying just as hard as she was. I had fed her. Changed her diaper. She was warm. She had been loved on to pieces. (Truth be known, Daly Kay was an odd baby duck…she actually cried when I held her! She usually wanted to be left alone!) I knew all her little needs had been met and she needed to sleep. But the crying….
I remember one day when she was six weeks old. I was sitting on the front stoop of our home when David arrived from work. He asked me what I was doing outside…I told him I just couldn’t handle hearing the tears. I needed fresh air. Thank God he understood and it wasn’t more than a few more minutes and she finally gave in to take her nap. Whew!
The point is, I have lived through the crying. 15 times. It bothers me now far less, obviously, but I don’t think a mother is ever impervious. And I think I may have an idea why the Lord in His wisdom chose to make a baby cry…
Sure, it’s to signal to us something is wrong or perhaps a need is unmet. But I think as parents it is the first step to teaching us how to discern. To learn to begin to listen and think through a situation instead of respond with just pure impulse and emotion. Don’t mistakenly think it will get easier when they can talk…nothing is more heart wrenching than a “Maaaaaaaamaaaaaaaa….mmaaaaaammmmmaaaaaaaa!”
But it pales in comparison to a teenager’s cry. And there are situations coming up in the life of your dear little baby, in a future that is not nearly as distant as you think, that will require you as a parent to respond with calm clear-headedness. All those newborn tears, toddler tantrums, tween emotional ups and downs will have prepared you for handling the more delicate and difficult stages of parenting that can occur during the teenage years. You’re gonna have to get tough momma. You’re gonna have to learn to deal with crying. But more importantly, you’re going to have to learn how to think through it. God in His wisdom is preparing you for battles you don’t even see down the road.