This week’s posts answer several questions from a dear woman in a wrenching situation. I answered her immediately and privately, awhile back. Recently postpartum with her first child, she wonders about the effects of her wounded and out-lashing husband. She wonders if it would be better for the baby to live without a dad. Here is the greater part of my answers:
Yes! That “row-to-hoe” can stretch on forever, trying to outlive children, can’t it? I know because I had six of them and they sometimes seemed to have a head start on me.
Just when we imagine all’s well, something surfaces, and usually at the worst time, right? Accustoming myself to motherhood and all its foibles and failures cost me several years of my life. By the time the third child arrived, I thought I’d mastered some techniques of child raising. Boy, was I wrong!
I finally got it, though. Now I know the only, only, only way to give a child a happy life is to have parents who seek God daily, even hourly. I can do my half of that.
Difficult childbirth has knocked at my door, too, leaving me weak and weary. Oh, I know the long days and short nights. I know the constant care-giving while needing care, yourself. I know the disorientation, forgetfulness, depression, and touchiness that come with the elation and wonder at experiencing this tiny new being. How could I have sunk into such sadness when life had dealt such joy as a miracle baby?
My health deteriorated when I gave birth. I was not in tip-top shape, in fact, I remembered only vaguely what tip-top felt like. What a zombie I was! Hormones jumped up and down a scale from below zero to over the moon. I battled for sanity, once nearly broke down. I lacked iron. A gaping wound in my internals healed slowly. I slept only occasionally, fitfully.
And they asked me to make decisions. I would have laughed, except my laugh was broken. Laughter would have required action, and I mostly operated on reaction. I was so tired, every decision culminated in taking a nap, which never materialized because hormones would not let me sleep.
The better course would have been to have waited until I was the real me. The difficulty of waiting disappears when you lose track of time, though. We need waiting. For nine months, we wait for the most important event in ages, and never, ever do we think more waiting would greatly help. But we need waiting.
If we cannot find a good rhythm, some rest, and sanity, if our smile turns upside-down more often than not, is it the time to make a life-long decision? No. If I cannot decide if I want to eat or not, is it time to decide if I want to keep my husband or not? No. Wait.