Someone asked recently, “What’s one thing you stepped out to do without having any idea what you were doing?”

“No doubt about it … having three kids,” I answered without even thinking.

I’ve done a few things without half-way knowing what I was doing, but having kids was like entering the wild frontier. Babies always look so cute and sweet when they belong to someone else. And, you can always hand them back to their parents when they cry. When they’re yours, you’re the one they’re being handed to.

I think what overwhelmed me the most after Jason was born, was realizing I was the one in charge of and responsible for this other person. I relaxed a bit when I realized I had raised a puppy, so how hard could it be taking care of a baby? But babies can’t be put outside when they howl, so there went my theory.

When Travis came along 24 months later I became a real mom. Until then I really didn’t understand why so many women take weekend retreats. I decided if I could convince myself sleep was over rated, I’d be OK. I wasn’t as concerned with tiny details like schedules and following suggested guidelines the second time around. I most likely broke every rule in the books so popular now.

Then when Jill was born, I threw out every notion I could have everything under control even for just 5 minutes. The third one throws the parent/kid ratio totally out of whack and a shift from man-to-man to zone defense becomes necessary.

Wouldn’t it be simple if new parents left the hospital with a set of directions in the diaper bag like the oil change instructions in the glove box of a new car? But a Toyota Camry is a Toyota Camry and changing the oil is the same in each one of them. Kids each require different maintenance and the biggest challenge parents face is finding out what each child needs. If only they came with instructions.

“Train up a child in the way he should go (and in keeping with his individual gift or bent), and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
~Proverbs 22:6 (Amplified Bible)

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