I know what the pre-pubbers are thinking... how hard could it be? So tough to be YOU. With all those book deals and five star reviews! Meanwhile I'm over here churning out gold no one will ever read!
It's impossible not to compare, but being a mother taught be something very important.
Every age has it's challenges. And on the flip side, every stage has it's unique joys.
When you bring home your first newborn you are faced with the looming unknown and lots of untried muscles. You may think you're prepared since you've read all the parenting books about feeding schedules and consistency, about how you'll avoid all those parenting pitfalls like too much sugar or TV. How you'll discipline and it'll work the first time. How you'll be calm and tender and never yell or spank. Until you discover the truth: that terrifying little angel couldn't care less about your plans. He'll sleep all day and scream all night. He'll get colic, or reflux, or violent diaper rashes. He might hate even the slightest wet diaper, only like to sleep in your arms, require constant movement, spit up most of his feeding all over your admittedly disgusting hair and down your last clean shirt. You barely have time to shower off the spit up, much less blow dry your hair since the baby HEARS everything and what had once been a relaxing indulged of blissfully hot spray and sweet smelling soaps, becomes a sprint to scrub and rinse before disaster strikes.
Then again, infant snuggles are heart-melters. There's almost nothing like that tiny peanut curled up on your chest. They're so light, and portable. Their meals are no brainers. They don't talk back. Or fast pitch a flashlight at the flatscreen TV (Ahem, fact or fiction?) And they do sleep. A LOT! It's kind of amazing how much you can do when you have 3 or 4 solid naptimes to work around, that is... IF you can muster the energy to lift your arms much less coordinate your whole body to task.
You might bring home a second baby. Now you have not one infant, but perhaps an infant and a toddler. A toddler who doesn't remember to stay quiet when the baby is sleeping. A toddler who becomes this hulking threat to that infants safety when they whip their toy across the room like a torpedo. A tot who wants mommy to hold them instead of the baby. Who now needs constant attention, and takes maybe one measly catnap. Who complains about the food you prepared or who can find the most dangerous thing in even the most baby-proofed home the moment you turn your back. How much easier was it when that baby couldn't move and get into EVERYTHING? You could plop them down under their mobile and 30 seconds, 5 minutes, an hour later, they will still be right where you left them.
But they don't tell you they love you. They don't sing silly songs and dance around the kitchen with you. They don't draw you reallllly pretty pictures of what they think you look like. :) They don't run and throw their arms around you with abandon.
Every stage has it's challenges and joys. And it's important to remember that every stage has BOTH challenges AND joys. They really are never mutually exclusive.
When I look back now I think, what on earth was so hard about taking care of ONE infant? Piece of cake! Try taking care of a whole tribe of children each at a different stage of finding your hot spots and testing every ounce of your patience and endurance. They WILL get past that phase, you tell yourself, but once they do you'll remember things you miss about that very time you couldn't wait to be over.
There are times when it's so much easier and freeing to write without deadlines and expectations. I remember those times. I was frustrated that no one had recognized my "talent" but the escape there was limitless. You pray for the day you'll be lucky enough to have deadlines because that means you'll be past all the "hard stuff." But even though there are wonderful things to experience in the editing and torturing of your lovingly-crafted words, there are also new challenges to face. More pressure. More distractions. More expectations, and not just yours.
I'd encourage you, wherever you are at, to not only power through, but to look for those silver linings that make each phase of walking out your dreams undoubtedly WORTH IT! It won't be easy, and you won't always be happy, but for everything there is a season. And before you know it, you'll be watching your babies leave the nest, get married, have babies of their own.
Maybe even book babies. And because I'm about to bring my second one home, I'll share my silver lining...
Wait for it...
From Winter's Ashes:
If you can trust your enemy with your life, what’s to stop him from stealing your heart?
Hopelessly unlucky in love and a target for tragedy, Joselyn Whyte hardly leads the charmed life you’d expect of an heiress. When she becomes the mark of an arsonist, the last person she expects to ride to her rescue is her nemesis—the man who sealed her fate as a frigid and lonely “Snow Whyte.”
Firefighter Finn Carson might talk a big game, but behind the swagger and the dimples is a man tormented by a mistake that cost a life. When a force stronger than his stubbornness pulls him off the bench and into a 5-Alarm fire for a miraculous save, Finn decides the key to his redemption lies with the Ice Princess he loathes. But the price to freedom from the guilt and nightmares might be too steep if it means bartering with Joselyn’s father by posing as her boyfriend—her safety and the ruthless billionaire’s Senatorial campaign hanging on the combustible edge of a decade old grudge.
When secrets from the past resurface, the ruse and reality collide and threaten to thaw their heated rivalry—turning hate into something that terrifies them even more than the cunning predator with a bent sense of justice.