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A Pastor, A Mama, And The Mouse

Ten things over the last ten years

Okay, I know I’m not super young anymore – I’m in my 30’s I’ve learned a lot over the last good chunk of time … but it is just not possible that I have a ten year old. My baby girl, my first born, the one who quite literally may kill … today she turns 10. So in honor of N, I’m going to list off the top 10 things I have learned over the past 10 years of being a mom, being in ministry, and having a deaf kiddo all wrapped up into one, because today is ALL about her. So let’s go! 

  1. The baby will ALWAYS sleep better in the hospital than when you bring her home. N slept like an angel in the hospital when we had her. Our first night home she woke up every hour on the hour screaming her head off. And us, as naïve parents of this tiny little baby, thought that the AC was too loud and that’s why she couldn’t sleep. (Insert laughing so hard crying face here). If you’re just starting out on this parent hood journey – you’ll get through it I promise! They will eventually sleep through the night and so will you. Just enjoy the baby snuggles and how life simply slows down. 

2. If your baby is deaf, and you have hearing aids – do yourself a favor and do two things. 1- stock up on those little tubes that connect the ear mold to the hearing aid and 2 – until they prove themselves trustworthy don’t let them wear them in the car. Even if you’re going two minutes down the road your incredibly smart 6 month old WILL learn how to pull them out from under the pilot cap AND headband, pull the apart, toss the pieces everywhere and possibly even swallow the tube. I can’t tell you how many times N tore hers apart and we had to search the car for HOURS finding all the little pieces. Just do yourself a favor – stock up. 

3. You will find an amazing supportive community everywhere you look. It seemed like all the people came out of nowhere when we first had N – take their help! Even as they get older! It’s so hard to find babysitters that you trust so find your community and take up their offers to babysit. You NEED that adult time without kiddos around or you will burn out. Yes, that’s what i said, you can get burnt out from your kiddos as well as work and anything else that you do that is completely draining. It’s hard work being a mom, take a break every now and again. 

4. Life isn’t always like the YouTube clip. I remember going into N’s activation day for her cochlear implants to be turned on and her to actually be able to hear for the first time. We geared ourselves up by watching YouTube video after YouTube video of these kiddos lighting up and smiling ear to ear and loving life and laughing. Yeah, N hated it. She refused to let them sit on her ears. She constantly pulled them off .. but we did finally see a small glimpse that she actually heard something. That was 6 years ago and I STILL cry when I rewatch the video. 

5. God truly knows what He is doing. It might seem crazy and like you have no idea what is going on – He does! 

6. Take the trip. Spend the money. Make all the memories you can because time is going far too fast. There are trips that we thought N would never remember and she constantly talks about them. Disney is one of them. We went to Disney about six months after she was implanted and got her a “first time hearing at Disney” pin. The characters celebrated with us. We were given so much pixie dust. It was one of my favorite trips we have ever taken – I never thought she would remember it. She always talks about how Rapunzel remembered her and FaceTimed her for her surgery and how Donald Duck gave her a huge hug and was so happy for her being able to hear. TAKE THE TRIP. MAKE THE MEMORIES. SPEND THE MONEY. Trust me, it’s worth it. 

7. If your daughters cochlear implant is missing – stop looking for it for about 12 hours and it will magically appear. Check everything metal. EVERYTHING. Inside the couch, under the chair, under the carseat, absolutely everywhere. In the middle of the yard of the babysitter. It can be anywhere and everywhere is a possibility. Even the places you’ve looked a million times. 

8. Take joy in the little triumphs. So what if your kid isn’t where everyone else is – mine definitely isn’t, but if you have known her you will know the amazing progress that she has made over the last six years let alone her 10  years of life. Find those little moments and celebrate them. Life is too hard and too long to be dragged down by all of the comparisons and negativity. Comparison is the thief of joy. Look at how your kiddo is doing and only them. They’ll get there, I promise. 

9. It’s not just your kids. They’re all acting out. Alongside of doing ministry I am also a Preschool teacher. I promise. It’s not just your kids acting out. Throwing fits. Misbehaving. Being a fool. Its all of them. Social media only shows you the highlights of everyones lives. It doesn’t show you the fits that the kids threw. It doesn’t show the back talking and heartache that everyone is going through. This is just a rough patch. Keep loving. Keep learning. Be open. Be honest. Teach them how to navigate crazy situations with the grace and mercy that you’re currently showing them. Point them to Jesus … His word does not return void. Pray over them. Pray for them. Pray with them. 

10. It doesn’t matter how you feel in the moment – you’re doing a GREAT job! No one has an instruction manual to this whole parenting thing (especially with the first one) and the fact that you’re concerned about doing a good job means you’re going a great job! Mom guilt is real. It’s dumb – but it’s real. I have had this guilt so many times between believing the false hope of N not actually being deaf, to not seeing the signs that her hearing aids weren’t working and having her implanted later in her childhood and she missed a lot of important things, sounds, and brain connections that should have taken place. Don’t fall into that guilt – you did the best you could at the time, I promise you – you’re doing great. 

This became way more serious than I originally intended (haha) but it’s all true. I have had my fair share of mess ups, failures, guilt, triumphs, and victories. I’m not perfect – no one is. This is just a season and no one has a manual for how to do this parenthood thing. Take your time. Live with your kids – like really live. Be there. Be present. Be in the moment. Have fun. Make memories. You’ve got this! 


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