Pre-Baby Inventory/ Mom-ing Goals

I’ve hit that marvelous milestone in maternity- 20 weeks. The miraculous half way point (or in my case, usually just beyond half way, as my babes never tend to take a full 40 weeks) and I have got to tell you, I’m experiencing the oddest combination of “Dear Lord, I’m not ready!!!” And “thank goodness half of this process is behind me.”

My husband says I always get this way, and that by May I’ll be “bloody insufferable.” Which is probably true, especially when I have to start gardens in the 3rd trimester and heat/humidity of an East Tennessee early summer. I’m praying for an extra measure of grace beginning now, and maybe the Good Lord will soften my abrasive tendencies.

So here I am, 20 weeks, I still don’t know baby’s gender. I still haven’t committed to a midwife/OB. I haven’t picked names. I haven’t planned sleeping arrangements. I haven’t written a birth plan. I haven’t gotten out my maternity clothes– what few items I kept back from the last great closet purge of 2021.

I feel so ill-prepared to meet my baby. And at the same time, I have this deep sense of “This is your 5th child- you know how this goes, it’ll be ok.” And instead of riding the waves of a happy medium, I vacillate between the two extremes of rushing to prepare for new life, and procrastinating all preparations to the back burner because “I’ve got time.”

Photo by Markus Winkler on Pexels.com

I have a few things I’d like to check off the Baby to-do list.

1) Get the kid’s bedrooms COMPLETELY free of clutter. Why is there a sheet of plywood in the girl’s bedroom? Why are there broken bins half full of clothing? Why haven’t I gotten the holes patched or walls painted?? Oh right– because of the sheer number of my children.

2) Inventory baby clothes. What do I have? What do I lack? Is the stuff I have unisex or gender specific? Can any of it be used? Can the rest be donated or does it just need to be tossed out?

3) Start getting freezer or “canned” meals put away. I like being in my kitchen postpartum as a step in physical/emotional healing, but I don’t have nearly the time to make from scratch meals for breakfast lunch and dinner. I have a few things freeze dried, like ground beef, chili, beef stew, cooked chicken, turkey. And I’ve got some of those things canned as well, in addition to meal add-ons like canned veggies to be added to soups, canned fruit to be added to oats, or various side dish items. I’d like to have “convenience foods” on the shelf or freezer, ready to go in 20 minutes or less. And as I type this, I’m simultaneously preparing 5lbs of stew beef for…stew. So that should yield a few quarts to put on the shelf.

4.) Organization is a BIG BIG BIG to do– It would vastly eliminate a lot of the chaos we experience as a family. The trouble seems to be that the more time I give to getting one specific area ordered, the more that opens up the rest of the home to explosions of stuff and clutter piles… BUT- I have developed a system for moving our theological library to shelving downstairs, and that as well as the book nook has freed up some shelf space which I can use for our homeschooling things and book, paper, and binder piles that find their way all over the house.

5.) And this is my biggest and first priority- Quiet time. I am seemingly constantly retraining myself in the discipline of spending dedicated time with the Lord. Little interruptions in my schedules, changes in the children’s routines/milestones (like dropping naps- my 5 year old has decided she no longer needs them 😦 ) add to the seeming chaos as I’m feeling constant flux in my attempts to craft consistency, largely to having to train my children to accept their routines and make adjustments as they “age out” of one phase and enter into another… and here I thought I’d coast through my 30s, fine tuning all my systems and just enjoy children without another newborn chaos phase… God apparently isn’t satisfied with my sanctification through childbirth… I tend to have other feelings, but He’s working on those as well. Gentle, kind, compassionate, tender mama- that’s my goal. The only way I am going to get there is through Jesus Christ and His redemptive power in my life. Nurturing softness is not my natural mode of operation, and with each subsequent child, my own selfishness is revealed to me in new and ghastly ways as I realize my own limitations, neediness, and desperation for a Savior. Being a parent has done more to increase my longing for relationship with my Heavenly Father than just about every other trial and life circumstance combined. And there, I guess I have my answer to God’s insistence upon me raising a house full of teeny people. I daily remind myself to do it all for His glory. That means Mama has to get control (or discipline myself) of daily quiet time in Bible intake, prayer, and meditation. My loving husband has a 5:30am alarm set… not for himself, but for me. On multiple occasions I’ve expressed to him my need for time alone to meet with Jesus, and to deepen my relationship with Him. He’s been extremely supportive in that regard, but I have not been as consistent in my follow-through of actually waking at that time for that purpose. Sometimes, I feel like both God and my husband are worn out with me, exasperated by my immaturity. Praise God, both of them are exceedingly patient with me and in that regard, my husband is a beautiful picture of Christ.

So, that’s where I am for the time being, and I feel like those 5 goals are plenty to be getting on with at this point. What are some of your goals, to-dos, aspirations for this season of your life? Share them in the comments!

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