Whenever you add a member to your family, it sends shock waves through every part of your life. You have to adapt, change, and grow. You have to find a new “normal” on the other side of the birth. That might sound self-evident enough, and yet the signs are everywhere that people generally resist change.
We have been resisting change without even knowing it. We had become complacent in just cruising along in pregnant mode as if things might stay that way forever. But we had the realization this week that we’re only 7 weeks away from the birth. This shook us out of our pregnancy stupor, slapped us across the face a few times, and screamed, “Get ready! It will be go time before you know it!”
We looked around and realized that the car seat is still in the basement, the infant clothes are still in storage, the dishwasher is still broken, and most importantly, our hearts and minds are not prepared to accept the reality of a 5th child joining our family. It may sound like 7 weeks is still plenty of time to get ready, but our previous experience has taught us otherwise.
The good news is that we were able to remedy the practical concerns within 48 hours. I’m happy to report that the car seat is out, the infant clothes are in drawers, and the new dishwasher just got installed. No problem there. The matter of much greater concern is the preparation of the hearts and minds of our family to receive a new little blessing of inestimable value.
After the kids go to bed, my wife and I stay up talking about how to lead our family in a time preparation for the new baby. We have talked with our children about how mom’s attention will be mostly on the new baby. We’ve gathered everyone together in the living room to brainstorm things we can do when the grandparents come to town for a visit after the birth. We have talked about how our normal rhythms and schedules will be blown to bits and it will take us some time to rebuild them after the birth. We have talked with our kids about how we will all have to adjust our expectations of how much time and energy our family is going to have to do things outside the home for a while.
All things considered, we are feeling very confident that we are prepared for the new baby on the simple practical things such as clothes, diapers, bottles, etc. That part is easy. It’s the other kind of preparation that we feel behind the ball with. It’s never too early to start preparing the hearts and minds of your family for the big transition. I don’t want our family to be caught off guard with all the changes, because that stress will hinder our ability to experience the joy of our new little blessing.