25 March 2009

Tiamat colonizes

People go into survival mode when their first kid is born. You're always telling yourself, we'll slug through it, we'll get past it, then our lives will go back to normal. You don't make an effort to acclimate yourself to the chaos, you just make do with MREs and Quonset huts and look forward to it being over.

Even four kids into it, I find myself thinking, Soon he'll read on his own. Soon she'll be able to wipe herself. Soon he'll learn to walk. I never want to factor in the next kid in line, who upon learning to walk will be unable to wipe himself. They just keep on a-coming, and I'm only 30, which is not that old when you think in CSPP's staggering terms.

I have to get out of survival mode and embrace chaos mode (no book endorsement here; they were terrible).

I would SO rather have this bottle in front of me.


Reb. Mary said...

Yes. Yes. Yes. I've been thinking along these lines lately but have been too paralyzed in the survival-chaos limbo to materialize a post. And I've only got 3 kids!! (But, 2 of them Don't Sleep Well. Which I think counts for something on the balance sheet. Ha.)

Erich Heidenreich, DDS said...

We men do this too: "I'll be happy when [fill in the blank]." If we really knew all the things that are going to happen to us in the future, we would all despair!

A proper "survival mode" hearkens to the Fourth Petition of the Lord's prayer and the First Article of the Apostle's Creed:

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.

What does this mean?--Answer.

I believe that God has made me and all creatures; that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my limbs, my reason, and all my senses, and still preserves them; in addition thereto, clothing and shoes, meat and drink, house and homestead, wife and children, fields, cattle, and all my goods; that He provides me richly and daily with all that I need to support this body and life, protects me from all danger, and guards me and preserves me from all evil; and all this out of pure, fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me; for all which I owe it to Him to thank, praise, serve, and obey Him. This is most certainly true.

Add to this the Third Petition of the Lord's Prayer, "Thy will be done", echoed by our Lord in the Garden: "...not my will, but Thy will be done."

And, especially today, remember the Blessed Virgin's prayer at the Annunciation of our Lord: "...be it unto me according to thy word."

"Survival mode", when all is said and done, is really a First Commandment issue. It is addressed in Psalm 127:

1 Unless the LORD builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the LORD guards the city,
The watchman stays awake in vain.
2 It is vain for you to rise up early,
To sit up late,
To eat the bread of sorrows;
For so He gives His beloved sleep.

3 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;
They shall not be ashamed,
But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.

And in 1 Timothy 2:15:

“But women will be saved through bearing children—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.”

“That subjection of women and domination of men have not been taken away, have they? No. The penalty remains. The blame passed over. The pain and tribulation of childbearing continue. Those penalties will continue until judgment. So also the dominion of men and the subjection of women continue. You must endure them. You will also be saved if you have also subjected yourselves and bear your children with pain. 'THROUGH BEARING CHILDREN.' It is a very great comfort that a woman can be saved by bearing children, etc. That is, she has an honorable and salutary status in life if she keeps busy having children. We ought to recommend this passage to them, etc. She is described as 'saved' not for freedom, for license, but for bearing and rearing children. Is she not saved by faith? He goes on and explains himself: bearing children is a wholesome responsibility, but for believers. To bear children is acceptable to God. He does not merely say that bearing children saves: he adds: if the bearing takes place in faith and love, it is a Christian work, for to the pure all things are pure (Titus 1 :15). Also: 'All things work together,' Rom. 8:28. This is the comfort for married people in trouble: hardship and all things are salutary, for through them they are moved forward toward salvation and against adultery.... 'IN FAITH.' Paul had to add this, lest women think that they are good in the fact that they bear children. Simple childbearing does nothing, since the heathen also do this. But for Christian women their whole responsibility is salutary. So much the more salutary, then, is bearing children. I add this, therefore, that they may not feel secure when they have no faith." [Luther's Works, Vol. 28, p. 279]

Our problem from the very beginning is a lack of faith in the one true God. "Going into survival mode" always entails setting up other gods on whom we rely for our security and happiness.

Ryan said...

I recall, without fondness, that moment when our oldest was about 5 months old... and we realized that I pretty much hadn't slept at all (um, and I really mean that! Family bed + Baby who only sleeps while latched + Mama who CANNOT sleep while Baby is latched = BAD NEWS =). Hmmm...probably time to change something. Maybe should have thought of that before the break down!

Things are somewhat better now! (And this is actually Marie, not Ryan typing, but I'm too lazy to log him out.)

Kelly said...

Marie - I thought I was the only one whose baby nursed through the night!

And FWIW my quonset hut is really a mess right now.