Yes, I will attest to the fact that time flies and children should be enjoyed at all their levels of development. But, when such advice is flippantly handed out to an exhausted and frazzled woman, it's guilt inducing. Because, the more I think about it the more terrible it would seem to want my son to stay three forever...or to say that I enjoy the majority of his three year old behaviors. I won't EVER miss super poopy diapers...or continual nights of interrupted sleep. Nope, NOT going to happen. If I ever get that sappy...and such flippant and unthoughtful advice flows from my mouth to an exhausted, woman...I hope she slaps me. Just kidding. I just hope she doesn't cry...cuz I sure did. What is the thought here? Allowing me to complain or temporarily commiserating with me would cause what major disaster exactly??
I hope that when I'm in my dotage...looking fondly back on my children's wee days...I too will block out the tantrums and embarrassment...and I'll give truly helpful and practical advice. Tips on how to manage the laundry and meals. Tips only given WHEN ASKED FOR!!! I shared "sleep when they sleep" the other day...because I'm finding that it works for me NOW. Frankly, I'm just not ready for round two *ding ding* if I don't catch a nap. I pay for it later. THAT'S practical and thoughtful advice. I don't want any mother's taken down by their three year olds. HA!
Other than tears, I experience intense anger and frustration from this GIFA. I think the advice that really steams me the most is in regards to spiritual things. You know, those comments about either how you should "remember to pray and look to God"...gee, I'm so glad you think I'm a completely ungodly idiot and that prayer never occurred to me...or the dearies who tell you that they just "gave up on having deep and meaningful devotional time until their children were adults"..."whoa, that is SO depressing!" So, what could those suffering from GIFA do instead? How about starting with not condescending or patronizing? A hug and reassuring pat would be nice!
Childrearing has brought more than it's expected fair share of spiritual lessons and challenges. I for one have loved the awesome childcare and DEEP disciplined study offered by BSF. Some churches also have Bible study with childcare available. Trust me...we MomE gals are already afraid we're losing brain cells and failing miserably at this "most important job on earth." I'm writing this for posterity...so I can be sure to NOT be a giver of GIFA! I can feel inferior all alone. Encouragement takes another person. Encouragement means...serving to incite, support, promote, or advance; incentive to increase confidence. I want to encourage other women that they CAN survive motherhood...AND do it well...AND do it fully grounded and digging into God's Word. And on those hard days...I seek out the faithful few in my corner who ENCOURAGE ME...and lift me up when I'm down.