There’s no step by step guidebook to being a mom. I’m sure there are people who have tried to write books along those lines (since clearly they have all the answers, ha) but ultimately a big part of life is experiencing the unknown.
I’ll never forget my first grocery shopping attempt with Ellia right after she was born. Talk about the unknown.
Grammy had flown back home and there was just no more putting it off. It was time. I needed to face the terrifying real world by myself and buy some actual food (which if you’ve read any of my other posts, you know I despise doing with or without a newborn baby). Macaroni and cheese wasn’t cutting it anymore.
I planned it all out the day before.
I would wait until the afternoon when she was the sleepiest, frantically change her, feed her, bundle her up and get to the closest local grocery store as fast as I could. I didn’t care that everything was twice as much there…I just needed to survive the experience and get back home before she woke up to eat again.
Seemed like it could work.
I made it to the store and spent about 15 minutes trying to get her car seat to click into the shopping cart handle. In the meantime, at least 4 other moms walked past me, grabbed a cart, clicked their car seats in and hit the store like pros with 3 other kids in tow.
I finally gave up and concluded that mine just wasn’t the kind of car seat to do that (it was). So I put her whole seat inside the cart and pretended like I had planned to do that all along.
After about 20 minutes the cereal boxes and veggies started piling up around her car seat and by the time I got to the diaper aisle there was no way it was going to fit unless it went in her lap. I sat there for a good 5 minutes just staring at the cart thinking “how do people do this?”
I somehow managed to move things around and make space I guess because somehow I made it out to the car… where I quickly ran into my next predicament.
I had two choices (that my frazzled brain could think of at the time). I could either put the baby and the groceries in the car and then leave them alone while I returned the cart a million miles away… or… I could ditch the cart next to the car.
I’m not saying you’re a terrible person if you leave the shopping cart next to your car… I’m just saying you’re a terrible person (jk I’m not really). But I had put in my years at Kmart retrieving that one lone cart on the other side of the world.
I sat there and racked my brain for several minutes trying to think of what all other moms do before I finally just left the shopping cart next to the car and went home. Where was that guidebook when I needed it?
Several months later while Ellia was in prime crawling stage, I headed out the door to do some clothes shopping.
My muffin top and fat preggo-ice-cream-craving-thighs were starting to diminish so I thought maybe I could squeeze myself into some stylish skinny jeans.
And then I got into the fitting room.
I set Ellia on the floor and had just managed to get both feet into the pants when Ellia made a mad dash for the space under the fitting room door. It’s amazing how fast those little humans can move as crawlers.
Now if you’ve ever worn skinny jeans, then you understand the predicament I had here.
Do you remember back in middle school when those Chinese finger traps were so popular? The harder you pulled your fingers the tighter the trap got? That’s the closest thing I can compare the process of removing skinny jeans to.
Jeans half off and inside out, I frantically tripped and dove for Ellia’s foot just as it started to disappear under the changing room door and was barely able to drag her back under the door whilst she laughed hysterically.
And so commenced a new fun game for Ellia. How far could she get out the door before mommy pulled her back in again?
I can only imagine what the people sitting outside the changing room doors thought of this spectacle. I try not to think about it.
It took me a good while before I finally managed to peel those jeans off and retreat to the safety of my car. Needless to say, I didn’t buy those skinny jeans.
Once again I was stuck sitting there wondering “how do you do it?” Looking back now I have all sorts of solutions.
But isn’t that just like life? So often we’re stuck in those “how do I do it?” moments with no obvious answers in front of us. We may never have an answer or maybe we’ll have all sorts of “answers” down the road. It may even seem like everyone else has it all figured out.
Most times we just wing it and try to just get through it.
But that’s the beautiful thing about trust. Trust can’t exist without the unknown.
Why do you think God allows us to experience those times in our life when we have no answers? Because it’s in those times that we turn to Him and admit, “Lord, I have no answers of my own, I don’t know how to do this. Help me.”
God does have the answers. He can see your future because He wrote it. Whether He chooses to reveal those answers to us at that very second is His choice, but He promises that if we ask for them, He’ll provide them. He knows the answers to our questions before we even ask them.
“…before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.” Isaiah 65:24
But you have to ask!
“The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.” Psalm 145:18
So the next time you find yourself in a situation that seems helpless, remember that the unknown can be a good thing… because it pushes you to the One who holds the answers and that’s the best place you can be.