This post about the “Tunnel of Parenthood” has been going around for a while. The “tunnel” in Emily Sederstrand’s post refers to the first 5 years of parenthood and how hard and anxiety-producing it is. We’ve been at this parenting thing for a little over 8 years now and while we are definitely out of that ‘tunnel’ I think we still go in and out of different tunnels in between.
I was walking through a long underground walk-way tunnel the other day and it was just like a scene from a movie when you see the lights start blurring and the walls feel like they are starting to close in on you.
That’s kind of how the 1st trimester ‘tunnel’ feels for me. Everything is a blur and most days I feel like the constant nausea and fatigue is just going to swallow me up. I go through the motions of the day but when I look back I can hardly remember what I did or even how I did it. So many things have had to move to the back burner as I go back to just the basics: Sleep, eat, make food, pee, sleep, eat, sleep, make food, sleep, pee…sounds like a newborn baby except for the making food part.
The house is a mess most of the time, which bothers me apparently more than the other house inhabitants. I’ve tried to loosen up during this time but it’s hard to see how much is neglected if I am not there to remind everyone about helping to pick up. Why is it so hard to see a sock or a toy on the floor and put it away instead of just stepping over it? I guess these are talents they have yet to develop. Last night, after weeks of avoiding their messy rooms I finally called for a clean-up session. Now, let’s see how long it will stay that way.
It’s not all bad though. Being forced to take it easy also forces me to enjoy the basic joys. My kids have taken advantage of my frequent couch time by having me read them many books…even if I fall asleep half-way through sometimes. My daughter and I actually sat down together and knitted. I really enjoyed that. I also haven’t had much energy to think too much or get too stressed—or at least I don’t have enough energy to notice if I am stressed. Which I think is good? Especially right now as I’m still in the thick of a major project that is anything but stress-free. It’s been humbling, which is what I’ve prayed for. It’s hard to be humbled but I am slowly seeing that God has a plan and a reason for letting me be weaker right now so that others can be stronger.
There are many complaints of pregnancy. Sometimes I forget, for a little bit, about the tiny human being growing in me that is the reason for it all. But then I quickly remember and a smile, even if a small weak one, brightens my tired self and sustains me. Just a little bit longer…I can already start to see the bright energetic rays of 2nd trimester at the end of this tunnel.