When we decided to have a baby, I didn’t plan on getting two puppies with the deal. Alas, my house is filling up with testosterone faster than I can keep up!
Ever since our dachshund, Hope, died last December, my husband has been bringing up the subject of more dogs…and when my brother-in-law found these two darlings abandoned on the side of the road last week, well, all signs pointed to our house.
I was initially hesitant to get more dogs, because I knew I’d be the primary caregiver. I knew we’d get more dogs at some point, but I wanted to guard my last few months of freedom before baby. However, I’ve discovered my life is not my own anymore (never was, it turns out), and God is preparing me for motherhood by way of these puppies.
Some life changes I’ve had to make are:
- Getting up in the middle of the night for potty breaks. Of course, I have already been doing this frequently for awhile, but the pups make it a little less easy to just flop back into bed.
- Getting up earlier for “feedings.”
- Putting up baby gates.
- Cleaning up poop and pee.
- Having to make arrangements every time I leave the house.
- Worrying all the time what the “babies” are doing; trying to keep them in my sight.
I know there are some larger spiritual applications to all this motherhood training, but today I may be in too much of a hurry to see them. You see, it’s almost noon, and I haven’t even gotten down to the business of working on my memoir yet. As I thought about how my morning had gone so far, I realized I could either get frustrated that I hadn’t gotten any “work” done yet, or I could change my expectations for myself, because—hello—my life is changing pretty drastically.
I could choose to see my day so far as worthless because I haven’t yet worked on my profession, or I could choose to see what I’d done as worthwhile because I am a wife and mother taking care of her household.
Since getting up, I have fed the puppies; spent much needed time with the Lord; knocked on the doors of two neighbors trying to get to the bottom of two large (and scary-looking) dogs that wandered into my backyard this morning (protecting both my puppies and the neighborhood); baked a loaf of banana bread for my college-age niece who stays over on Tuesday nights; and I have put ingredients in the bread maker for French bread for my husband, who told me he wanted a spaghetti dinner tonight.
I have never really defined myself as a homemaker—I haven’t wanted to be the one who stays home and sees to it that everyone else is fed and clothed and clean and sane for their careers, because I wanted to have my own career. I still want to. I want to be a writer and a teacher, just like I’m doing (with more or less success, depending on the day). But the Lord is teaching me it’s okay if some of my days are spent doing homemaking things instead of career-building things. In fact, I know that the homemaking is probably ultimately more important. How quickly I forget that if there’s not happiness in the home, life is dismal. My home was unhappy, my life dismal, for too many years growing up, and because of my beautiful marriage today, I sometimes take for granted that a happy home is well worth the investment.
But each day I’m learning to take a little more joy in the simple things: puppies, babies, sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows…you get the picture! I continue to thank the Lord that he is straightening out my priorities, and my roles. Now, if I can just figure out how to balance them all!