Lately, I have found myself thanking God particularly for NOT ever giving us a yaya. You’re probably scratching your head, wondering if this was sort of typo. But no it isn’t. Lately, I have just come to a fresh layer of appreciation for being my son’s primary caregiver and I believe that God had some hand in this because I don’t think I might have chosen this for myself in the beginning. Sure, I’ve always wanted to be the one to personally care for my baby but I’ve always wondered how different things might have been if I had a ready yaya at my time of delivery (or at least when Gabbie came home from the NICU). I may have had the best of intentions but if I had a trustworthy, capable yaya around me then, I may have allowed her to take over a lot of the caretaking duties that I do for Gabbie on a daily basis.
I mean, giving birth, nursing, parenting Gabbie to sleep day in and day out are hard enough work so I think I would have been happy to delegate other daily tasks that didn’t necessarily required me like bathing him, cooking his meals, changing his diaper, etc. In other words, I might not have minded not learning those if we had a yaya conveniently doing those everyday. I can imagine getting used to it, haha!
But God knew me, and He wanted me to experience the joys of motherhood—from the minute details to the monumental milestones. So, He made it such a way that He gave us no yaya, and He impressed in our hearts to not go searching for one. My husband and I both decided that I be the one to take care of our little baby. From that day forward, I was a stay-at-home, full-time mom, and I really count myself incredibly blessed. Here are the benefits I could easily pinpoint versus having a yaya:
- · The strong bond my baby and I share. We know each other inside out; I know when he’s about to cry or how to make him smile and calm down, and he knows when I’m happy or angry. Also, my mere presence instantly quiets his cry and puts him at peace, or in a quiet, alert mood.
- · I know how to take care of my baby. Sounds simple enough and any new parent would need this skill. The best way to learn is to simply just handle your baby yourself—from feeding, putting to sleep, bathing, playing, etc.
- · I’m stronger—and I mean that, physically. I haven’t slept for more than four hours straight since I gave birth and I go through about four to six nightwakings a night since Gabbie is a cranky sleeper (he nightwakes every hour or two). But I feel great and energetic the next day; I can even run a full, busy day with chores, carrying Gabbie for the most part of the day. I can carry Gabbie, who weighs about 18 lbs, with one arm, and I do carry him around A LOT. If that isn’t by the grace of God, I don’t know what is.
- · The quiet, easy confidence in knowing that so long as I am with him, I know Gabbie will be fine. He’ll be fed well (breastfeeding), he can sleep soundly in my arms (as I said, my presence puts him at peace and at ease), he will be protected (the sling can cover him when he needs to be “tucked in” closer to my chest), and he’ll be entertained and happy (my heartbeat and my singing, no matter how out of tune, calms him hehe). That being said, I’m confident that I can take our baby anywhere we want to go, even if it’s just my husband and I, sans yaya.
|Taking care of Gabbie also includes playtime :)|
The first and the last that I mentioned are particularly significant to me because these are powerful glimpses of how God is, as a Father. He seeks us again and again because He knows that we will thrive when we are connected closely to Him. That is His design. As parents, we share this desire and this design with God. Just as Gabbie cries out for me, so does my heart cry out for my Father. Just as I confidently know Gabbie will be a-ok with me around, so will I with my God. And just as I love Gabbie so much, multiply that by a thousand and I know that’s how much God loves me. A mind-blowing thought especially since a parent’s love is now familiar to me.
Being yaya-less may have been more difficult but it sure was worth the bond that Gabbie and I now have. And I am particularly grateful for not only being his primary caregiver, but for being capable to be so for him. Even for just the experience, it’s worth a try, mommas!
“God doesn’t called the equipped; he equips the called.” -Anonymous