If you haven’t seen Jim Gaffigan’s comedy sketch on parenting back in the day, please do yourself a favor and watch it now. It will make you laugh. At least I hope so.
There is a line he says with his Jim Gaffigan way, “People ask me all the time, “What’s it like having four kids? Well, imagine drowning and someone hands you a baby.” Joshua and I laughed so hard when we first watched this skit- we were in the deep waters of having all our sweet babes so young.
Kristin- what does this have to do with boundaries? Great question. My mind is like an endless web of intersecting connecting points…I’ll get there.
As Joshua and I were preparing for our “Boundaries” podcast for this week’s Wholistic Hearts show, I remembered a time as a young mom when my boundaries became known very clearly.
Let’s take a step back in time…
I walk into the church nursery to drop off my four little children on this Sunday morning. My eye on the prize- 45 minutes of uninterrupted time of listening to the week’s message. I sign each of my twin babies whom were 1ish, check to make sure I had all the things the nursery helpers could ever possibly need in the 45 minutes- even though I was in the other room. I say goodbye and headed to door number two to drop off toddler, he starts crying and clings to our legs. I leave my husband to help ease the separation anxiety because it is just better that way. I walk away to take child #4 to her big girl class right across the hallway and say goodbye. Deep breath- in and out. I return back to toddler’s room and he is slightly better. But it is now a drawn out process of bribes and desperation. I wonder if we will make it to the service before worship ends. Then, a sweet woman approaches me with her name badge on and asks how I am doing. I give a half hearted and exhausted, “ok.” She tells me how they are really low on volunteers and need more people to help sign up. Instantly, BIG FAT tears fill my eyes as I could feel my soul dripping out the last of the empty well of giving. I just want one day of the week to have 45 minutes to myself.
Back to Jim Gaffigan Joke
“Imagine your drowning, and someone hands you a baby.” That’s what it felt like. In that specific moment of way back when, I was absolutely drowning in diapers, in little to no sleep through nights on end. And then I was asked to help on a Sunday morning doing the same thing I did all week long multiplied by however many kids were in the classroom.
Disclaimer: I LOVE MY CHILDREN. I LOVE OTHER PEOPLE CHILDREN. I LOOOOOOOVE and appreciate all the amazing nursery helpers, toddler wranglers, and children’s teachers/helpers/volunteers.
AND, if loving on that age while you are a young mama is your jam- my hat is tipped to you, and God bless you. However, it was not what I could give at the time.
AND PLEASE, for the love (in my Jen Hatmaker voice) don’t ask young mamas’ to volunteer in the nursery. I promise, they will approach you if they feel the fire in their belly to volunteer.
AND all you grandmas’ out there- THE CHURCH NURSERY IS THE BEST PLACE TO VOLUNTEER!!! Give your amazing experience in the nursery, in the elementary age, in the middle school, in high school- WE WANT YOUR WISDOM!!!
Ok…now I have said my peace…
As a young mama, know your boundaries. Let your “yes” be your full cheerful wholehearted “yes.” And the word “no” is not a dirty word. And “no” is a complete sentence.
“Let giving flow from your heart, not from a sense of religious duty. Let it spring up freely from the joy of giving- all because God loves hilarious generosity.” 2 Corinthians 9:7 TPT
I give you permission to relax. Your season will come to volunteer, to deliver the meal, to say yes to the committee. Your heart is doing hard work- it’s fully loving the bundles of babies in front of you or guiding along the toddler or holding down the job and making sure you are connecting with your children. Set your boundaries. All will be thankful. Bless you Mamas. And Papas.
To listen more about boundaries, listen to our podcast.