I have a confession to make. My water-loving baby has developed a fear of water and baths because of me. :-/ This overly zealous mummy, upon seeing how her little one loved to splash about in her tiny bath tub, decided to up her adventure and plonked her into an adult-sized bath tub (with mummy of course), forgetting that she is just a four month old baby! She loved water, so she would probably love splashing in a bigger tub, no? I was so wrong! And great is my regret!
Naomi now dreads her bath and the sight of her bath tub makes her cry. Her baths which used to be a breeze has now turned into a nightmare for the both of us and a major disappointment for me. My well-meaning intentions have backfired and I can't help being upset with myself for ruining my daughter's favourite time of the day. It has always brought me much delight seeing her smile and kick around in the water. Now, she just wants it to be over. Sigh, what have I done? I can't help feeling guilty for causing my daughter to fear water and I pray fervently that God will grant me the wisdom to know how to help her overcome it. My dream of bringing her to the pool, teaching her how to swim and swimming with her seems dashed at the moment. What have I done?!
But like what my husband has reminded me, maybe I am being too hard on myself. We are first-time parents after all and we make mistakes. We learn from them and grow. Why do I need to beat myself up over it? Plus, not knowing how to swim is not a matter of life or death (to the obstinate me, it is. Isn't it a vital life skill?) Perhaps he is right. I am being too harsh on myself. Yet, there is that twinge of guilt whenever it is time for Naomi's bath and my heart aches (literally) whenever I see her cry so miserably during bath times. I can't help but feel that it is my fault.
Maybe this is a learning journey more for me, than for Naomi to overcome her fear of water. As my husband has so aptly put it, I can't expect myself to be that perfect parent. He is right.
Subconsciously, I am afraid of making mistakes. Afraid of harming or affecting Naomi through my mistakes. Afraid of failing as a parent. At the heart of it, I need to die to myself and learn to trust God in this parenting journey. I need to cease striving and be that imperfect parent that God can mold and shape. I am thankful that God is sovereign and I can have that assurance that even if I make a thousand and one mistakes, Naomi is and will be well-taken care of by God. Because Her maker and her Abba Father loves her more than I can ever do. I need to stop putting myself on a guilt trip. I need to trust God in a time like this (though it seems like a small matter) to help Naomi overcome her fear of water and develop the love for it again. I don't know how long it will take. Maybe days, weeks or months. But I will trust God to help her. I will trust my God even in my imperfections. This parenting journey is for me, for my growth. And perhaps, God in his love for me, has allowed me to make that mistake so that I can see the old me that needs to be died to. That Lydia who so fears making mistakes.
And Naomi, mummy will always be an imperfect mummy. I ask that you will forgive me in time to come for all the mistakes that I have and will make while bringing you up. I only pray that through papa's and my life, we will point you to Jesus, even in all of our imperfections and weaknesses.
Loving you always,