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Sunday, 7 December 2014

Expecting

No pictures just a few thoughts:

I have been thinking about connections recently and this week I thought about Advent as being a time of waiting, anticipating and expecting and how that might be connected with another meaning of the term expecting that of expecting a baby.  Of course the birth of a baby is what the Christmas story is all about so there is already a connection.

This week a double tragedy occurred when a young woman walked out of a maternity hospital in Bristol where she had given birth to a baby girl just 4 days earlier.  She left without a coat nor any proper shoes on one of the coldest nights so far this year and her body and that of her baby were found a day or so later just over a mile away where she had apparently jumped into the Avon Gorge.  I have thought a lot about her and what might have driven her to do this at a time when society would be expecting (that word again) her to be overjoyed at the safe arrival of her baby.

Our society expects us to be happy at the birth of a baby in the same way that it expects us to be happy at Christmas but it isn't always quite like that.  Take Christmas - in spite of the decorations and the parties and so on it can be a terribly sad time for many people as the advertisement for Crisis at Christmas says "when you are homeless and lonely at Christmas you can only watch as people meet for parties ....."  of course you don't have to be homeless to be lonely and for many people Christmas reminds them of loved ones who are no longer alive to share it with them.  Some are sick or sad, frightened or concerned and not everyone is enjoying themselves as the media would have us believe.

Having a baby can of course be a happy time especially if the baby and mother are healthy and well but for some people the baby blues set in and the mother loses all sense of her self and her ability to parent the child.  Not everyone is endowed with mothering skills and for some it is a nightmare not helped by the fact that some babies don't sleep enough and exhaustion soon sets in.  Some apparently adore motherhood and seem to know just what to do whereas others lose all their common sense just at the time when it is most needed and lacking in confidence makes matters worse since babies apparently need a relaxed and confident Mum.  But what about the Mums needing relaxed and peaceable babies?!!

It seems to be taboo to admit that you are not enjoying any of it, that you wish you had never thought of having a baby and that you can barely manage to get dressed half the time let alone return to a career where you might have been somebody busy and capable.  Lack of sleep can go on for a long time and such mothers can feel murderous when other mothers blithely say "Oh yes he/she sleeps through the night now" a few weeks down the line!  Not all babies sleep much at all and it is little consolation to a weary mother to learn that they are often the intelligent ones either which may or may not be true. (I loved the Wanderer and still do of course, and would willingly have died for her had that been required but motherhood was definitely not my metier and even now more than 30 years later if I hear a small baby crying my stomach knots and I want to run away as I have no idea what to do to calm it.  Not for me the peering into prams and cooing at the baby inside!!)

I wonder if Mary was a natural or if she too found it all very difficult especially with all those shepherds and wise men visiting and expecting her to make them welcome!  She always looks very serene but I wonder...!

I guess what this post is about is just a reminder to spare a thought for those for whom the Joy of the season is a little thin on the ground this year at Christmas whether they be sick, lonely or even new mothers who are finding it all too much.

11 comments:

  1. I used to make a point of spending time answering the many phone calls to Samaritans over the Christmas period - also around Valentine's Day, and Easter and so many other times when we are all meant to be happy and enfolded by a loving family. The commercialisation and huge build-up to these events make them much more painful for many.

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  2. Thank you for those words. The tragedy brought tears into my eyes. It is important to hear people and help them as much as everyone can.
    I invite every reader to pray God to remember all unborn children and their mothers. We all should see Christmas child in every baby.

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  3. Such a great post - thank you so much- Advent blessings xx

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  4. I agree with you. I try my best to speak to people when I'm working at the shop, some people come in because they know there will be someone to talk to. A long time ago someone said that they enjoyed Mondays because they could come in again as they hadn't spoken to anyone all weekend.

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  5. I was really saddened when I heard the story of the mother and baby, so tragic I have to admit to being slightly angry too as she was somewhere where she should have been well looked after!
    You are so right though it's not always a joyful time of year for some.
    V x

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  6. Thank you - a very thoughtful post.

    Jx

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  7. Such a tragedy. The bridge is very near where I used to live and sadly far too many people die there. It always makes me think, if only... It is so sad that these people don't feel anyone can help them. Your post is beautifully thoughtful, it is indeed the time of year to remember those who are struggling. CJ xx

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  8. Very sad story, Jane. Of course, I have not heard about it being here in the U.S. Still, very sad and a person wonders if they had known this young woman and known she needed help, could they have helped her. During Thanksgiving day, a man about a block away from our house committed suicide because he was depressed over a recent divorce. I did not know him, but still, one thinks, if they did know him and were aware of what he was going through, perhaps they could have said some kind words, or encouraged him, or even had him to their home for a Thanksgiving meal. We just don't know what burdens some people are carrying. And about those newborns... my first cried every night for 9 months... up 2-3 times a night... I was nearly insane. I even thought to myself that perhaps I was losing my mind. Then, the second baby... he slept 9 hours through the night since he was 2 weeks old, also taking a lovely 2 hour nap during the day. I thought I was in heaven! If I hear a baby crying now, I do go and make sure they are not being abused! Sadly, that happens too often in today's world. Even at that, I'm not one to coo endlessly over babies--just a quick hold and that's all I need! Hand babe back to Mom and I'm off to more fun things!!

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  9. Such a tragic story. My hearts for the pain of that young mother. Yes, this can be a very difficult time of year for many. It's a season when loss is keenly felt.
    I pray that I will take the time to speak to people as I move through the day, shopping, working, running errands - one never knows who might need an extra kindly word.
    My three babies were terrible sleepers for the first year of life. I was in a sleep deprived state for months and cried often, especially with the first one. I'm glad to have had a very helpful husband who did what he could.

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  10. It is a difficult time of year for those who are depressed. Everyone is so jolly and excited but it is not possible for everyone to feel that way. I guess we should be thinking of them all the time but even more so at this time of year!

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    Replies
    1. Meant to say thank you for the lovely post :)

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