Parenting is Gross

By Meredith |

I stood on the cool bathroom tiles waiting for the bath water to finish draining from the tub so that I could fish out the tiny-human poop left behind by our little mover. I’m not even certain this is the least gross thing I’ve done this year, or this week. Parenting is gross. Really gross. And between all of the honest advice that we received about sleepless nights, days you question yourself and the way an adorable bundle of cuteness can push you to the edge of sanity, no one told us how gross it would be. Snot. Drool. Unidentifiable liquids. Urine. Poop. That in-between, mustard substance during breastmilk only months (Why does it refuse to stay in a diaper?!?!). Smeared food. Boogers. And now this.

The thing that makes it odd is not really that it’s so gross, I suppose that I knew all of those things would be part of the kid world. What I did not anticipate was how quickly I would adapt. How quickly I would tackle, sometimes even hunt down, the gross things. No stuffy nose is safe from me and my suction ball. Backed up in the bowels? I will bicycle tiny legs until the #2 releases.

The desire to care for someone else has been overwhelming. It has changed me in deep ways and compelled me to do things I never would have in a past life. Every parent who has ever wiped a snotty nose with their own sleeve or caught vomit in their hands knows this transformation.

I want to be as compelled to hunt after the spiritual and emotional gross that exists. Parenting has taught me a great deal about true, open, raw love. It’s kinda gross. I want to stop living in a way that is tidy and helpful in a wet-wipe kind of way (although, wow! What can a wet-wipe not clean?). I want to live in a “no time, here’s my sleeve!” kind of way.

It’s certainly not easy, but it is what I see in Jesus. I see a life that is not intimidated by the murky waters of life or overcome by worry about what others will think. I know that far too many times my uncertainty has frozen me in nothingness. I don’t know what to do or how to interact with this situation, so I just don’t — I avoid involvement altogether, avoid getting messy.

What a sad way to live.

So I am daring, a little more, to get a bit messy in the process of life. To end my days with some dirt under my fingernails and maybe even a few bruises along the way. I am letting love compel me toward action.
So here is to every mom who just found peas in her hair mid-presentation, every dad who is walking around with a snot smeared jacket and every friend who decided to get involved in the parts of your life that aren’t quite instagram worthy.

When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor–sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous,  but those who know they are sinners.”
{Mark 2:7}

Live well.