Family Vacation

Welcome to the last day of Guest Post-A-Palooza! Ending this week of guests posts is Rob Shepherd who writes about faith, fatherhood, life, movies, and more at RobShep. Rob is the full-time husband of a wonderful woman! He loves being married! Together they are proud parents to twins, Hayden and Reese. In his spare time he is the Director of Community Groups and Students at Waters Edge Church. Check out this post about being a father and the love of the Father, head over to his blog to read more of his writing, and follow him on Twitter!

Family Vacation

Rob and his young'uns

I am a father of newborn twins. One boy and one girl. Being a first time dad there is a valuable lesson that I have learned. Babies don’t let you take a vacation from them. When I say vacation I’m not talking about an extended stay anywhere. I’m talking about a peaceful 5 minute break in the comfort of my own home. Here’s the scene…

  • Babies are sleeping. They are sleeping soundly. My son already snores. They say it’s because of acid reflux but I say it’s because he’s well on his way to becoming a man. That explains his back hair…I kid, I kid. So I know they are asleep and yet the second I sit down to eat one or both of them start crying. Every time. Are you kidding me?!
  • Babies are sleeping. I am slap tired. I have worked a full day, got up at 5:00 AM to feed them, led a small group made up of senior high guys, and jogged 3 miles for exercise because I ate a Chipotle burrito for dinner and I needed to burn off some calories. Mmmmm…Chipotle. The second I fall asleep one or both of them start crying. Every time. Are you kidding me?!
  • Babies are content. They’ve been fed. They’ve been changed. They’ve been entertained. They are happy as a jay bird…or is that naked? I digress. They are fully clothed and content. To take a mini break I decide to turn on the TV and watch a part of one of my DVR’d TV shows. The second I turn on the show one or both of them start crying. Every time. Are you kidding me?!
  • Babies are left alone with dad. I am dad. I am alone because I wanted my wife to have some time to herself. She leaves me with two amazing babies. About .5 seconds after she closes the door my sweet babies turn into monsters. They start screaming, puking, and going crossed eyed. If they were adults that’d be a clear sign that they are demon possessed. My kids are cute but that type of behavior leads me to yell, “In the name of Jesus be still.” I’m not even charismatic. The second she leaves they both start crying. Every time. Are you kidding me?!
  • Babies have just been changed. A diaper that is oh so fresh and oh so clean has been newly applied. As soon as the tape straps that sucker on they poo. Every time. A lot of times. Are you kidding me?!

Now the crazy thing is that I don’t mind coming to my kids rescue. I love them so much that I don’t mind doing whatever I need to do for them. Why do I love them? At this point in their life they don’t bring much to the table. They cost me money. They cost me sleep. They cost me the ability to eat a hot meal. Because they are mine I love paying the cost.

The Bible says, “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Mathew 7:9-11 (NIV).

I am not a perfect dad. I can be selfish. I get stressed when my kids cry. I often hope that when I come home from work there will be no crying or gnashing of gums from my little ones. Even though I’m not perfect I still love my kids with all my heart. If as an imperfect dad I can show my kids love, how much more does a perfect God show us love? Because you are God’s He doesn’t mind paying the cost. The truth is that my babies are at a stage where I can’t take a vacation from them. The truth is that I don’t want to. I love them too much.

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16 thoughts on “Family Vacation

  1. This is awesome. I don’t even have kids yet and I enjoyed this. And even though it sounds terrifying I am very much looking forward to it.

    I’m so glad that God shows us His perfect love even when we don’t deserve it!

  2. Thanks John. I was really scared before kids, but it’s not bad at all when it’s your own. I love being a dad. Thanks for the comment.

    • Yes – I’m a recent “empty-nester” because our 19 year old son just moved to California. We also have a 24 year old married daughter 🙂 We’ve been where you are – many moons ago 🙂

      • Congrats on the empty nest. The bible says that a man will leave his father and mother. The way I see it is the goal of parenting is to get your kids to leave. That is to raise them in a way where they are adults and can impact the world.

  3. I understand. I have 4 kids. With one of them, she could be sleeping soundly in my arms and the moment I sat down with her, she would wail. I walked a lot during that time. 🙂 Babies are so worth it. (I only say that because it’s the first day of summer vacation and no one has made me cry…. yet)

  4. LOL at the picture. Now, be honest… have you dropped one of them yet? and if you have, is it only fair to drop the other one? 🙂

  5. John,

    As I sit here and type this comment, my wife who is 6+ mos pregnant with our twins has a bag packed and ready to go stay with her folks. We’ve been having terrible arguments lately, mainly, bc she feels I’m not supporting her like I should. ONE of her biggest gripes is that I wasn’t able to go w/ her to her doctor’s appts. My main reason is bc I started a new job the same month she became pregnant, and I just can’t take the time off like I would’ve liked to. IMO, she didn’t help the situation by not trying to schedule the appts for after I get home from work(about 5pm).

    But the seemingly ‘last’ straw is that, I’m on the pastoral staff at my church and I’m the drummer in the band. She tells me yesterday after coming home from church that after the babies are born, she is expecting me to take 6 WEEKS off from church. THIS, I refuse to do–now, she is ready to go.

    Being that you are in the midst of the ‘crazyness’ w/ your adorable twins, do you have any advice? Am I being a total jerk for saying that I will not stay home from church for six weeks after?

    • Rob, I totally apologize for calling you the wrong name–my eyes saw John at the top of this comment section.

      • No worries about the name. My brother is Jon and he’s one of my favorite people. There is no way that I can give a great quick response. Maybe we can talk about this outside of the blog world. I will leave my email at the bottom of this post. Just in case we don’t connect here is what I would say…

        Read Choosing to Cheat by Andy Stanley. You and your wife need to find some common ground that you can agree on. You should take some time off. I couldn’t make all of our appointments but I went to a lot. Your job should understand. It might mean that you have to stay a few minutes late or go in a few minutes early but it’s worth it to be there for your wife. I took two weeks off. You will need at least that. It’s crazy with twins. If she doesn’t feel like you are supporting her now just wait. It’s hard. But it can be done with communication. You have to set up the expectations. My wife and I had a conversation when she was feeling overwhelmed. She had done a bunch of feedings in a row by herself and was worn out. I didn’t get mad because I knew how tired she was. I did though gently remind her that my full time job prevents me from doing as many feedings as her. Her new full time job is our kids. I told her that we can talk about switching roles if we need to but it’s not fair to make me feel bad. We agreed and moved on. I try to make sure that I give her alone time on Friday or Saturday. I take the twins so she can go do whatever she wants. We also have done a good job at going on date nights. Once a week we go out. Even if it’s a short trip for frozen yogurt we make sure we go out. Again if you haven’t read it please read Choosing to Cheat. It will help you. If you’d like to talk more about this please send me an email at rob@watersedgechurch.net.

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