This is Part Five of the First-Time Parents series. Check out the other posts about sleeping, napping, feeding and potty training.
Becoming a first (or second or third…) time mother can be overwhelming. You likely are tired from frequent feedings and the huge learning curve that is your new baby. Life will never be the same so how are you expected to keep on with your previous life as usual? How are you supposed to find an extra 15/30/60 minutes in your day to spend time with God as you did pre-baby? More than likely, you won’t be able to replicate your previous quiet time schedule. However, if you are willing to be flexible and think outside the “quiet time” box, it is possible to still spend time with God in a meaningful way.
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Your day is made up of multiple cycles of feeding, changing, and putting your baby down to sleep. New parents are encouraged to “sleep when the baby sleeps”. If you have older children at home, this isn’t really possible. In this case, you could begin “quiet room time” for your older child/ren during one of the baby’s naps and use that time with God (or to nap initially, because honestly sometimes that’s what has to happen in order to function). Once you are getting better night time sleep you might be able to forgo the nap and turn it in to your time with God.
There’s another way to spend time with God and still get those much needed zzzs. The great thing about prayer is that you can do it anywhere at any time. Newborns eat 8 to 12 times each day. During that time your arms are occupied, but you can spend that time praying. Pray about your current circumstances, your new baby, other mothers, concerns that you know about, your church – essentially anything and everything. I found this was a great way to spend my time when I was up in the middle of the night for a feeding. It helped me to stay somewhat alert and the time passed a little faster. Perhaps God wants to create a new group of prayer warriors through new moms willing to make use of these chunks of time.
For time in God’s word, get a Bible app for your phone. You can then also read the Bible while feeding your baby (assuming you can feed and still have one hand free). If you need a guide for what to read, YouVersion has a variety of devotionals to choose from including several specifically for parents.
If you are someone who journals, you can attempt to type in a document on your phone, but that’s pretty tedious. Either accept that this part of your qt will have to go on the back burner for awhile or make time for it when your child is sleeping.
You will probably be tempted to temporarily suspend time with God in the early weeks. I would recommend attempting some of the above suggestions instead. You will be exhausted, frustrated, overwhelmed, and possibly experience some depression symptoms. You will want and need God’s provision for comfort, strength, endurance, hope, and peace more than ever. Be faithful to God and he will be faithful to you.
Eventually you should be able to get back to time with God that looks more like what you had pre-kids. Now that both of my children sleep all night I have been trying to daily get up thirty to forty-five minutes before my kids to spend time with God before the day takes over. It is a sacrifice for me (I love sleep) but I feel much better when I make God a priority.
Have you thought about how you might continue to meet with God when your current routine changes? Do you already have children and are working this out? Have you figured out a way to carve out time to meet with God each day and have advice to share?