Here we go we can do this…Just breathe. One more contraction. Here we go one step at a time. “I see the head!” a nurse tells me, “breathe, and one more push.” I hear his scream and increadible joy fills my heart. This is our son. We are parents. We all are crying. After going into labor on the evening of the Fest of the Archangels you came into the world all screaming and tiny, changing our lives forever. People talk about it and you know about it as being true but no one can actually describe to you what parenting would be like unless you have actually experienced it. Then the real podvig begins. How do you handle this newborn if you have never been around babies, babysat anyones babies and the only experience you have is teaching Sunday School for preschoolers? Yes no one really tells you how sleepless nights will feel to you, they don’t tell you how to put your baby to sleep properly either. There are however more than enough parenting books out there to try to give you all sort of advice about how to raise your children. Seriously, go to Barnes and Nobles and just look at the parenting section. Not to mention the advice you get as a new parent as to how to parent your child from other parents. Quite honestly I was never ready for this and never knew that there would exist in this world such controversies as “cry it out” methods and other sleep techniques. No. No one can prepare you on how to deal with a burst of anger when you just fed the baby, changed the baby, rocked the baby and the baby is still is not happy. What am I really doing here? I am not ready to be a mom. I was so comfortable before with going to school and going to work and being secure in my routine in life with my cats and my husband. Now my life will never be the same. Now my life consists of playing the guessing game of what is this baby crying about and see how good we can play it today. Now I find myself secretly looking up baby YouTube videos on how to spend a day with a 3 month old because I have no idea what I should be doing with someone so small. Bedtime routine or no bedtime routine. What time do they start anyways? Yes all these questions. Even our prayer life that was so on track before is now it seems like out of balance. Yes we used to stand so vigilantly during Liturgy and we would hear the screaming children being dragged out of church and now we will be those people that take their child out of a service because you just have to keep moving or rocking. Yes to say our lives have changed is an understatement. This brings me to the reason of starting to write this. Maybe it is because in the middle of all my online surfing and finding very little about people to connect with that lead an Orthodox lifestyle and are trying to make it through the first year of parenthood. Maybe it is because in the middle of all the insane mind challenges I find myself venting on a piece of paper and no real person to speak with, and lets face it women just need to let it out. Whatever the reason is my first entry is based on hope. Hope that I can be a good mother. Hope that I can be a good wife. Hope that maybe I will find some answers to my new life. Hope to move on day by day, step by step. Hope to find the winning prize of a 3 month old smiling because we finally figured out that he needed to burp.