Preparing for Baby’s Arrival
Congratulations on the exciting stage of life you’ve entered! Whether you’ve recently had a new baby or are counting down to your due date, you’ve likely noticed that parenthood is an entirely different world. In the midst of all the joy and anticipation comes a whole new level of responsibility and growth. You may be wondering if life will ever be the same. In many ways it won’t—it will be richer, fuller, more challenging and more rewarding than you’ve ever imagined.
Parents often say they experience a deepening sense of importance for their spiritual lives when anticipating a new baby. This is natural, and it is a good thing. As a church, we are a family of families whose goal is to feed that desire for God, to allow it to blossom and grow. We do indeed need Him desperately if we are to be good moms and dads. Our responsibility as parents is great but so is the help that will come to us if we put our faith and trust in Him. You can do it! We can help. We can do it together. Become intentional about this season by preparing yourself to take three important steps for the transition to parenthood, and lean on your church family as you take these steps.
As new parents, you will find yourself on a roller coaster of adventure—with highs you could have never imagined and lows that can push you to discover abilities and courage you didn’t know you had. Along with God’s blessing of children comes His calling for you to lay your life down for your child. Things you once took for granted—like sleep, eating a warm meal, or a spontaneous get-away with your spouse—are now things you will often sacrifice. The purpose of marriage and family life is our sanctification, our growth in holiness. And we will often feel how the demands of parenthood teach us through daily experience to “lay down our lives” for another human being, as Christ laid down His life for us (John 15:13). In doing so, you will find deeper joys and blessings than you ever expected.
When you give sacrificially as parents you probably won’t get the same kudos you’d get in the workplace or even the same recognition you would have given each other for similar efforts before the kids arrived. You’re moving into a time of life where such sacrificial giving is just something you have to do often and without expecting much fanfare. But it’s in this aspect of your new mission— losing your life— that you find your life (Matthew 16:24–25). It’s here that you develop “servant muscles” through the ongoing exercise of selfless giving. You’ll also find that parenting is an arena for Christian discipleship with a “dailyness” and intensity like none other. You will find, however, that it is here, in the midst of these sacrifices, that you will meet God in more profound and simple ways than ever before.
A couple entering into the journey of parenthood usually discovers a sense of purpose and shared accomplishment that can push their relationship into greater joy. But they can simultaneously drive each other crazy. Adjusting to less sleep, sex, money, and time for each other will be hard. Both parents need to adjust to less time for work, too. But there are indescribable joys that come with parenting that can make your relationship deeper and healthier than it has ever been. Seeing your spouse take on this new role as parent will add a new layer of intimacy and love within your marriage.
Of course, with the introduction of a baby into the house, couples often find themselves taking their frustration out on the only other adult around. And lack of sleep makes everything more difficult, especially in those first few months. Your marriage can survive this adjustment, and you can experience the joy of parenting if you choose to be a team—if you lay your lives down for each other (Ephesians 5:22–33) and give each other an extra measure of love (1 Corinthians 13:4–8) and grace (2 Corinthians 9:8). Let forgiveness abound in your relationship now more than ever. Seek the help and advice of other parents when it comes to routines, sleep schedules, tips and tricks, etc. You can do it!
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who settest the solitary in families: We commend to thy continual care the homes in which thy people dwell. Put far from them, we beseech thee, every root of bitterness, the desire of vainglory, and the pride of life. Fill them with faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness. Knit together in constant affection those who, in holy wedlock, have been made one flesh. Turn the hearts of the parents to the children, and the hearts of the children to the parents; and so enkindle fervent charity among us all, that we may evermore be kindly affectioned one to another; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Book of Common Prayer, 828
For the Care of Children
Almighty God, heavenly Father, you have blessed us with the joy and care of children: Give us calm strength and patient wisdom as we bring them up, that we may teach them to love whatever is just and true and good, following the example of our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Book of Common Prayer, 829
- Your Marriage Can Survive a Newborn By Glenn Williams And Natalie Williams
Psychologist, Glenn Williams and occupational therapist, Natalie Williams help couples thrive during the stress and strain of having a newborn.
- Start Your Family By Steve & Candice Watters
This book provides inspiration for those considering children and practical insights from His and Her perspectives.
- The Book of Common Prayer
The BCP contains all of our services, prayers, and many resources for private devotions. It can be purchased on Amazon or at the Incarnation Bookstore. See especially pages 301–308 for insight into how our tradition thinks about children and parenting. bcponline.org
If you would like a clergy person to visit you in the hospital after your baby’s birth, please notify the church via phone (214-521-5101) when you are at the hospital. We can also add mom and baby to the parish prayer list. You may also call this phone number day or night to speak with a priest if you have a pastoral emergency.
- New Baby Blessing
One very special tradition of our parish is the priestly blessing of new babies. There are prayers especially for newborns that a priest will come to your house and pray personally over your child. This is typically done within the first few months of the child’s life. If you’d like to set up a time for your New Baby Blessing, email Children & Family Ministry.
- Cry Rooms
We love having kids in our services, and we do not expect our littlest members to be completely still and quiet during church. However, if you feel the need to take your child out, both the Traditional and the Uptown services have “Cry Rooms” ready for you with gliders, bottle warmers, changing tables, etc. For Uptown, the Cry Room is in the Nursery hallway, first door on the right. For Traditional, the Cry Room is connected to the women’s bathroom in the old part of the church.
In our Anglican tradition we baptize infants. This is typically done within the first several months of the child’s life. We have a class for parents to take before the baptism itself. To reserve a date for your child’s baptism now, and to sign up for the class, visit the Baptisms page.
If you would like to know more about our nursery, or to have a staff person give you a tour, reach out to us at 214-521-5101 or email Children & Family Ministry., and we would be happy to show you around our facilities.