Dear First-Time Mom:
So, you’ve just had your first baby – congratulations! What a miracle of God and blessing from above these little ones are. You have now entered a whole new category of wonder and awe – and coming right alongside this beauty of God’s creation is bafflement and fatigue and wondering if you will EVER get this balancing act figured out. Welcome to motherhood!
Maybe you’re realizing that being a mom isn’t quite what you had thought it might be.
Maybe you (like me) were determined that your baby would sleep through the night (and NOT in your bed), get on a schedule, never need a soother, and feed like a champ.
Or perhaps you thought you’d be able to get out the door without forgetting the diaper bag, or the soother/bottle, and make it home again without needing to change your clothes.
But it’s not quite coming together as you had planned. There are too many baby books out there, yet not one of them warns you of the true toll those sleepless nights take on your body. Or describes just how difficult learning to nurse a baby is (for mommy and babe!). Or warns you that you’ll be doing laundry around the clock (for the rest of your life!).
Questions fly around in your head and heart: “Is it ok to let them cry it out, or should I pick them up when they cry?” “Should I rock them to sleep or let them sort it out on their own?” “When should I start solids?” And on and on.
All this heavy stuff aside, suddenly you’re just standing there in a bewildered state wondering WHEN on earth you are going to get a shower in and feel human again?!
Then you turn and look at the moms you know who have more than 1 child, a clean AND organized house, laundry done and kids in a good routine. And you are embarrassed that you can’t get your act together. How do they do it?
Whatever their answer may be, this is what I want you to hear:
You are making a tremendous sacrifice in giving of yourself for the child that God has called you to mother.
Whether you shower or not, get dressed or not, clean the house or not, take a nap or not, make dinner or not – you may feel frustrated at the apparent lack of progress, but know that you are sowing life and faith – for you are raising the next generation of God-followers! Every little thing you do for that sweet bundle is life to him or her.
Your gift to your child is yourself, your time, your love, your prayers and your care. And as God gives grace and your experience as a mom grows, the struggles that seemed so insurmountable and time consuming suddenly dissipate. They will be replaced, of course, by struggles of a different variety, but know still that everything you do is planting and watering LIFE.
There is much to be said for the fact that you just showed up today, and what may seem mundane, really does matter. Don’t worry about getting up before the baby – you’ll get there! Wiping another runny nose, changing another dirty diaper, nursing through another fever, feeding around the clock through another growth spurt. You are to be commended! You are a fantastic mom!
So if you can’t see your way through the early-morning-feed-sleep-deprivation-my-house-is-a-disaster-and-I’m-the-only-one-home fog, take heart in knowing that we’ve all been there; we’ve all cried over and, by God’s grace, eventually conquered the same struggles.
You WILL get things sorted out. Enjoy these early days – they too shall pass, and all too quickly.
Motherhood is not in vain, and as you have done it to one of these least of these, so you have done it to Christ.
And those moms with more kids than you that seem to have it all together? They’ve had more years to practice, and have different struggles now to conquer, so stop comparing yourself to them.
Now go grab your husband, hand him the baby (awake or asleep), and get that shower in! It’s time to feel human again.
You are loved dear momma!
photo credit Shelley K Photography