My first year as a new mom, I truly struggled. I listened to other moms talk about their schedules falling into place, having girls’ nights on occasion, dates with their husbands, and babies who slept through the night at six weeks. They not only had a firm grasp on their households and parenting but also on their own resolutions outside motherhood. Others seemed to juggle life more efficiently than I did.
I struggled with breastfeeding for six months, did not frequent a gym, run a mile, or see the first girls’ night at the ten month mark. My son was still sleeping in our room, and we couldn't nail down a steady schedule for the life of us. I couldn't understand feeling such purpose in this new, precious, little soul yet feeling so lost simultaneously.
I felt envy and inadequacy in comparison to those around me, and furthermore, guilt for “not getting it right” for the tiny baby who deserved more than I could give.
I battled guilt for craving time alone, to have purpose outside my home, and attempting to balance being a working mom who yearned for more time with her child. I felt unexplainable exhilaration, but drained. Full, yet empty. I was overjoyed with the most amazing baby boy, but overwhelmed with all I needed to do, but hadn't; things I wanted to achieve, but felt guilt-ridden for dreaming of.
Becoming a mom can force new perspective: there’s such gratitude and sense of duty to give your whole self in exchange for the privilege of mothering such a special little person. However, the same sense of gratitude can encourage beliefs that we no longer matter to God.
I found myself constantly saying, “It's not about me anymore.” There’s truth to that, but also much omittance. When we become parents, our world becomes startlingly different. A tiny person depends on us for every need: sleep, nutrition, bathing, comfort, protection, and affection. We are responsible for their every happiness and well-being.
The deluging, lifelong task can, at times, seem daunting with feelings of uncertainty. When we question our value in comparison to our job at hand, it's imperative we remember God is our Father.
We desire to adequately parent, love, and provide for our children; to see them grow in success and love. God wants the same ideals for us, His beloved daughters.
We never want our children to feel unworthy of God’s provision and purpose for their lives. In the same way, God hurts when we make the assumption that we no longer matter.
He’s written stories for each of our children, but also for us. He’s intentionally transcribed our pages with love, growth, and redemption. Our stories of salvation and purpose extend with the addition of our children...they don't narrow.
Our Christ-marked narratives don't end the moment children enter our lives. Although, we form the most integral part of their development and the relationship they will ensue with Jesus, we must also routinely refocus ourselves on the chapters composed for our story.
It’s okay to be mothers who long to serve others, grow ourselves, and to need help sometimes because He offers peace when we struggle to get this mom thing right. He shows love and compassion when our heads hinder our hearts.
Jesus heals all things, including the tiny pieces that chip off as we mother our babies, whether from exhaustion, confusion, and/or doubt. When we allow healing from His truth, grace, and persevering pursuit, we acquire greater peace in having more than one purpose… or at least one with many extensions.
The greatest Author calls us onto His lap and whispers reassurances that we do, in fact, matter. He pulls out our handwritten biographies and invites us to join Him for the remaining chapters as we turn each page to reveal His unfailing love and our own story worth living.
Word of the Day:
For you are God’s handiwork, created in Jesus Christ to do good works, in which God created in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)
Thank You for the privilege of mothering our children, for making them our biggest ministry, but also continuing our stories beyond motherhood. Help us put down feelings of guilt and choose gratefulness that You continue to write pages of purpose for our own lives. God, thank You for letting our children be extensions of our stories. May motherhood give us even more reason to use our spiritual gifts for Your glory. In Your name, Amen.
Author: Candace Koon