As a new year has turned its page, what’s been on my heart is addressing motherhood – the beauty of becoming a mother and all that encompasses the new hat we now wear. I want to take some time to talk to all the new Moms out there, whether you’re pregnant or postpartum.
I am a firm believer in the power of sharing our story regardless of whether it reaches the masses or just one person. Our stories are a powerful weapon to encourage another woman who might be experiencing the same thing we did. And by sharing our story, we could very well give needed advice / insight into another desperate mama’s heart.
So, grab some tea or coffee and sit with me for just a few minutes.
It’s undoubtedly true.
When a baby is born, a mother is born as well. And in my humble opinion, I believe that too much attention is given to the newborn baby and not enough attention given to the mother. There are so many things I wish I knew 18 months ago…and that’s why I’m writing today. I want you to know that someone else gets it if you’re newly postpartum. I want you to know the road I traveled if you’re pregnant so that you can learn from my story.
Becoming a mother has been the most life-changing experience. It has taken me to a richness of joy that is completely indescribable. It has also taken me to very challenging and dark places within I never saw coming. And might I say that it is quite okay to feel both at the same time. Maybe that’s the first thing you need to hear, mama.
I was talking to a dear friend of mine on New Year’s Eve about the beginnings of our motherhood journey. She has three beautiful daughters now and I have one son but our stories are so similar with the anger we felt in early motherhood. We both struggled intensely with anger after becoming a mom and looking back now, we see why and can fully express it. My prayer is that God highlights something so unique to your heart and your circumstance through this blog. My prayer is that things that were hidden in darkness within your heart suddenly come into the light and you find that you can breathe for the first time in a very long time.
Your time of freedom has come, friend.
You are seen and known by Jesus.
18 months ago when I became “mommy” for the first time:
I wish I knew that my needs mattered.
I wish I knew that my needs were actually more essential in meeting compared to my baby’s. I spent so much of my energy putting my baby’s needs above my own and then was angry for it. I was a very angry new mom who felt like I had to lay myself down on the altar everyday even at the expense of my physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.
I wish I knew that asking for help wasn’t a sign of failure.
Independence is a thief that kills a mother’s joy. I believed the lie for a long time after my son was born that I pretty much had to figure things out on my own. After all, I’m the mom, right? My husband was so willing and able but much of the time I pushed him away. And the consequence for that was exploding out of anger because I didn’t ask for help sooner. I wish I knew that asking for help was a sign of victory – that I saw my needs before I was sinking in them.
I wish I knew to take advantage of every opportunity to sleep when I could.
They will tell you to sleep when baby sleeps and even though this feels impossible sometimes, gosh…I wish I could have just let my body rest more. Even if I couldn’t fall asleep because I felt like my baby would wake up any minute, I wish I knew just to lay down and be still. I know this would have significantly decreased my stress levels, therefore, decreasing that constant internal physical shakiness.
I wish I knew to eat more food!
I can’t say this one enough. When I look back to the amount of food I was eating for a postpartum nursing mother, I cringe. I actually cringe because I know that I wasn’t providing my body with enough nutrients for the amount of calories I was BURNING THROUGH on a daily basis. My body was craving nutrients and because I was more concerned with losing the baby weight, I did myself an extreme disservice by saying “no” to what my body needed.
I wish I knew to have much more grace for myself and my husband.
It’s no small secret that life changes completely when your baby arrives in your arms. Now looking back, I know that even with all the advice we received before our son was born, we just had to learn. We had to walk through all those hard newborn moments together. We had to figure it out – together. And very possibly one of those huge lessons learned was extending more grace to one another. Grace upon grace upon grace! Life is not perfect. Relationships are not perfect. New adventures and experiences don’t go perfectly…and we have to know that learning is more important than the end goal. We learn by just walking through life’s moments and seeing the growth as we look back…there is SO MUCH GRACE and I take such deep comfort in that now.
I wish I knew how much God would use motherhood to sanctify me.
When we surrender to the Lord and allow His love to cast out all those debilitating fears, there is such a rich joy that comes. Motherhood is a constant flow of being sanctified - if we allow God to do what He wants to do. All He desires is our hearts. He is not looking for a perfectly clean home. He is not looking for a great routine. He is not looking for healthy meals 24/7. He is not testing us. He just wants to be with us in this adventure of motherhood. He wants to teach us and show us new depths of His love so we can shower our children with the revelations we receive from Him.
So, whether you’re pregnant, newly postpartum with your first or newly postpartum with another little one, I sincerely pray that you feel seen today. I pray that this month brings you more joy than you thought possible. I pray that something speaks to your heart and brings a lightness to your mind. “Becoming mommy” for the first time or fifth time is no small thing.
Take a moment with me right now to just breathe.
Sit in the silence for a few seconds.
Praise the Lord for His grace.
Praise the Lord for carrying you this far.
You’re amazing, mama.
You truly are.