Seven years ago I became a first time mom. Holding my baby in my arms confirmed the desire I had to stay home with her. Our budget was tight. My husband was still a temp at his job and had no guarantee of being hired any time soon. However, we decided that me staying home, felt like the best path for our new family.
So broken free from the structure of the workforce, came the newness of a day filled with dirty diapers, restless nights and lots of snuggles from my little one. It was fine for about 3 months but as the days seemed longer and longer, and having an infant that had no ability to communicate besides crying, I became very lonely.
What am I supposed to do all day? My day used to be filled with structure and productiveness followed by a paycheck of appreciation. People asked me my professional opinion on important matters. I took pride in my work. And loved my job dearly.
Have I reduced myself to this? An overweight, vomit covered, yoga pants wearing, zombie who does nothing but anticipate my husband’s arrival? And although there were very precious moments, just me and my baby, I longed for something more. Honestly, in that first year, I didn’t see the value in being a stay at home mom. It requires way more effort than I ever imagined.
It was such a confusing time. “Maybe this stay at home mommy thing just isn’t for me.” “What am I supposed to do all day?” “Who am I?” “Maybe I should just go back to work. At least their, I get paid for my labors.”
My hormones were going crazy from postpartum. I was tired, scared and alone.
I’m sure during that time I was very socially awkward. Actually I know I was. I remember so desperately wanting fellowship yet not mentally able to handle mature conversations. It required way too many brain cells. If you have a newborn, you know what I am talking about. I remember thinking as people were talking, “I wish this person would just shut up so I can go take a nap.” Horrible right? I know I was not being a very good friend and I really didn’t care. I was just too tired and overwhelmed to care.
It was during this time, the Lord was my strength. He was the only one that could comfort me in my darkest hours. I think He allows us to struggle as new mothers to mature us so we are equipped to be the person He calls us to be. How else can we face the challenges of parenthood? How else can we make the sacrifices and decisions we have to make to raise up our children? He has to strip us of ourselves because our life is no longer about us.
Motherhood is uncomfortable. Its exposes our selfishness. It can feel impossible at times. But it doesn’t take a superwoman to be a mother, just a willing spirit. A willingness to die to self and trust that the Lord has a bigger plan beyond our own.
I know this time is hard. I remember the many come to Jesus moments as I battled with myself. But as you adjust to this new life as a mother, you will gain confidence, a new routine and strength that only the Lord gifts.
So embrace the yoga pants for now. It won’t be long before you trade them in for a pair of jeans or dare I say…a sundress. Your baby will eventually sleep and you will too. You will find new mommy friends and maybe discover new hobbies. And your days will soon fill with with structure and productivity.
But most importantly remember this, you are no longer that lady you once were. You have a new identity. You are now a mother. A fierce soldier in the army of the Lord. There is a reason why people are afraid of mamma bears! You are to protect and direct a young soul. Your number one mission is to raise your child up to become followers of our savior Jesus Christ. To equip them to show the love of Christ to others. And to teach them the tools to serve and support their own family someday. And that my friend is the most important job anyone could EVER have.