A New Mom’s Journey!
Meet Alyssa! She is a faith writer and is sharing with us her story of motherhood. She will be welcoming her 1st baby boy this month. Whether you identify as a woman of faith or not, her story has many common thoughts and feelings that many new moms don’t dare to share. This blog normalizes all of them and encourages new mothers to step fully into this journey! Analin F.
It's funny how God chooses things for our lives we never planned on. And all of a sudden we are asked to step into roles we never thought we would be stepping into, or at least not at this moment in time.
For me right now, that's motherhood.
This was not our plan. My husband and I didn't want kids until years down the road (my husband admittedly a few years more than me). We wanted to have our first blissful honeymoon years of marriage together, just the two of us. We wanted to be financially stable with a dog and a house and a yard before a little screaming baby came along. We had our goals and our visions and our ideas about what this whole thing was supposed to look like.
And then, four months into our marriage, I was three days late. And I thought it was no big deal until my little app told me it was time to take a pregnancy test. So first thing on that cool November morning I slipped out of our apartment to run to Safeway and ask an uncomfortable teenager to grab me the First Response test out of the locked cabinet.
You can probably imagine how the story goes from there. We were shocked. We didn't know how to handle the news—we both felt a mixture of devastation and joy (the latter more so for me than him). We had just begun to reach a comfortable rhythm in our new marriage, and now this was going to throw everything off.
We were not ready for a kid. I was not ready for a kid.
We headed up to my husband's parents’ house later that morning to do early Thanksgiving with them. We were freaking out. We decided not to tell them yet, since we still couldn't even really process what was happening. The last time we had seen his parents we told them I was going to start grad school. They asked me questions about grad school and I played along, even though both my husband and I knew this was not an option anymore. Not now.
The weekend was a blur. In fact, the past nine months have been a blur. There have been so many painful and joyful moments in the process of growing a baby, but throughout this pregnancy, one lingering question permeates my thoughts: will I be a good mother?
Who am I to raise a child? Who I am to take on this enormous responsibility of raising a human being?
We don't have the dog yet, so I don't even know my skills in dog-momming. We skipped straight to what feels like the highest stakes, and while I am assured that God is going to take care of us and we'll be okay, the doubts can still creep in. And I start to wonder if I'm qualified for this huge responsibility (and blessing) He's giving me.
What if my health issues get in the way of my mothering? What if I get postpartum depression and can't take care of him? What if he has emotional or cognitive problems? What if... what if... what if?!
But WHAT IF God is good? What if He is trustworthy and He knows what He is doing? What if what I see as an accident was His perfect plan for my life all along? What if the plan we had concocted for us would not have been nearly as rewarding and fulfilling as His plan for us?
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” ~Jeremiah 29:11
God didn't ask our permission to give us this child. But He has sustained this baby boy for the past nine months in a way that I can only attribute to Him. Despite all the odds against him with my health issues, he has been growing steadily and fearlessly. He truly is a little miracle. If God has taken care of my baby this well so far, I know I have nothing to worry about on the other side of the womb.
No amount of books, parenting classes, or high-end baby products will make me a good mother. I will be a good mother because God has chosen me to be a mother. He qualifies me, and if I cling to Him, He will sustain me throughout motherhood. I know I will have a million and one moments where I have absolutely no idea what to do, but in those moments I know I can rely on Him for help and trust that it's okay to not know.
Whatever you feel unqualified in–a job, a sport, a relationship–know that if you are in that role, then you are qualified. It is not a mistake. You were given a responsibility and you can either always feel like you're not good enough and undeserving of it, or you can trust that you are where you are supposed to be and live fully into it. You will not be perfect and you will make many mistakes, but that doesn't disqualify you.
There will be many times in life we have to step into shoes we don't feel big enough to fill. And those are the best moments of faith–do we trust God enough to help us fill them? These are the opportunities to learn what we are truly capable of and who we might become. But if we back away out of fear we will never see all that potential come to fruition.
I'm not ready to be a mother, but this baby needs me to be. And there are people in your life who need you to step up in your role, whether or not you feel ready. You will be amazed at what God will do when you just say yes.
Inevitably, motherhood brings a big change for women. The first few years will be a time to adjust to taking care of and raising a human being who will completely depend on you. It will take time to adjust and find a good rhythm of life. If you notice that you are finding it difficult to cope with the new changes, don’t hesitate to reach out and seek professional support.