Around this time one year ago, I had recently delivered my first child (check out the post here). To be honest, after the excitement of delivery, announcing to friends and family, and post-labor fatigue, I sat and watched Z sleep… wondering what in the world I had gotten myself into.
Growing up I had no shortage of phenomenal examples to emulate. Starting with my own mother who bagged a Bachelors, Masters, and PhD after my dad died, all while working full-time, serving devoutly in the church, being a real estate agent and author, and still making plenty of time to attend me and my sister’s many extracurricular events.
Before Z I had often thought about what type of mother I wanted to be and how I was going to make it happen. As we left the hospital, I was determined to be gentle, loving, understanding, patient, and all the other things we think of good mothers. Fast forward to one year later, I’m watching Z sleep and Iaughing/crying at how much I pressured myself to be this all-star mom from Day 1 😂
I can't tell you a lie – the first year was tough. Juggling moving to a new state away from pretty much all family and friends, with a new baby, with a husband in residency, while I transitioned to the world of working motherhood, in a new church and new environment. I spent many days feeling unsure of what the heck I was doing. And then on top of all that, We live in a world where women are constantly pressured to "snapback" after having a baby, all while attempting to be the best mom and wife. That alone is enough to make someone feel like they're failing. I was barely holding it all together.
There is absolutely no need for anyone to add unnecessary pressure to themselves in such a tender a gentle season. But of course, hindsight is 20/20.
Don’t get me wrong. All those beautiful attributes should and can be exercised on the daily. However, motherhood is kind of like your Christian walk. You have awesome examples around you and you know the things that you should do. Some days, you get it. Some days, you don’t. Some moments you’re less than pleased with your reaction and responses to things that are out of your control. All the same, if you have a less than ideal day, you sleep it off and try again the next day.
And I’ve definitely had my fair share of “I’ll try again tomorrow days” lol. My celebration of my daughter’s first 365 days Earth-side isn’t just because I’m grateful to God for keeping her (which I 100% am.. we'll live into that in Part 2). But also, I’m grateful to Him for keeping me. Molding me. Stripping me of a lot of selfish tendencies that I didn’t even recognize I had.
People talk about the world of motherhood as being a very sanctifying process and I’d have to agree. In light of recent US events, I'm also inclined to add it's a world that must be entered into sober-mindly, in without force or coercion. It is the best decision and blessing that I've been privy to experience. You are caring for this tiny human being who has no concept of your sleep deprivation, or your worries, or even your busyness. They simply expect to be fed, loved, cleaned, and cuddled. It’s here on this journey that I’ve learned just how much love I have to give (Ps 86:15), how quickly I can forgive and forget (Eph 4:32), and how well I can bounce back from less-than ideal days (Lam 3:22-23). So it goes without saying but I’m celebrating like it’s my birthday too lol.
I’m constantly in awe of how quickly the last year has flown by and I’m excited for what’s to come.
Welcome (back) to As Told By Moyo.