As of today, I have been a mom for exactly five weeks. And let me tell y'all... as my friend Emily says, mommin' ain't easy.
No one and nothing prepares you for the overwhelming challenges and joy that come with being a mom. No matter how many blogs you read and mom friends you have, you simply cannot understand the weight of motherhood until that adorable baby is laid on your chest after hours (or days) of labor.
Motherhood takes so much. It takes all your time, all your patience, and all of your heart. It takes your freedom to sleep through the night, to shower without peeking your head out a million times, to do anything with two hands, to give your full attention to anything or anyone, to quickly run into a store for just one thing, and to ever live selfishly again.
Motherhood also gives you so much. So much more love and excitement and joy. So much hope and promise in the future. So much grace and strength and weakness all at the same time. That baby gives your whole life a new meaning and purpose that you could have never fathomed before.
However, the hardest thing motherhood has given me is mommy guilt. I feel it every single day. All of a sudden, you feel so unworthy of the blessings in front of you. You feel so inadequate to love and care for that baby the way it deserves to be loved and cared for. You constantly wonder and worry if you're doing it right. If you're doing enough. You feel so much weakness in the daily tasks of the constant feedings, changing countless diapers, and shushing hours of crying. I know how you feel mama. I have been there. With tears running down my cheeks as my baby cries in the bread aisle. I have been there, hoping and praying he doesn't wake up so we don't have to leave before the sermon is over. I have been there, pulling the car over for the second time in 20 minutes to hold him, soothe him, and beg him to calm down so we can make it home. I've been there at three in the morning screaming at my husband that I just don't know what is wrong and why the baby won't stop crying. I've been there, googling fifty things a day to make sure the color of his poop is actually normal. I've been there just counting down the minutes until my husband gets home so I can have five minutes without carrying the baby or watching the dogs. Hear me mama. You are not alone. Let me say that again. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I know motherhood can seem so hard and overwhelming. I know our social media filled society says it should be easy and effortless. I know your whole life flipped upside down the second you laid eyes on those sweet little lips and chubby cheeks. But you, mama, you're doing an amazing job.
God trusted YOU to take care of HIS child. He made you specifically for each other. It is no mistake that that specific baby is sleeping in your arms (or screaming his head off) at this specific moment. The good thing is, God has promised to carry you in grace and bless you with strength in him to raise that precious baby. Find confidence and peace in that today, mama. Hold steadfast to the truth that you can handle and do all things in Christ. That in him alone, there is goodness and joy in this seemingly tough season. This too shall pass, mama. And it'll do so way too quickly so lavish yourself and that precious babe with grace upon grace.
Mommin' ain't easy. But you and that baby share a father who is the perfect parent and he loves and cherishes you both more than you will ever realize. Lean in and feel his strength and goodness.
You can do this mama. And once this stage has passed, and our babies no longer fit in our laps, let's make sure we remember the grace and the God that led us here. Let's also promise to encourage and build up that new mom, regardless of how she feeds her baby or where her baby sleeps or how much her baby cries. Because we've been there and we know that mamas have the hardest job in the world. Because simply put, mommin' ain't easy.