“No matter how much you have desired to be a mom, it will grate against your independence and your pride. You will at some point feel like a failure. You will at some point long to have something in your life that you feel like you are good at or an expert on.
Children tie the feet of their mother.”
A friend shared the article above a month or so ago and that paragraph has been ringing in my head ever since. These first 6 months of motherhood have been, in a word, humbling. I thought because I had experienced loss, I was somehow better prepared to handle this new role. I mean, it’s a role I desperately wanted. One I got on my knees and petitioned God for, everyday, for a year. So there was nothing that could come my way that would make me complain. Because this child? A MIRACLE. My ability to stay home with him? A blessing. Not everyone who hopes for a baby and/or a chance to be a domestic boss receives it. Therefore gratitude. I should be fueled by it, swimming in it. So outside of my mind with appreciation for these gifts that the lack of sleep, the unexplained shrieks, the anxiety caused by a love so big it wants to build a shelter to keep this evil world from stealing my baby’s innocence….none of it can phase me.
And yet here I am. PHASED. Knocked not just on my booty but FLAT on my BACK. Staring up at heaven whispering guilty prayers because I can’t bring myself to speak them in full voice.
I’m sorry Lord. I’m so sorry I felt resentment toward my beautiful child when he woke up for the 6th time last night/refused to nap/refused to be consoled during a fit and instead flailed all over me, tiny fists hitting my chest and face…no doubt ticked that I don’t know how to help him. I’m sorry I don’t know how to help him.
Forgive me Father, for ever thinking other parents were being just a tad dramatic about how hard this is. Forgive my arrogance, in believing staying home meant my husband would always open the door to a clean house, warm dinner, well-rested baby and smiling-dressed-make-uped wife. It happens. But it’s a far, far cry from always.
Help me accept help, God. I know you see me, in all my incompetent glory, unable to trust anyone else with my child. Down here coaching even his father on what he might want or need while I’m gone on a run. Or just taking a shower. Oh, mercy. I know You never intended for me to do it all on my own. Help me LET GO.
And on and on. The prayers are as relentless as the work.
That’s what makes it so difficult for me, I think. The relentlessness. Parenthood is a job that never ends. I know moms who work outside the home have their own unique struggles, but I can only speak for myself. And for me, staying home has been a jarring transition away from a decade of childless career work. Gone is the structure of a 9-5. Gone is getting a break from one role to step into another. Gone are lunch hours to workout or take care of errands or think without interruption or eat with two hands. Gone are so many freedoms I didn’t even realize I had. In their place are days (months) that fly by in a blur of diapers, bottles, books, baths, naps, playtime, cries, workouts, visitors, chores etc. etc. Keeping a baby alive and well and developmentally on track while maintaining a household 24/7 is exhausting beyond what I thought possible. I often feel like I’m running full speed trying to hang onto the back of a getaway wagon. Because the primary part of my work – Enzo – is forever evolving. Just when I think I’ve got him somewhat figured out, he throws me for another loop.
It’s probably just me though. Struggling to find my footing and regain some semblance of control. I’m sure there are plenty of stay-at-home newbies who handle the transition like flawless goddesses flying around on unicorns. But not I. No sir. My crossover was more like being awkwardly dragged by a donkey.
And it had to be that way, I think. I, with my unrealistic expectations and oversized pride, needed to get a mouthful of humble dirt pie. I needed to be reminded that God doesn’t give us the desires of our hearts so we’ll get off His back. He’s not like Okay okay OKAY. HERE. HAVE IT. Whatever gets you to stop NAGGING. He wants to make us happy, sure. But he’s more interested in making us holy.
2 Corinthians 12:9
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.
I thought being a somewhat older first time mom, who has experienced loss and lived enough to dare I say mature, a little, meant I would rock it like nobody’s business, straight out the gate. Instead I’m like, knees down hands up God give me all the grace.
6 months in and my main takeaway is SAHM life is no. joke. At the same time, it’s seriously the greatest gift God has given me thus far, aside from Ron (No Ron, no baby). It constantly forces me to slow down and reevaluate what’s most important. Revising my expectations and beating down my pride, again and again and again…until I am walking in line with His plan for our family. It’s WORK, but it’s beautiful, fulfilling, meaningful work that I wouldn’t trade for the world.