It took me awhile to get used to the thought of being a mom.
Maybe because it felt like such a high calling, and I felt so ill-equipped. Yet becoming a parent has been one of the beautiful things in my life.
My first year of parenting was not easy (is anyone's?), but I learned some significant things about life as I started this new journey. And I wondered: Do all new moms feel this way?
Last Mother’s Day I tried to do the following things to help me remember the journey and delight in the lessons. Will you join me again this year?
Tell your “mom” story.
Early on in my pregnancy, I learned another friend also was pregnant, due just 2 weeks before me. We got to compare notes every step of the way, and our sons were born just 5 days apart. As we were open and honest with each other, I embraced the fact that every mom’s story is different.
Our labors were different, nursing was different, our babies are different. But our stories, in all their similarities and differences, are valuable. They reflect God's heart for us as His children. Maybe you adopted, maybe you married into a family with kids, maybe you’ve miscarried. You have a story. Take some time this Mother’s Day to tell a part of your story of becoming or being a mom.
Listen to another mother’s story.
It was incredibly freeing to be honest with my friend about how things were going through our pregnancy and first months at home with the baby. There were parts that were harder for me, and parts harder for her. We didn’t judge one another or try to guess the reasons for the challenges. Instead, we affirmed, “You’re a great mom. Thank you for telling me about the details.”
Next time you see another mom, ask about some part of her story and just listen. There is perhaps no story that has affected her life more than becoming a mother.
It is deep.
It is personal.
It is spiritual.
Look for places where God shows up and remind her of those. Where do you see God’s hand in both of your stories? What do you learn about His character by listening?
God has given you a precious role in stewarding the life of another. Thank Him for His kindness.
It can be so easy to get caught up in the day to day that I rarely take time to focus on my role as a mother, and as God’s daughter. I want to take some time this week to step away and catch some fresh perspective on what it means to be a mom. (Psalm 139:13-18 is a great place to start.) “What one or two things do I want to be true of myself as a mother?” or “What truth is God teaching me through motherhood?”
Allow yourself to be appreciated.
This was my husband’s suggestion (I know, he’s a keeper). He reminded me that although I’ve been taking care of others’ needs since Zachary was a newborn, this doesn’t need to be my default mode. I can give and receive care and appreciation. This Mother’s Day, allow yourself to relax. Try not to worry about your kids’ future, and maybe even allow yourself to shed a few freeing tears.
Walt and Ann Bealke have been married for a long time, just not to each other. They are now 5 years into their marriage (the third for each of them), and are seeing God redeem their pasts and build a Gospel-centered marriage.