These were words I found myself thinking a few weeks back when I was in hospital. I was 39 weeks pregnant. I’d prayed over so many things surrounding my second labour and God had given me a very definite faith for what it would look like. But here I was, being told I may need to stay in hospital until the baby comes (potentially two weeks). Not being with my son at home, labour being induced, perhaps a caesarean section. Nothing I had been in faith for. God this wasn’t meant to happen.
With constant demands and pressure today it’s no wonder so many of us get burnt out, stressed or exhausted. I see so many mums who are desperately trying to keep up with the demands of doing it all and yet feel overwhelmed or have lost peace – I know I’ve been there at times! But once that happens, how do we get it back again? How do we learn to live in joy and peace rather than fear?
Are you someone who is easily fearful? Do you find yourself getting anxious about things and don’t know what to do about it? Fear is a horrible thing and something most people suffer with at some point to varying degrees, BUT, the truth is, it’s a choice!
You wouldn’t believe the things that have broken in our house over the last few months. First our little car massively failed it’s MOT and would have cost more to fix than it was worth, so we needed a new one. Then our washing machine broke, then the oven. Also my hairdryer, kitchen scales and the kettle, and no I’m not exaggerating. Then to top it all off, we have had problems with our electrics looking likely to cost over £400. Wow! Talk about it all coming at once.
Being a stay at home mum, in a one income household where spare money is incredible limited and definitely not naturally able to cover all these things, my first reaction was one of stress. How can we afford all these things? What are we going to do? Where will this money come from? But in that instant, when I started to feel stressed I felt God remind me of something. He reminded me of the countless times over the last couple of years that we have needed provision for something, we have prayed, and a week or so later we have received unexpected provision or a cheque through the post. Over and over again we have seen God’s faithfulness in this area and this is no different.
When I look back on those first few weeks or months of motherhood, there are a few things I wish someone had told me. So in case you haven’t heard it before, or really need to hear it now, I’ll say it for you.
To the Mummy who is worried her little baby may stop breathing throughout the night, you may check on them a few times, but know that your confidence will grow, and your fears will lessen.
To the Mummy who is concerned about how to feed her baby, desperately thinking through whether breast or bottle is the best option, whatever you decide your baby will be fine.
To the Mummy who is severely sleep deprived, things will get easier! You’ll come through it, your baby will start sleeping more, and you’ll look back on these times as a distant memory.
When I had my son, it was incredible. Nothing can prepare you for just how much you will love this little bundle of joy. But there was something else I hadn’t prepared for. Something I hadn’t been expecting. FEAR.
There are no two people I love more than my husband and my son. But my love for my boy was a new kind of love I’d not experienced before. A fierce, protective love! I was his protector. And more than that. Every action I do, every word I say to him, was impacting him, shaping him, raising him. I’d not known this love before because I’d always been the one protected. By my parents when I was younger, and now by my husband. But this love, this was new. And with new love, comes new responsibility, and with this, came FEAR.
It struck me recently just how many mums feel guilty. They have said or done something that is less than perfect and end up feeling bad. This is so sad, when being a mummy and raising young children is such a special time in our lives, we don’t want to end up carrying a constant burden of guilt. I know from my own experience this is easy to do. Why? Because when we love our children more than anything, we want the absolute best for them. We never want to show them a less than perfect love, and we want every single word, action and experience we give them to show how much we love them. Although this is a good thing, a big learning curve for me when I became a mum was realising I will never be a perfect mum or get everything right. As much as I may strive for this I will never achieve it, because I’m not perfect. Being a mum is my absolute priority but I have discovered that if I strive for perfection, I am setting myself up for failure. So now I try my best, but I accept that if I look back at the end of a day and think I could have done something a bit better, I need to let it go and just ask God for grace and wisdom to do it better tomorrow.