My first Blog post EVER.
Hey you! So, this blog post was copied and pasted from an old blog. I had no idea what I was doing back then… I was just a young new mom with so many emotions, I HAD to write it down to get it out.
I like this entry so much that I had to include it here. I was so blessed by reading this old post. It brought me right back into the moment I hit “publish” for the very first time…ever. I never knew that I’d be on the journey I’m on right now… but looking back and considering how far I’ve come, it makes so much sense.
Oh, those first few precious months of motherhood…I vividly remember the long nights… the mangled lady parts, the stress and anxiety. I struggled SO MUCH as a first time mom. Looking back and reflecting proves how God gave me strength and how merciful He was(is).
Although it wasn’t easy in the beginning, becoming a Mother to Jordan has been one of my life’s greatest accomplishments. This little boy has been such a gift. If I could go back in time and tell myself how much joy I have now, I would do it. I’d tell myself not to worry so much and that I will come out on the other end stronger and more competent. I remember feeling lost and like I wasn’t capable or qualified, so if you’re a new mom or going through the hormonal adjustments of having a new baby, let me be that voice in your ear telling you, “you’re going to be a better woman because of this. God will see you through, one moment at a time. Give yourself grace, forget about the dirty stove, let the dishes go, actually ask someone for help if you need it, and RELAX.”
I mean, now look at me!? I have another one! HAHA!
posted in Mamafindingjoy.com on July 15, 2015.
As I sat listening to Hillsong Worship on the radio (thank you, Pandora), I pondered on how to begin my very first blog post ever. I glance over and look at a sleeping baby, snuggled in his blankets, so peaceful and quiet.
Why start a blog? I have enough on my plate with a new human being under my care, right? Well, as much as I could write and tell you how blissful and magical being a mother has been for the past two weeks, I would only being telling half the truth. Yes, I am listening to worship music and I do have a happy baby, right now, in this moment. If being a mother was only full of these moments, I wouldn't have much to write about. Boasting about the amazingness of having a perfect baby can only last so long. My goal isn't to portray motherhood as being terrible, I simply feel the need to be real about what it is to be a mama. Though I am only 16 days into this new life, I have experienced enough to confront the not so real portrayal of being a mama that is constantly pushed in my face. But what's been more on my heart and mind in writing this blog is to invite you into my journey with the Lord as he stretches, teaches, humbles and blesses me.
A few days ago I woke up with a song on my lips and the realization in my heart that I AM NOT ENOUGH. The lyrics that kept repeating in my mind were, " I need you Lord, I need you. Every hour I need you. My one defense, my righteousness, Oh God, How I need you." I just came off of a difficult night of battling sleep deprivation, a hungry and needy child, and the constant reminder that for the time being, my comfort will take a back seat to the demands of this little human.
The magazines often portray a breastfeeding mother as a beautiful woman with washed and styled hair, wearing a delicate white nightgown. She is sitting in her rocker or lying on her side while her very content baby eats. She has an adoring gaze that is glued to her feeding baby, her eyes sparkle and her lips are smiling with the most sincere "I love you" smile. If I wanted to scare you away, I would ask Jacob (My hunky husband) to snap a photo of me and the babe during our middle of the night feedings. Let's just say I do not resemble the magazines.
First of all, I sweat.
I wake up feeling like I just took a stroll outside during a rainstorm with no umbrella. All of me sweats. Not just a little dainty, feminine upper lip perspiration... it's a primal, stinky pits, drenched behind my bended knees and wanting to rip off my clothes kind of sweat. After I wipe the fuzz that has adhered to the sweat, I manage to prop myself up... and I immediately want to devour an entire gallon of water. They are dry and sticky and parched. (reminder, this is all while a fussy baby has woken me with his animal like grunting and crying.) After I take a quick swig of water, I realize that my undercarriage burns a bit and it's probably time for a new diaper pad. Oh joy. I peel myself out of bed and say a quick prayer that the pacifier will miraculously keep this wiggly little guy happy for a minute while I take care of business. At the first suckle of the Paci, I sprint like an Olympian, (on my tippy toes of course) to the bathroom to relieve the burn and to empty the full bladder. In record time, obviously without skipping washing my hands with warm soapy water, (because I have this fear that was instilled in me at the hospital that every time I touch the baby I could be passing him a deadly disease), I tippy toe sprint back to the once again grunting/crying babe. Pacifier 0. Baby 1. I pick him up and nestle him in the fold of my arm and whisk him away to the nursery. Ohhhh the nursery. The room that I once sat in googly eyed, daydreaming about feeding my baby. It has now somehow turned into the dreaded room I have to inhabit for the next hour- maybe two, instead of my bed. My warm, cozy, soft and comforting bed.... "Focus, Shelly... You can do this." I collapse in the rocker, whip out the boob, to a stream of dripping milk drops. Each drop that hits the floor, my belly, the baby's forehead, feels like I'm losing liquid gold. I put the babe up to the boob, and expect him to latch right on. It's been a couple hours... he should be starving. But... He grunts and then cries and reels his body around like he has a case of tetanus. Then I hear it. A mini series of gassy explosions.
Riiiiight, diaper first, then feed. I get up, leak a few more drops as I re position my damp and scratchy breast pad and proceed to the changing table. Dang it, I forgot the pacifier! Now he's crying as I wrestle to keep his heels out of his poopy diaper. Just when I think I’ve gotten this all under control, I hear it… the subtle stream of pee pouring from his little man parts. With the warm sensation of urine pooling all around him he cries out in discomfort. Can somebody get this woman a PeePee TeePee?! (spell check?)
I then have the pleasure of wiping my babe down from head to toe to remove the pee and then I take inventory. New diaper, check. New onesie, check. New changing pad liner, check. I go back to the rocker, whip out my boob again and ahhhhhh, he latches and for the next 5-10 minutes there's quiet. A few slurps here and there keep me from completely nodding off. "Okay, I think he's done... CHOMP CHOMP... yup, sure is.. and so is my nipple." I burp him quickly and than I move to the crib to get him back into a nice swaddle. After a minute of fussing, he quiets down and I see the light at the end of the tunnel. And then... another series of mini explosions........
This goes on and on every night. And I can’t see a real end in sight. I have been a mom for just over two weeks and I am entirely exhausted. There’s been so much about this experience that I CANNOT understand yet. I have been having to fight for joy like never before and I thought this would be the most joyous season of my life. I know, I know, hormones are raging and it takes some getting used to. But for some of us first time Moms- we have A REALLY HARD TIME.
Friends, THIS is real life. At least for me. I refuse to accept that I have to look or act or think like every another mother in order to be a good one. I can only pray and trust that God himself will grow my affection and mend my body. I have hope that He will give me strength, and continue to equip me for this.
That lady pretending to be a first time mom in the magazine is not me. She is just a picture. Compared to my experience, she is a lie and depicts nothing but false expectations. She makes me compare my messy, sweaty feedings to her blissful demeanor and I feel like a failure. And then when I have just about had it, I hear a soft whisper from His Spirit.
He says, "you're not suppose to be comparing yourself to anyone but ME."
It’s there in that moment He reminds me that His power is made perfect in my weakness. He also reminds me that this world will always let me down, but He will never leave me or forsake me. In my darkest moments, He loves me. The moments when I want to scream, when I am crying out of being tired and feeling like I want to give up, He's with me. He gives me the strength to withstand each trying moment. He alone will get me through. His grace starts pouring down around me and He brings me back into His arms. The glory of the woman in the magazine starts to fade and the glory of the Lord starts shining brighter. In moments like this He tells me to stop worshiping the “ideal” and to start worshiping Him. He tells me to take my eyes off of the mother the world tells me I should look like and to fix my eyes on Him. Only He is the author and the perfector of my faith.
I suddenly realize how beautiful and precious this messy journey of being a mama really is.
God shows me that I am a good mother because He is a good Father.
And so I begin to praise the Lord because in this moment, right now, I have found joy.
Scripture I've been meditating on: