What a blessing it has been lately to have in my life so many first-time moms, moms expecting their first baby, and women trusting the Lord to start growing their family! These women have been an encouragement in reminding me what trusting God and walking in selflessness look like. As I think back on the season of my life when I was first entering motherhood, I remember the joys and hardships that accompanied it. Here are a few words that hopefully can bring encouragement to these women in our lives!
To the first time moms in my life:
It is painful to bring forth new life. Of course, you already know that. Labor and delivery are no joke! It required hours of painful labor to bring your sweet baby into the world! After 14 hours of painful labor with my first baby, I was so relieved when she was finally here and I could hold her in my arms.
It wasn’t long, however, before I felt the weight of the reality of motherhood and caring for another human being. I felt like I had no idea what I was doing. And really, I didn’t. I had never birthed or breastfed a tiny human before. I hadn’t pulled all-nighters since high school (and even then…never multiple nights in a row!). I had never truly had to put someone else’s needs before my own. It was hard.
I remember with my first baby the myriad of feelings that came jam-packed into those first few months of motherhood. There were many times where I felt in awe and thankful to God that He would allow me the gift of this child. Then there were other times where I was tired, frustrated, and missing the carefree days of doing what I wanted when I wanted without having to consider the needs of a very dependant little person. Maybe you feel some of these emotions as well.
When people ask me how adjusting from one baby to two babies has been (and soon to be three babies!), I always reply that having my first baby was by far the hardest so far. I had so much to learn (and am still learning of course) about humility, sacrificial love, and selflessness…and in such a short amount of time! In those early months I looked around at the Godly mothers in my life and had no idea how they made it seem so easy (the funny thing being that, if asked, I’m now sure none of them would say motherhood is easy!). I knew I hoped to have more children, and felt overwhelmed that I could barely manage even one baby!
Looking back, I can see how that season was very much a gift- a spiritual “growth spurt” from the Lord. He was growing, shaping, and sanctifying me to become more like Him and to live as He calls us to in His Word:
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” John 12:24
New mama, you are living these passages out right now!
Being selfless and looking out for the interests of others is much easier when it’s for someone who can at least feed themselves and use the bathroom on their own. As you die to yourself each day, remember the great fruit that is to come! This hard work will not return void. Soon this little one will be baking cookies with you, saying “I love you Mommy!” and reading the Bible on their own. Prayerfully, the little baby you hold in your arms will grow into a Godly man or women (I’ve heard they grow up so quickly!).
As you tirelessly nurse, bounce, rock, sing, change, and care for your newborn, you are putting another’s needs above yours while you sacrifice sleep and showers. You are working hard not just for this current moment, but to cultivate a child’s heart to love and follow God for a lifetime.
Even moreso, let this season give you encouragement and appreciation to worship Christ, who has sacrificed everything- even His life- for you. He lived out Philippians 2 and John 12 perfectly, and calls us to live humble, selfless lives as well. What an incredible opportunity He has given to you in this postpartum period to be shaped and molded to be more like Him.
P.S. Someday you will sleep again.