I have to preface this post with a keen awareness of all the beautiful women who are not on this road of motherhood either by choice or by reasons far from your control.
I love you.
I want you to know your role in this world is just as significant and treasured.
My dear friend Salina at www.heartreflected.com has some powerful words for you if you’re struggling with infertility or the longing to become a mom, but today my words are for my daughter-in-law and other soon-to-be moms………………
so I write these words knowing that with every key I strike there are many women who need different words.
And I’m praying God will lead you to words that will speak specifically into your life today.
Dear Mallory and Every Soon-To-Be Mommy,
I know you’re nervous.
I hear it in your voice.
I see it in your eyes.
You’re fully aware your world is about to be turned upside down, yet the mystery of just how different everything will be is overwhelming.
As a woman who has walked this mysterious road of motherhood for a while now, I have to speak.
I have to tell you what I wish I would have really thought about twenty-nine years ago when my firstborn son was placed in my arms.
First, you’re going to be okay.
All the things you do not know or understand about motherhood will somehow come to you…………….
slowly at times and immediately at others…………….
No matter how the knowledge of parenting arrives in your life,
I promise you’ll get the hang of this new title.
It may take some embarrassing moments like the time my own mom gently leaned my firstborn son’s head back while giving him a bath only to discover tiny little rolls of dirty sweat in every crease of his six-week old skin………….how was I supposed to know there were teeny crevices there?
Something as simple as a bath became a life lesson.
We won’t always know until we see……………..so live with your eyes wide open and be a willing student.
Second, you’re not alone.
There’ll be times when you find yourself awake in the middle of the night, wondering if anyone else feels quite like you. Darkness has a way of casting shadows that can seem bigger than life itself.
If I could sit with you in that darkness, I would say,
Soak up every memory with this tiny little human who has been entrusted to you.
The curve of her toes.
The length of his fingers.
Every little detail.
The minute they begin walking, they’ll be leading you toward a busy world so just be still for now and embrace the darkness with a sense of joy and wonder.
Let the shadows cast by the dim lights of nighttime become your very best friends for a season.
Solitude has a voice of its own.
Listen closely to the quietness.
Allow the darkness to whisper beautiful words.
Third, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Nearly every new job has a season of training except motherhood.
One day you’re carrying a purse on your shoulder and the next day you’re juggling a purse and a diaper bag and a car seat and a little person.
There’s no way to make this transition smoothly without help.
Call hotlines if you have to.
Just don’t ever think the world expects you to figure this new job out all by yourself.
I remember showing up with our firstborn son at the little country church in northern Kentucky where Tim preached at the time.
I was a young, insecure mom; and I specifically remember feeling as if I were just “playing house”.
The seasoned mothers all around me seemed like experts in a field I had never planned to enter quite so quickly.
Immediately, I had a choice to make.
I could pretend I knew what I was doing or I could just admit I was in over my head at the age of 21.
I learned very quickly that there’s something incredibly freeing about admitting all the things you do not know.
So I learned how to be a new mommy from some of the most precious women on this planet.
Janet, Catherine, Rosaline, Myrt, Mildred, ………………….
these were just a few of the women who taught me what motherhood looks like, and I’m forever thankful.
Fourth, make time for yourself every single day.
Motherhood can easily cause every other part of your life to seem insignificant……………
but you’ll be doing your baby the biggest favor if you learn to balance motherhood with all your other passions.
If you love to write, keep writing.
If you love to paint, keep painting.
If you love to read, keep reading.
Your baby will get the best part of you when all other parts of your life are being used to their fullest.
Fifth, make peace with your shortcomings.
I wish I could say you won’t make any mistakes along the way.
I wish I could tell you that you have the ability to do everything right the first time.
But I’ve been on this planet long enough to know that even when we do the very best we possibly can we will still come up short.
So, make peace now with all the times you’ll get flustered or feel inadequate or forget to buy diapers or run late for a doctor’s appointment or wish you would have had a more gentle tone of voice……………………
Make peace with the fact that you are human and humans mess up.
Don’t ever let the glance of a stranger cause you to feel anything less than perfect in God’s eyes.
Don’t ever let the words of a friend or family member cause you to second-guess your ability to fulfill this new role in life.
I could keep writing for days, but I’ll end with this:
Treat each new day as a gift.
Unwrap it with excitement and wonder.
Hold it tight and know that even if it somehow gets marred by this world or by your own flawed hands,
tomorrow is coming………………….
once again it will be covered in shiny new paper, tied with a big beautiful bow.
I’ve decided God made each day just long enough to fill with wonderful memories but short enough to allow us a fresh start when we need one.
And believe me, you’ll need a fresh start time and time again……………
so just relax and enjoy today.
His mercies are new every morning,
so be thankful for the mercy of this day and this day alone.
I love you so much, Mallory.
Thank you for carrying my granddaughter so beautifully.
I couldn’t be more thankful for the woman she gets to call “mommy”.
I’m as near as you need me but as far away as you need me to be too.
I’ll dance on the edge of your journey just close enough to help but just far enough away to allow you to blossom into the beautiful mom I know you’ll be.
My prayer for you and for all new mommies is a prayer of peace, joy, grace, and love.
You are so loved.