By Leigh-Ellen, contributing writer.
Becoming a mom can bring forth so many emotions and feelings that we may have never felt before. I’m dedicating this post to a friend of mine who just recently had her first baby, and any other new moms out there. And to the mom who may just be frustrated with the stress of caring for your family.
I want to share with you what I believe we must hold onto when we are tired and worn out. When life seems out of control and your days all run together, I hope that you are reminded of how great your purpose is as a mother. So whether it’s your first child or your fourth, I pray that you would try to stay positive during those long, newborn days. Commit to searching for what God is doing in your heart since making you a mother.
Here are four truths to remember on those hard days:
#1: God will give you strength.
Having a newborn is hard enough, but having a newborn with acid reflux and colic is a whole new level of difficulty. I joke and say that God gave us Charlotte first so that we would humble ourselves as parents and realize that we don’t have it all figured out.
Many nights I would be in tears and sometimes I just didn’t know what to do with her. Night after night she would cry and I would too. It was then that I realized how I was never going to get through being a mom without my Savior. I needed His guidance and direction for me as a mom because I felt so lost.
During the day, I would rock Charlotte (because she never let me put her down) and we would listen to praise music together. I would read my Bible and some sort of parenting book everyday. I searched for any kind of biblical encouragement that I could find.
If you are overwhelmed with all of the responsibilities of being a new mom, then I challenge you to start here. Spend time with the Lord and rely on Him for the strength to get through each long night and every long day. Eventually, that little one will be all grown up and sleeping through the night but you will still need His strength to get through every obstacle that comes your way.
#2: You have a purpose as a mother.
When I’m up nursing a baby in the night, I’ve found that if I meditate on a specific verse in Proverbs then I’m less stressed and able to go back to sleep once the baby settles down.
That verse is Proverbs 31:15 and it says,
“She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household”
You might have never thought of this verse in this way. But whether you are breastfeeding your baby or fixing them a bottle in the middle of the night, you are providing food and nourishment for that little one. We must be willing to do this even when it’s hard and tiring. That’s what motherhood is all about, sacrifice.
God has given us the ability to care for our children, our home, and our husband. When we find joy in doing this, we will be more content with our lives, even when things get a little crazy.
Remember that when God made you a mother, He gave you the task of training your little ones to love and honor Him. It’s never too early to show your children what it’s like to have a servant’s heart.
#3: You are not alone.
Even though your new baby mainly depends on you, please don’t forget that parenting is a team effort. At 21 years old, I was a mom for the first time, and I would become so frustrated with my husband. It seemed like he had it so much easier than I did.
He didn’t have to stay up all night nursing the baby. He didn’t understand what I needed from him because I didn’t communicate with him. Instead, we were constantly bickering, which caused division in our role as new parents. I blamed him for many things that went wrong those first few months.
This was my first of many mistakes as a new parent. I was young, overwhelmed, and self-centered. Never did I stop and think about how my husband was processing this new experience.
I now realize how important my husband’s role is. When I’m patient and communicate with him, adjusting to a new baby seems a little easier. If I make it my focus to work together as a team then I know that we will find our new normal.
#4: Your baby needs you (not the latest trends).
I’ve admitted before that with my first child I got a little caught up in the attachment parenting movement. I was passionate about cloth diapering, baby-wearing, baby led weaning, co-sleeping, etc. Without realizing it, I was judging other moms that didn’t choose this way of parenting.
Then, I became pregnant with my second child when Charlotte was only a few months old and my milk supply dropped drastically. The cloth diapers were leaking and I was buying store bought baby food because I was too sick to prepare homemade foods.
I ended up giving her formula and buying disposable diapers. This left me feeling like a failure. Like I had given in.
After lots of prayer and discussions with my husband, I realized all of those things didn’t matter. Yes, my baby was drinking formula but she had started sleeping through the night and seemed so much happier.
My child needed me. Not a specific parenting technique or complicated schedule. She needed me to stop stressing out about doing things a certain way and simply care for her.
Try not to get caught up in what the “experts” say but find what works for your baby and your family.
I pray that God would soften your heart as a new mom. That He would show His presence and grace during this new season. When we are willing to seek His wisdom and direction for our lives, we will be more content even through the hard times.
Which one of these do you or did you struggle with the most as a new mom?