I’m truly in love with being a mom, and it’s probably the thing I’m most proud of. But as Brandon and I approached the time when we wanted to expand our family, there was some hesitation on my part. Maybe because I’ve grown up around lots of babies and kids so I was pretty aware of their life-altering nature (that does not mean I was prepared for one of my own, until it actually happened). My husband, on the other hand, was an only child for the first eighteenish years of his life, so he falls more in the “blissfully unaware” category.
Looking back, I wonder, what was I afraid of?
Basically, having a baby was a kick in the pants that I needed.
When Aven was only ten days old, I got sick with an infection related to her birth and all that comes with that. My mom was staying at our house to help with the baby, especially during the nights so I could rest between feedings. The second morning I was sick my mom quietly woke me up and let me know it was time for the next feeding. Not going to water this down – I actually said “no. I can’t.” I was still so drained physically from giving birth and then on top of that, fever/chills/generally feeling like crap…I couldn’t imagine finding the energy to provide nourishment for my daughter. But here’s the thing – I was her only source of sustenance. I had not started pumping any breastmilk. We had no formula. We definitely had not attempted trying a bottle yet. After about five minutes of a pep talk to get motivated to get out of the bed, I did. I wasn’t feeling it. But it was required of me. I like to think of this as one of many “welcome to motherhood” moments. She needed me. In a completely practical, physical, life-sustaining kind of way. How I felt was irrelevant.
Selflessness and parenting – they kind of go together. It’s an ongoing lesson (and a struggle) to be last rather than first, especially in our self-centered culture. But as a believer it’s something God has called me to – to serve. (And this applies whether I’m a mom or not. It applies to every facet of my life.)
Mornings have not historically been my favorite part of the day. But now? As tired as I always am, (even when she sleeps all night – I’m still tired), I get to wake up to the sweetest face on the planet, and I get to spend the first moments of my day with the happiest little person you can imagine. Now it’s hands-down my favorite part of the day. There are lots of smiles and snuggles and sweetness. Brandon and I even sometimes fight over who gets to wake her up!
But now, when I look at my life’s puzzle? I see so many new and cherished pieces locked into place, right alongside all of the old pieces. My puzzle has been changed forever – it will never be the same – it’s completely new.
And more beautiful than ever.