Monday, May 9, 2011

Some Thoughts on Mothering

As you might have imagined, yesterday was a pretty sentimental day for me... People kept asking me all day if I "felt like" a mom.  I did, a little bit; but, mostly... I just felt really grateful for my mom, Jeff's mom, and this little baby that God has given me.  Mother's Day definitely has a different meaning in this season of my life.

Anyway, be warned ahead of time that this is a long post.  I want to get these thoughts down now, so that I can look back on them when my baby is a middle-schooler and be reminded.  This post is probably more for me than anyone else; but, maybe it will speak to the hearts of some of you mamas out there too.

Here goes:

One of the things I've been thinking about a lot lately is motherhood as a process of letting go.  I remember a year or so ago - when my heart was desiring a baby but the timing didn't feel quite right - realizing that pregnancy was all about giving up control and trusting the Lord's timing for us.  Then,  once I found out that I actually was going to have a baby, I immediately started worrying about all the hundreds of things that could go wrong.  I was a nervous wreck the entire first trimester; and now, as I get closer to the end of this journey, I find myself worrying about him coming too early, complications with labor, or even just that I won't have done everything on "my list" to prepare. It seems that at least once a day I have to pray for PEACE and remind myself that this baby is a gift to me and that God is in charge of everything about him.  He really isn't MINE the way I sometimes think he is.  The entire process of motherhood will be about giving up control and allowing my baby boy to grow into God's will for him...  That excites me, but it also scares me.  (Giving up control isn't easy for anyone; but, especially when you are as Type A as me.)

Think about this:  Right now, my baby is entirely dependent on me.  I know every single move he makes.  And, when he is born, he will continue to count on me for ALL of his basic needs.  I will be able to give him things that no one else in the world can.  I will know his every cry, giggle, or facial expression.  I dream about that stage... Later, I will make all kinds of decisions for my little guy.  He will trust me (and his dad) to always do what is best for him.  And, in a lot of ways, we will have control over his life.  

BUT... With each year that passes, he will need us less and less.  He will be embarrassed of us and refuse a hug before getting on the school bus.  On a larger scale, he will make his own decisions about his priorities in life, what girls he dates, who his friends are, and... more importantly, what he believes about God and life in general.  I will always be his mom, but I won't always have control. 

This is the way God designed it.  In fact, being able to "let go" will actually make me a better mother and him a better man.  But, oh how I ache sometimes when I think about it...

Yesterday at church, our pastor mentioned Jesus' mother Mary.  What must it have been like to see a baby Jesus take his first steps or a little boy Jesus go to school for the first time, all the while, knowing his time here was temporary and out of your control 100%.  Talk about the ultimate example of knowing your child is not your own and having to give him up!  I thought about Mary all day yesterday; and how, in a lot of ways, that is the role God calls each of us to in motherhood.  Not ambivalence or disinterestedness, but of freely trusting God's plan for my little one over my own.  

That starts today.  And, it will continue for probably the next forty or so years.  Wow.

1 comment:

  1. I think all of your concerns are normal. We all go through those feelings. I hope everyone had a great day yesterday! =)


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