It’s funny that I use this picture to start this post because this is everything I imagined motherhood would be – soft lighting, sweet babe wrapped up in a ridiculously overpriced muslin blanket, and hair perfectly curled while wearing pre-pregnancy clothes.
And yes, this is still a part of motherhood. But it’s just one second of it. One perfectly captured still shot.
What you don’t see in this picture is that the sweet babe was up almost every two hours the night before, wanting to nurse for at least 30 minutes each time because he’s hit a growth spurt. And this is the first time you’ve used a curling iron in months. And you’re still sporting your maternity jeans not because you can’t fit back into pre-pregnancy jeans but because who really wants to traverse back into the land of zippers and buttons anyway??
I’m only about 100 days into this being a mom thing so I am not claiming to have it all figured out.
But here’s what I have realized thus far.
Motherhood will take all of your idyllic Instagram-worthy daydreams and shatter it into a million pieces. Because even after you’ve spent months preparing and planning for how this little human being will change your life, you’re never, ever ready for it. There is no way to prepare yourself for how becoming a mom will utterly and completely change your soul in all the ugly and beautiful ways.
Motherhood is the ultimate lesson in learning how to die. There’s an old life…an old you…that can never ever exist ever again once you’ve birthed another human being and are now in charge of keeping said human being alive in this world. It’s like you see pictures of your “pre-mom” self and you don’t even know who that girl is. And as selfish as it may seem, you find that you need some time and space to grieve the death of who you once used to be.
As if dying isn’t enough, motherhood is also a constant journey through the refiner’s fire. Just when you think you’ve learned how to surrender, how to let go and trust in His ways, you find yourself back in the flames. Every part of you that ever entertained the silly notion that you could have any control over anything gets burned away.
But out of the ashes, another you that you never imagined comes to life. A better, stronger, more compassionate you. A more selfless and humble you. A you that cannot help but grow more and more dependent upon a miracle-working God, the good, good Father.
And in the midst of the mundane chaos that is daily motherhood, it’s in the moments when you lock eyes with this little life you have been entrusted with…when you feel as though you can see deep into this little one’s soul…that’s when you get caught up in the delicate beauty of it all.
That somehow, as imperfect and as broken as you may be, you were given this little life, this beautiful, precious little life to steward and give back to the One who created all things.
You were the one chosen to be this little one’s momma.
Motherhood may be the messiest thing I have ever gotten into yet. But when my son’s little, chubby fingers are wrapped around mine, when he opens his eyes and looks straight into my heart, I just want to freeze time. Because I know that this moment…this sweet, fragile moment is the most beautiful life I could have ever dreamed of.