I was having coffee with a good friend the other day. Our conversation brought me back to the days of life as a new mom. She shared so many of the thoughts and emotions I had experienced during that first year. She had asked how I dealt with the day to day as a mom. Wanting to feel like your life is making a difference when in reality you are changing diapers and nursing for the majority of your day. It wasn’t hard to empathize with her, I had just been there and could remember very vividly the thoughts and emotions she was experiencing. On my walk home I couldn’t help but want to give her a better answer that I was able to in that moment. I started to think about what I would say to myself if I were in her shoes again as a first time mom…
How are you doing mama? I know, tired right? You woke up this morning on the couch because it was another rough night and you didn’t want to make Joe suffer through it with you. You open your eyes slowing trying not to look at the clock but you can’t resist. It’s 5:30 and its time to feed again. All you can think about is going back to sleep but you pull yourself up off the couch and drag your heavy feet across the floor to pick up your crying baby.
Feeding time has become a conflicting time for you. You had no idea that breast feeding would be such an emotional experience, but it is. You had no idea that it would take up the majority of your day, but it does. It is the most natural thing in the world but somehow for you it seems unnatural and takes everything you have.
Once you are done feeding its only a matter of time before the cycle starts again. You try to get a little something to eat, maybe brush your teeth or throw on some new clothes. More likely you will snuggle with Anniston, change her diaper and get her clothed. Before you know it she starts fussing again and you have entered that small window of time you have to get her back to sleep before she slips into the overtired nothing can help me now state.
Now it’s your time to rest, to do something for yourself before all of the crazy starts again. You want to make the most of this time but all you can think about is sleep. You give in, because you know if you don’t no one will win. You lay down for a short nap but before you fall asleep your mind begins to run, a thought pops into your head. “Does all of this matter?” You know it matters because you love her and you are doing what you need to do to keep her alive, but does it REALLY matter? Like Kingdom matter? Does all of this have eternal significance? How can you have vision when all you are doing is getting through the day?”
I’m writing you because I can see what you can’t, I know what’s in store and you don’t right now. This season is so short and yet for you it is going to feel endless at times, I want to give you hope. You want this season to matter, you want to be doing something that is significant. You don’t want your days to get washed away in a sleepless blur, and I don’t blame you. You can’t make sense of how changing diapers and breast feeding constantly is Kingdom work, you want to have a vision for being a mom but right now it seems pretty insignificant.
Maybe this will encourage you. This season is more about you becoming a mom than being a mom. This season is much more about you being stripped of your will, your selfishness, your agenda, even your need to be significant. This season is about you giving yourself up for this person, every day, ALL day long. This labor is necessary for the labor that is ahead because “training a child in the way they should go” is hard work.
Some day, a lot sooner than you think the task is going to change from nursing to character building, you won’t be changing diapers as much as you will be training her in how to be obedient and kind. This season isn’t about the fruit, its about the labor. You are starting with you, you are preparing your heart to shepherd her heart. This season is about you being molded by your Father so you can mold as a mother. This is the labor of your life but it is just the beginning and it starts with you.