They placed her on my chest and I wasn’t sure what to feel. Years of prayers and tears and negative pregnancy tests had led me to this sacred place.
I was a mother.
She was mine.
Her face still swollen and wrinkled from the journey through the body that protected her for nine months, she was beautiful. Perfect.
I’d dreamed of this moment for so long. And here we were. She and I, mother and daughter.
I just knew I’d do it well. Motherhood. Because I longed for it for so long. How hard could it be to love my miracle and take good care of her?
In the weeks that followed, pure bliss accompanied my girl and me. There were tough moments but nothing I couldn’t handle. She slept most of the time and when she was awake, I was too busy staring at the wonder of this tiny person I created or snapping the perfect picture to share with others.
It wasn’t until a few months later that reality set in. About the time I was supposed to “get into a routine” or so the books said. When she didn’t follow their explicit instructions, I knew I was failing as a mother.
We’ve had some hard days but overall, despite my self-doubt with my newborn daughter and later, my son, we’ve done pretty well.
It’s taken me two children and almost 6 years to realize how crazy I was to ever doubt myself or the God who graced me with my babies. It’s taken me this long to realize all those voices – in books, those well-meaning blogs, as well as the ones in my own head – don’t even come close to echoing the voice of the Father.
So, dear friend who is just embarking on your journey of motherhood. . .whether your child is still tucked safely within your womb or you’ve had the pleasure of meeting him or her already. . .please don’t wait too long before you believe these truths that I’ve only recently come to realize.
All the handmade cards and hand-stamped jewelry in the world won’t make me feel like a good mom.
I am a good mom because I was chosen, not because I do my job well.
A sweet hug, sloppy wet kiss or softly whispered, “I wuv you mama” from my children is better than any gift my husband might pick up on their behalf.
My greatest reward is in giving and receiving love.
Those people who write the greeting cards, they don’t know whether or not you breastfeed or bottle-feed, let your kids watch too much TV or teach them to read by the time they are three. Because words of love know no preference.
Grace fills the gap between what I do and what I “should” do.
If you’ve been in our community for a while you know I co-wrote two books with two amazing doctor moms. Our heart in putting together The Pregnancy Companion and The Baby Companion books was to help moms-to-be and new moms understand the grace that covers them. . .to make sure they don’t enter motherhood thinking they have to do it perfectly. We pray that message is clear within the pages of these books. We pray every mom who reads them will feel the freedom in believing, they were called and therefore perfectly equipped to be the mother of their child. No matter how badly you think you are screwing up, you ARE doing a great job and in those areas where maybe, perhaps you could do something differently. . .grace covers you.
The only gift you need this Mother’s Day is one you must give yourself. . .the gift of grace.
Happy Mother’s Day new mamas. We hope you find yourself at home here at Grace for Moms and stick around so we can journey with you.
Are you a new or expecting mama in our community? How will you be spending this Mother’s Day?