Guest Post: San Diegan New Mom
No one tells you certain things about being a mom. It's like it's a secret that no one wants to tell you and I guess in some ways, now I understand why. The 'secret society of mom's' can only be joined once your whole life has been turned upside down. It's such a very stressful start to a new and unknown life. I think that if all of motherhood is as agonizing as these first few days and weeks then no one would ever have children! My husband and I have spent four and a half years together; just us. Every waking moment, it has been the two of us through the ups and the downs; two adults caring for themselves and loving each other, but not in need of the constant care like of a newborn. There's so much freedom to married life when it's just the two of you; more than many think. You may have some semblance of control in your life, because it's just two adults living day in and day out. I can control when I eat and sleep, how I choose to spend my down time, and how we choose, as a couple, to grow our marriage. For someone like me, a sense of control has driven so many of my life choices, sometimes to my detriment. But that freedom has now changed and my new life has begun with my desire for control spinning widely out of...control.
This new life is full of cluster feedings, late nights and early mornings, little sleep, crying, body changes, poopy diapers, constant doubt and worrying, changes in my relationship with my husband; the list goes on. My life is not my own. That control that I so craved before motherhood has been swiftly removed no matter how hard I have tried to cling to it! There is no control that you really have when you're a new mom; instead the baby dictates it all. The control I once had is long gone. I wish someone had told me about some of these changes but nobody did. Perhaps nothing can really get you ready for this adventure even if someone tells you about it, but it sure would've been nice to have some sort of idea before it all came crashing down on top of me. I write this as I'm lying awake after the fourth hour cluster feed and it is exhausting physically, mentally, and emotionally. Every fiber in my body is screaming because my security blanket of control has been ripped away. And what's more is that I feel very lonely. I haven't spent one whole night in bed with my husband and that hurts. It's ironic that adding a new human being to the mix can make you feel lonelier than you ever thought possible. And why? No one else in the world can step in and do this job. It all depends on you at least in the first few weeks and months. That puts a strain on your relationship with your spouse and that's not something that I anticipated. Lord give me strength to endure this new path I'm traveling on...
I look back upon my initially dismal view on motherhood and only months later can I look back to see how God used that seemingly lonely time in my life to humble me beyond words. I needed to be broken and built back up. I needed to re-learn how to depend on God and truly rest in His provision for my life. I needed to turn from my idols of control and self-centerdness and instead look outward to those around me, especially my daughter. Sure my life has changed, but my life has now changed for the better. There are seasons in life and seasons come and go. I'll be honest, my tendencies to control haven't vanished, but they have mellowed. Ask my husband. He'll tell you I'm a better wife than before because I have been softened as a mother. And the loneliness I felt as a new mom? It has been replaced with an abundance of love for our beautiful daughter and a marriage that has been strengthened because God forced me to look outside myself and serve others, especially my husband. The 'secret society of mom's' did turn my world upside down, but it has molded me into a better daughter of Christ, wife to my husband, and mother to my daughter.