The dishes, the diapers, the permanent markers, the signing of “eat” as you are still scraping plates from lunch… Mamas, if you are in the thick of parenting I hear you. I see you. The tired eyes that even the most expensive concealer cannot cover, and the days you try to figure out when the last time you showered was. (I was always curious, is this just a mama of multiples problem? I have never been brave enough to ask…) Regardless, these days can feel oh so long. When you finally get that babe rocked to sleep after hours of bouncing, rocking, singing and swaying, you pick up your phone to begin mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You start seeing picture after picture of other mama’s and their babes; but what you see most vividly is disconnect. That although you are in such similar seasons there is a grave difference between what you see on these feeds, and the faint reflection that you catch of yourself on your phone screen.
“THAT mom is wearing a two piece swimming suit. In PUBLIC! THAT mom just wrote she is wearing her pre-pregnancy jeans and has not even gone to her eight-week check-up; I feel bold wearing yoga pants to get the mail.” Thoughts of, “I have to say good bye to this sweet baby of mine in only one weeks’ time; and THAT mom gets to stay at home with her baby. Nanny. Who in 2018 can afford a nanny? I sure hope that the daycare facility that took me months of interviewing, comparing, and praying over is actually the right choice… Although now it looks like a fancy version of baby prison when I look at what THAT mom is doing for childcare.” Feelings of guilt, frustration, and tension mounting until the tears come. One-by-one the tears from your mama’s heart and drip onto the cheek and chest of your baby. You stare in awe at this beautiful miracle and the thoughts of “how am I going to pay for private education for you in the future” starts you down another rabbit hole. Does any of this sound familiar? If it does, I think it is because we are all ‘THAT’ mom.
Each and every one of us. The mama’s with one baby, to the mama’s with six. To the mama who is still wrestling postpartum depression and praying the medication will start to work. The mama praying she will be able to want to return texts that go unread, because there is just not enough of ‘me’ to go around. The mama looking for missed calls from friends that she does not even remember she has. The mama’s who are having their fourth and fifth babies and are trying to feed three small people with spoons, and one with a bottle. To the mamas who breastfeed in public and are so proud because this is the first baby to latch! Likewise, the same goes for the mamas who cannot successfully breastfeed despite the expensive and daunting accessories, equipment and books. We are all the same. Chasing after the same goal, providing what we think is the very best for our babies. These tiny miracles.
There is no mistake in the fact that you were CHOSEN to be the parent to that tiny face you are staring at. That sweet baby was gifted to you. Entrusted for you to shepard. The responsibility is a great one, and is not for the faint of heart. However, it was not a gift given to you based on experience. Not based on merit. Not based on whether your baby will be eating formula or breastmilk. Not based on whether you are a baby wearer, or co-sleeper. Not based on if you will feed them only organic macaroni and cheese in the future or Kraft. NONE of these things influenced the designation of you to be his/her mother. You were chosen because He knew you were perfect for the job. When we recognize our weakness, we make room for His greatness to shine.
When we surrender our expectations for others and ourselves He shows us the limitless possibilities found when we dwell in Him. He will show you what you cannot see for yourself.
Do not let the enemy trap you in a snare of comparison. One of my favorite quotes is, “comparison is the thief of all joy,” It is one that I wish I had learned much earlier in life versus two decades in. However, in His perfect timing I do not know if I had heard it sooner that I would treasure the truth in it.
Mamas of littles, these days are long. They can be so hard. I know that it can be so easy to look to the left and to the right and see images, videos, and words written from people that you feel are living the life ‘you deserve’, or living the life that you feel you ‘should be’. The truth is, however, is that you are exactly where you need to be. Messy buns, sweatpants, laundry-mountains and all. That is right; it is YOUR NOW. If you work or stay at home. If your car seat is forward facing according to the state law, or extended by a year due to recommended ages/weights. Do not let lies of insufficiency rob you of your (im)perfect present. That is right. Because it is YOURS.
When we are tempted to be led by thoughts of the future, we are being robbed of the blessings of the present.
This is equally true when we allow thoughts of our past to confuse us into thinking we ought to be moving backwards in effort to clean up ‘messes’ we have made. What the LORD wants us to do it continue moving forward in the authority we have been given. Accepting that the greatest price has already been paid. We owe NOTHING. So as you are rocking your little one, counting the hairs on their head, staring at the tiniest fingernails and toes you have ever seen, and just snuggling them close to you heart; breathe in your now.. Your right now. You are holding your blessing. I guarantee you it is picture worthy. Unfiltered and unedited.
If you are prompted to pick up your phone to virtually catch up with the outside world; that is more than okay. I am certainly not suggesting that you throw your smartphone out the window and shop for a rotary-style to hook up to your newly activated landline. However, I invite you to assess your heart posture before, during and after your time of surfing. As you watch parties commencing that you were not invited to, family vacations being documented by others that you cannot afford, or the mamas you see staying home and dressing up their littles for photo ops; I invite you to celebrate them. Celebrate each-and-every one of them. Pray for the parents, that they would continue to lead those littles heavenward. For the hearts of those tiny gifts, that they would burn for the LORD. That these little people follow Him with a radical faith that will shake the world. For the protection of those parents’ as sleep deprivation, ages and stages, and burdens of all kinds come in exponential forms as families grow in size. See how you feel when you are done scrolling. Assess if you feel you are more grateful for your ‘now’. Because your now is worth documenting; worth celebrating. You will never get these moments back. I promise, one day it will be your favorite to follow on any social media platform.
#youhavealwaysbeenenough #beablessing #authenticity #nofilterneeded #communityovercompetition