What Pregnancy + Motherhood Has Taught Me
….. so far
I would just like to start off by saying I am a learning machine. I will never be done learning. BUT there were a few key lessons I took away from being pregnant that have transitioned me into motherhood and I am still learning (just in a different way) now. Please trust that I am only 2 months into this thing so take this from someone who is just starting out and just learning but already seeing how much the Lord used pregnancy to teach me lessons that would carry into motherhood.
I am naturally a very open, honest person. If you are with me I am happy to share whatever is on my heart but I don’t always feel that everyone needs to know everything so writing this is a little hard. There have been a few times in life that I have really felt the Lord tug on my heart to share and I always saw the benefit of that in someone telling me how it related to them or helped them in some way. That is my hope here as well.
Whether you are wanting to start a family, having trouble starting one, pregnant, or in the trenches of motherhood - I think there is a lot here that I am learning that may resonate with one of you. And I pray that it helps encourage or spur on someone. If you are that person, tell me. I want to thank the Lord for using my story and my struggles to help others because I know how many have helped or encouraged me along the way.
Some days of pregnancy were so hard and I felt that I couldn’t relate to all of my friends who weren’t in the same stage of life as me. I will touch on this later but much of what needed endurance was my thought life and my anxieties to be tackled. There were days when I just wanted to lay around because I was so tired but things needed to be done, I had to learn to endure each day and push through no matter how I felt.
Odd thing to say but pregnancy forced me to rest. I rested more during those 9 months than I ever have and it was hard for me at first. I am a go-getter, I have weekly lists, and daily lists. It is not necessarily a bad thing but I really had to learn that my body needed rest, if things didn’t get marked off my list, there was always the next day, it would be okay! When I finally let it go, I was able to rest freely and rejuvenate myself. Not to mention I was able to prepare my body for the lack of rest I would have right after having a baby - HA!
The Lord really began to open my eyes to see how selfish I could (and can) be. What I ate, how much I did during the day, working out, drinking water, preparing a room and home - all of these things showed me that someone mattered WAY MORE than I did. And above that, Jesus matters that much more.
I was used to being able to decide each minute what I was doing, how things were done, and my plan was flawless. Well, I began to be stretched to see that I had no control over how I was feeling each day so my ‘plan’ had to have open hands. I began to learn to put more freedom in my schedule, be flexible, and not live every minute by my schedule.
Simple as that. God really wanted to open my eyes to what was right in front of me not ahead of me or behind me. To grasp the moments I had and enjoy them.
The power of prayer is real. We experienced this first hand through many things during pregnancy but especially during labor + delivery. The Lord is faithful. Every single day and every doctor appointment, the more that I learned, I was continually amazed at the straight up miracle that was growing inside of me. It was such an amazing thing to be a small part of.
Big one here. There was no way to know exactly when or how it would all be over and we would hold our little girl in our hands so patience came into play. Being patient and learning this over and over again helped me combat my anxiety as well.
As I mentioned above, anxious thoughts consumed me. It was a whole new struggle to deal with anxiety in pregnancy than before. I had to daily commit to trust that we were in His hands and that His timing was perfect. That was all I could do, I couldn’t have a plan or a blueprint, I had to trust.
Oh goodness, anyone can see that a baby’s smile could change your whole day around. It is a little crazy how much a little human who only needs a thousand things from you can bring you so much happiness. I have had some of the toughest hours and yet a little gummy smile, a little look into those deep blue eyes and all my worries fade away. There is true joy to be found everywhere but little Charley girl is teaching me that a lot of times it is right in front of you, you just have to stop and notice it! On the flip side, do all things with joy. All of the feedings, laundry, diaper changes, etc can seem mundane and just another thing to ‘get through’ but finding joy in those little moments or praying for her while folding her laundry - these things bring mounds of joy to my heart.
Notice a theme? I learned a lot about being flexible and not sticking to a schedule leading up to having her and now more than ever I am realizing how much I needed that. Babies thrive off of a schedule (don’t we all) so she needs to know when she is eating, sleeping, taking a bath, etc. But sometimes things don’t go as planned or sometimes when you’re grocery shopping and she should be sleeping she will be fussy - such is life. Go with it and rock it! One thing Devin and I have really tried to do together is to not say no to things just because we have a child now. We want to still do things we want to do, within reason. She still needs a schedule and we try to stick to what she knows while being a little flexible in that schedule. Might sound a little confusing but flexibility in a schedule is also necessary ha! Who even knew that was a thing, not me. All this to say, still learning lots about being flexible and not getting upset when things change.
I have never felt closer to the Lord than through birth. The second she was put in my arms I felt a love I have never felt before, a different love. Charley did absolutely nothing yet I would have died for her in a second and still would. I was able to see the tiniest glimpse into the love our God has for me. The love He has for me, He also has for Charley, He loves and cares for her more than I ever could. WOAH. If I thought about how he loved each person I met at the gas station or store or at a restaurant, I might would treat them differently.
It’s not about me. It’s not about Charley. It’s about Jesus. That’s it.
Sharing is caring, right? Well funny thing is, I am still learning this. We all have our own way of doing things like loading the dishwasher, cleaning, how we fold laundry, this list could go on and on. We had so many people - AMAZING people, angels honestly - who helped us get used to caring for another human, get some sleep, and learn how to do life with someone else in our lives! Things didn’t always get done exactly the way I preferred and I would get irritated. Boy does the Lord have a lot to teach me here. First of all, WHO CARES!!!!!! Second of all, accept any and all help and be grateful. Third of all, build a bridge and get over it. I am happy to say I am on the other side of that bridge. I may hop back over every once in a while but I am quickly reminded that I should be grateful and thankful and realize how blessed I am. Again, it’s not about me!
It never was all about me but even more than ever, there is someone else that needs my care and love and attention. I am learning a lot about dropping my selfish thoughts and refocusing them on the people that matter in that moment.
I think it is pretty clear how similar what I learned during pregnancy is to what I am learning now as a mother. The things I am learning have so much to do with caring for my family but I think once I get a hang of these a little at a time I will be able to branch out beyond my family. These lessons can be used in so many areas of life for so many different people.
I hope and pray that the Lord speaks to you through some of these or I was able to relate to you in some way. Disclaimer: I DO NOT HAVE IT ALL TOGETHER!!! I DO NOT KNOW ALL THE THINGS!! What I am trying to do is reflect and learn and move forward with the lessons the Lord is teaching me - and maybe grab a couple people along the way to encourage or to learn from.
Thanks for reading and letting me spill my heart.