Fear & Excitement: Anticipating New Motherhood (the second time around)
- 2013 Oct 22
I can't believe I'm 24 weeks.
We moved out of our previous rental, stayed with my in-laws for two months, and finally moved into a new place 3 weeks ago. For some reason, the transient nature of our living situation (we didn't know for most of the two months with my in-laws whether or not we were moving back into our old place or moving out permanently) sort of froze my pregnancy in my mind.
I was 12 weeks along when we packed up to "stay with them for a few days."
Now, suddenly, we're in a place of our own again,... and I'm 24 weeks.
How did that happen?
About 12 more weeks and my girls will be here.
There is still so much to do to prepare. So much to purchase, borrow, organize, assemble, decorate, coordinate. All in just 12 short weeks.
I find myself thinking back to my first pregnancy. Thinking of ways I want to better prepare this time. Ways I need to take better care of myself, better suit up for the battle of the first few days, weeks, months of new motherhood.
New motherhood times two.
I'm calmer in surprising ways. The first time around, I felt the change in my body more deeply. I was much more disappointed in my post baby frame. More self-conscious, my identity more deeply affected by what I saw in the mirror.
This time I have better perspective on my body. On this season of physical growth and change. On the acceptance and understanding of what motherhood is supposed to do to me physically. On the pressure I needn't put on myself, or anyone for that matter, to "bounce back" right after giving birth. Better perspective on the miracle of what my body can do, not focusing on how thin I look while doing it.
I also have different fears than I did last time.
I'm less afraid for how they'll turn out, if I'm going to ruin them before their first birthday. "Ruining them" not a beginning problem. That's a life long journey. It's not about how I water the seed or what soil I choose at the start. It's maintenance over years and years and years. The continual, constant care and nurturing of these little saplings. Doing my best and letting God fill in the gaps.
I am, however, scared of the first few days, weeks, months of loneliness in the new motherhood fog. Breastfeeding days of my life away alone in my house, playing Angry Birds at 2am, watching Project Runway at 4am, desperate for a friend by noon.
Not just longing for sleep, for a shower, for a latte, for a break, but longing for people. My people.
I'm scared of the jump from one to three children. Scared of learning to juggle three kids when I feel like I just (sort of, sometimes) got the hang of managing one.
I'm scared of having everyone be happy for me, thankful for my blessings, rejoicing with me, but having no one actually show up to fold any laundry.
Don't get me wrong. I know, these children are a gift. Such a tremendous gift. I can't wait to meet them. And I can't wait to share them, this joy, this gift, with my family, friends, and church family, too!
I can't wait to snuggle and nuzzle and cuddle and kiss. I can't wait to get to know these beautiful girls that God has given us and find out who He has intended them to be. I can't wait to encourage them toward their God given gifts and interests, watching their personalities bloom as He intended.
I can't wait to learn from them and come to realize why He intended them for me, what He wanted me to glean from being a mama to these three specific children.
I'm incredibly excited!
But I'm also incredibly practical.
New motherhood is a hard, lonely, blessed business.
With my joyful anticipation of the hours of cuddles, comes my great fear of the very real hours of solitary cooking and cleaning and rocking and soothing that I know we are in for.
While everyone else busily goes about their own important business. The raising of their own children, cleaning their own homes, cooking their own meals, folding their own laundry.
I'm afraid everyone will stay too busy managing on their own that no one will have time to save me from drowning in diapers all alone.
I'm afraid I've done the same to others.
I'm afraid that I've, unknowingly, been too busy with my own day-to-day that I didn't notice someone in need of a life raft. Or maybe just a hug. I'm afraid that because my own life wasn't as complicated or overwhelming at the time, I couldn't see how others might be overwhelmed, needing someone, anyone, even me, to come alongside and carry some of their burden.
I'm afraid of being all alone in the struggle of new motherhood with little to no understanding or compassion or assistance from the outside.
I guess this is where the rubber meets the road. Where faith becomes real and trust takes shape. Where I act out my obedience by having faith God will strengthen me for the task He has given me, trusting in His power through me.
But I must also have faith in His people, in His work through them. Trusting He will provide the "hands and feet" that I need when I need them.
Instead of focusing on fear, I can choose faith and trust. And excitement.
Yes, excitement in meeting my little ones, but more than that. Excitement to see a miracle unfold.
A young mother and father equipped beyond their human limitations to nurture and parent a toddler and two newborns.
A marriage supernaturally strengthened despite sleepless nights and double (actually, triple, since Crazy Toddler isn't potty trained... at all) the poopy diapers.
Excitement to witness the great beauty that is the Body of Christ.
A church family coming forward and serving a young family who is blessed beyond belief but also pushed, stretched, tested, exhausted by these identical twin blessings.
Excitement to feel His love, comfort, hope, compassion, encouragement, through all the willing hands (and praying hearts) brought to our home to visit, to love, to serve.
Excitement to be pushed, stretched, tested, exhausted, changed by this season. Hopefully, prayerfully, emerging on the other side more like Him.
I'm freakin' scared, y'all.
But I'm beyond excited to see what He's gonna do.
What do you think? Love to hear from you in the comments!