At iBelieve.com, we strive to offer authentic and real life stories for women in all stages of life. Being a mom can be one of the most rewarding yet most challenging time in a woman's life. Find timely advice for raising your children to love God and follow a Biblical worldview while escaping for moments of mommy encouragement and refreshment! Whether you’re a mom of 1 or 10, single mom or step mom, we want to supply you with the tools you need to be an effective example of God’s love and grace in your home!
A couple of months before I discovered my husband and I were expecting our first child, we moved cross-country. Although I’d lived in the same area of the south my entire life, I knew God was calling us to a new adventure and I wanted to support my husband in a new job opportunity. When I saw that positive pregnancy test, it both excited and alarmed me. I didn’t know how we were going to survive without the support of family and close friends, and everything from our new town to this phase of life was completely foreign to me.
When our little miracle came, it was not in the way I’d hoped or expected. Fetal distress led to an emergency c-section, and as I was recovering and trying to navigate breastfeeding a newborn, my grandmother died. Like the rest of my family, she lived on the other side of the country.
The next few weeks of motherhood went by in a blur and most of what I remember was simply trying to survive. I slept when I could. I took care of my baby and tried to remember to eat.
Sometimes it’s only in hindsight that we can see the hand of God reaching through our struggles and carrying us in the moments when we buckled under the weight. But as I look back on those days as a new mom, what surprises me most is that my biggest fears weren’t unique to my situation. They weren’t because I was in a new town or because I was grieving the loss of a loved one.
They were fears which, over the years, I’ve come to realize are universal to most moms. The more mothers I share stories with, the more I see how alike we are.
If you are a new mom or know someone who will be soon, here are five fears which are both natural and surmountable with the help of friends, loved ones and a God who doesn’t forsake us in our anxiousness.
1. You don’t have what it takes. Whether you’re a working mom or decide to stay at home with your new child, there are transitions that will need to be made and obstacles to overcome. You might feel like you’re ill equipped to do either. When the baby is crying and you’ve tried everything you can think of to calm her, you may hear whispers of defeat saying you don’t have what it takes to be a mom.
When those lies come, remember God chose you for a reason. He chose you to be this baby’s mother and no one else.
2. You will never feel like yourself again. Becoming a new mom is a lot like being a visitor in a foreign country. You are trying to learn your baby’s language and cries and they need you round the clock. It is both physically and emotionally draining, and you may feel like this season will never end.
When you’re able, take time to do the things you love. Ask for help when you need it. Needing help does not make you a failure. In fact, scripture encourages us to look to our brothers and sisters for support when we need it.
“Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” Romans 12:3 ESV
Remember the newborn phase of your child’s life will not last forever.
3. You are going to miss important opportunities. Being a new parent is a sacrifice. There are things you may have to say “no” to because of the demands of being a mom, and you may feel as though these opportunities will never come again. Whenever you feel like you’ve missed the invisible boat everyone talks about, remember this: God chose this season of your life to become a mom. Pray about the opportunity, seek his guidance and then be confident that if the boat was meant for you, you’d be on it.
4. You will lose your connection with your spouse. Remember this is a big transition for your husband as well. Give him space to connect with the new baby in his own way and don’t be alarmed if it doesn’t look the way you envisioned. Even if you have to bring your new baby along, try to get out for a date as regularly as possible.
When you feel comfortable leaving your child with a friend or loved one, make time to spend with your husband and remember that like any life-change, it will take a while to navigate your relationship as new parents. Never forget that your spouse was your family first, then your child.
5. Your spouse will no longer find you attractive. Pregnancy and childbirth are described as being some of the most stressful and traumatic events our bodies can experience. TV and movies often give us the false impression that our bodies will immediately bounce back to normal, but the fact is it takes time to transition back to our pre-baby selves.
Even if we lose our pregnancy weight, things usually have shifted and are not quite the same. Know this: if your body does not look the same, it is completely normal. An understanding and realistic spouse will love the post-pregnancy you just as much, if not more, than pre-pregnancy you.
I’m not going to lie. Being a new mom is hard. On your knees hard. But no matter what season you’re in, remember you are not alone. Connect with other moms in your area and lean on each other. Join a local MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group or other moms group for support. Motherhood is so much more joyful and less lonely when we join forces with those around us.
Remember even on those worst days, God is with you and he will give you wisdom if you ask him for it. (James 1:5) Even when he seems far away, he is right there in the mess of your everyday.
Abby McDonald is a mom, wife and writer who desires to show women the hope of Christ in the middle of life’s messes. When she’s not chasing her two little boys around, you can find her leading her local MOPS ministry, writing about her adventures at Purposeful Faith and on her blog, Fearfully Made Mom. Abby would love to connect with you on her blog or her growing Facebook community.