Monday, March 11, 2013

The One About the Truth

The truth. 

During the first weeks of having Gwen, I hated being a mother. 

Let me clarify: I didn't hate Gwen. I loved/love her with all my being but I hated the unknown, of not knowing how to care for her.

I read blogs and literature regarding having a healthy pregnancy and a beautiful, natural birth. I failed, however, to read anything about the reality of caring for a newborn. 

I imagined sitting in a rocking chair in a pretty, clean nightgown, my hair perfectly straight and brushed, my cheeks rouged and my eyes lined and swept with mascara.  Gwen would be in my arms, swaddled in a light pink blanket, her lips and eyes closed in peaceful slumber. Both of us rocking away, blissful, not caring about the world and time. 

Reality can be cruel. 

Reality was me sitting on a couch in sweatpants and a tank top with milk stains, my hair in a haphazard bun, wisps escaping every which way. Gwen, mouth open and eyes red with crying, arms flailing. 

This was my new world and I hated it. I hated the crying and not knowing want to do. Every fiber of my being wanted to help my little girl be comfortable but I didn't know how. Everyone had their opinions and I felt trapped to follow their advice which left me feeling as if I couldn't care for my baby. 

Instead of listening to instinct, I Googled everything and read entirely too many blogs. They didn't have the answer. 

My heart did. Mothering is instinct and when I started listening to that instinct, things got better.

As a result of feeling out of control and helpless, I cried. A lot. I even yelled at Gwen out of frustration because I didn't know how to help her or stop her crying. I spiraled into a rut of self-pity and complaining about how much I hated being a mother and how I "couldn't do it anymore". The frustration was overwhelming and I took it out on my husband All the while my husband encouraged me, telling me that I was made to care for our Gwen and now I know that it is true. His patience unending.

I regret yelling at her as I never want her to feel like I hate her. I never wanted to scare or let my sin affect her. But the truth is, is that I am not perfect but I have a Father who is and who is forgiving. Though Gwen could not answer, I asked her to forgive me for yelling at her and then I forgave myself and moved on. 

I thought that it could be an issue of not bonding but I felt as if I bonded with her from the moment they laid her on my chest and I feel confident in that to this day. I look at her face and I can say that I have never seen anything more beautiful. I didn't know why I was having such a hard time. I have concluded that it was just new. There is not manual for what your personal experience will be like with a new baby. It is an overwhelming and under-appreciating job.

But what I find to be sad is that no one ever writes about the ugly side of things for fear of being judged and being deemed an "unfit mother".  Women only write about the unicorns and butterflies, of how motherhood is easy despite the lack of sleep. I would be doing everyone an injustice if I lied through a fake smile and say that I love it.

Motherhood is hard but every day is getting easier and more beautiful. Her and I are learning about each other and getting into a rhythm of life. I'm learning about what makes her uncomfortable so when she cries I go down the checklist and more than likely I can calm her with in minutes.

Mothers can be so critical. Not only of themselves but of other mothers. I have come to the conclusion that I will always doubt myself and feel as if I am doing things wrong. Motherhood, so far, has taught me how selfish I am and since I realized that, things have been a lot easier. 

Like another blogger wrote, being a mother and waking up everyday to care for your little one is a mission. So now, I realize that my job is to serve. Not only my family but my Father through being a mother. Instead of complaining about I "hate" my new life, I know take joy in knowing that this is my purpose and what a beautiful purpose it be able to serve God by serving my family.

It still isn't easy waking up at 3:00 in the morning to feed Gwen but I can now look at her little face and take in the beauty of being able to care for and to comfort her. 

My life has been enriched.


  1. So beautiful! Girl...I know I feel you on every level. I struggled a ton when I brought John home. Mine though...I felt like I couldn't bond with him. I mean I loved him...but I didn't feel an instant connection and all he did was cry and I am the type of person that needs reassurance and not having him being able to tell me "your doing great" or "your a wonderful mom", "good job on mothering" I felt so alone and scared the first couple months. Until like you said...instinct really sets in...and when you can soothe through your voice, or singing...or by rocking or whatever you feel is perfect for them in that moment. Motherhood is not easy. I feel like God is always teaching me something...whether that be sacrifice, patience, serving etc. everyday. I think also our hormones play a huge part in the first weeks home. I mean we went from having a baby in our it being in our arms. That's huge...are hormones went from mt Everest to a random hill in a day. I love reading your blogs because it takes me back to those first weeks and months with John. I recently posted a facebook post that said this "From having a beautiful conversation with a special person recently....I have come to the conclusion that no matter, how you raise your children, what you eat, how a woman births, what doctors you should go to, if you should even go to a doctor, if you should homeschool your children, if you should let your children watch tv, If you should dye your hair, or just go natural, use only talc free makeup or wear no make up at all, eat TV dinners, or make a gourmet meal every night, buy organic produce, or just produce from food lion, shop only at this store, or only shop online, buy only clearance or pay full-price, invest your money here, or don't trust any banks, etc...there is always going to be someone who thinks you are doing it completely wrong or thinks there way is much better. I am slowly learning to relax in God's grace, His peace, and in His truth. We get so wrapped up in how and what society and people around us do and question ourselves...and sometimes question God because He did not lead us in the same direction or our situation did not turn out like there's. Everyone wants to think there is a textbook for everything....for our marriages, our parenting, labor and birthing, on what to eat, on which way to school your children, on doctors, on your face, hair, or body, on shopping, on investing etc. Then if it doesn't go according to the textbook you have read...something is wrong or you have failed as a parent, mother, father, teacher, patient, christian, friend, wife, and husband and the list goes on. The only source of truth and "textbook" we should ever fully invest, fully trust and fully live our lives by is God's word. Everything else is just sinking sand, opinion and personal experience."

    this is so true....there is no manual that can ultimately tell us how to care for our children or guide our lives. So thankful for instinct and the gift of mothering. You are a beautiful mother. Us mothers need one another and need to encourage one another! You go mama :)

    1. So true! You are a wonderful mother and I am so inspired by your heart. I tried adding you on facebook but it would only let me send you a message. Since Charlotte is only an hour and a half away, I would love to drive up and have a play date! Message me on facebook or email me at if you are interested. No pressure of course :)

  2. So nice to hear how God is working and sustaining. He really is the Wisdom behind the mother's instinct.