I had a baby eight months ago. My new role as stay-at-home mom hasn’t been easy. For the first several months of my daughter’s life, I was overwhelmed by my shifting hormones and my new role as constant milk dispenser and baby bouncer. The postpartum blues got me good.
Now, while the fog has lifted a bit, I’m still not back to normal. The laundry is piled up, the fridge is bare, I have chronic mama stink – resembling spit up with undertones of BO – and I use our regular feeding appointment as an excuse to watch other housewives on reality TV.
Every morning during the only consistent nap of the day, I have a choice between taking a shower, spending some time with God or learning the dance to “Party Rock Anthem” on Youtube. I can pray while changing diapers, but I can’t really spare some physical activity. You understand.
The transition has been rough. I’ve got some serious junk in my trunk. We’re talking a stroller, a car seat adapter for the stroller, a diaper bag. Oh, and I have a spare tire too. My love handles the dirty diapers when he’s not working, but I do everything else the rest of the time.
And also, I’m a little preoccupied with the changes to my body.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s all worth it. Every new challenge and struggle is completely worth the afternoon snuggles, precious giggles, sweet tootsies and overall miracle of parenthood. Becoming a mother has reminded me of how much I need my Father.
I need grace. I can’t live up to my own expectations. I can’t work hard enough to be the picture I have in my mind of a good mom and wife – cooking, cleaning, working and organizing life so beautifully that I earn a spot on Pinterest. For awhile, this realization smelled like defeat – and that mama stink I mentioned.
Until I noticed I was on the brink of freedom. Whether I realize it or not, I can never work my way into perfection, or even contentment. But Jesus offers an abundance of peace and joy that comes when I turn from that fleshy legalism of do, do, do and surrender to what he’s done: offered me life.
So thriving during this stage in my life means fully admitting my need for Jesus and for others. No more trying to look like I have my shit together. (Do I have to say poopoo now?) It’s letting other people serve me and love me like Jesus.
I like to think I’m a walking example of grace. I’m a tired mama, donning jersey material and elastic (the adult’s version of a onesie), undeserving and yet showered in a Father’s love. And showered in drool. Thanks be to God.