Happy Belated Mother’s Day! I am so grateful for my mom and for the opportunity I have to be a mom.
I wanted to record a life lesson that I’m in the process of learning…
Before Brooke was born, David and I had a simple, daily routine that was fairly predictable. Early on in David’s life, we had implemented sleep training techniques that helped him develop the ability to sleep through the night and nap daily. I could count on his sleeping time as time for me to get things done or time to relax with John. David was also becoming more and more self-sufficient during play time. He knew where the toys were he liked, and he was beginning to really understand what things around the house he could touch and play with and what things were off-limits. Although, he did like to push those limits sometimes haha!
I knew that once Brooke came along, that daily routine would shift and that life would once again become more unpredictable. Life would revolve around the constant feeding of a newborn and learning to understand what all her different newborn cries meant. Newborn babies are learning how to adapt to this new world just like we as parents are learning.
The hardest part for me of this new role as a mom of a two kiddos under two is when they both are crying at the same time and need me. I remember telling this to a more seasoned mom. She joked that when she had her second child, she felt like she was constantly asking herself, “Which one of you am I going to ignore?” As just one person, you can only help one child at a time. And it’s hard to think you’re ignoring the cries of another child. (Side note: When John is home, I don’t have this problem. He’s a terrific dad and helps out a lot. He’s actually the one who bathes David and gets him ready for bed each night.)
Some days are easier than others. Like today for example, both my kids went down for a nap about 1 p.m and now it’s 4 p.m., and they’re still sleeping (cue heavenly choirs singing!). Some days are much harder than other days. Even on the “easy” days, I sometimes stress that I’m not going to be able to handle the future. For example, I feel anxiety about what I’m going to do when David learns to climb out of his crib. While we implemented sleep training techniques to help him sleep, some afternoons he just doesn’t nap. Thankfully though, he plays happily in his crib alone during that time, so I’m still able to have some “me time.” But I worry that when the confines of the crib are gone, I will lose that much needed and rejuvenating “me time.” I feel like this “me time” enables me to be a better mother, wife, friend, daughter, etc. It’s an opportunity for me to re-charge and be productive around the house or in my consulting work. This is just one example of an anxious place my mind can sometimes go when I think about the future. Social media seems to be filled with moms talking about how hard it is to be a mom and that makes me feel nervous. While some days are challenging, for me, I wouldn’t classify my role as a mom as hard. This makes me fear that I’m in the “easy stage” and that hard times are ahead.
While trying to calm my anxieties about the future and how I’ll be able to handle the different stages of motherhood (and life in general), I thought about the children of Israel and their journey to the promise land. During this journey, God provided literal manna from heaven that allowed them to have the sustenance they needed to continue this journey. This manna came each day. This is a great video (below) that talks about this manna.
I realized after reflecting on the experience of the children of Israel that God will provide me each day with what I need to be the mom, wife, daughter, friend, etc. each day. He will give me what I need daily. I shouldn’t let myself wade in anxiety about the future. I’ve started praying each morning for “motherhood manna.” Before going to bed, I’ll say a prayer and express to Heavenly Father how I received my “motherhood manna” that day. I realized I need to take each day as it comes and realize that while I don’t know how God will provide for me tomorrow, He will provide.
In Phillippians 4:6 it says, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” To me, this means that God doesn’t want our hearts to become burdened by anxiety. He wants us to ask Him for what we need. My petitions to God shouldn’t be made out of fear but out of gratitude and faith that He will provide.
This lesson doesn’t just apply to motherhood but to all aspects of life. The future can make anyone feel anxious because it is unknown territory. God provided for the children of Israel, and I know He will provide for us today because we too are His children.