The best way that I can describe my first week of motherhood is that it felt like a warm and cuddly slap in the face. Transitioning into motherhood, for me, has been the ultimate paradox. There are intense moments of joy, love, and happiness mingled with feelings of fear, doubt, and questions of self-worth. You are obsessed with this tiny, squishy person, yet at the same time so exhausted that you can (literally) fall asleep at any moment.
I don't expect other women to feel the way that I do, or have the same opportunity, but I think I'm a pretty natural stay-at-home-mom. Most days I don't mind being at home with my son. I'm actually learning how to cook, I cherish the first-thing-in-the-morning sleepy moments, and I think the stress of working outside of my home would kill me right now. There is so much wonder in watching my little one learn new things, discover the world, and grow. Yet even with how much I love our family life, I still struggle with my place. I struggle with my worth, my identity, and giving up my "old" life. I want others to know what I'm capable of. I don't want my friends and co-workers to think that my only talent is getting poop stains out of all types of fabric (although I am pretty darn good at that by now). My pride wants to shout "Hey, I'm useful in this or that area! Don't forget what I'm good at! I'm more than just a mom!" I want to be defined by my output. I want to be loved for what I can produce. And when I look around at my constantly messy house, my towel-dried hair, and my mile long to-do list, it doesn't look like I'm capable of much.
In these moments, the Lord (and often my husband) reminds me that God has given me this season of my life. I won't always have chubby legs to kiss, tiny clothes to wash, or fuzzy heads to cuddle. As a stay-at-home-mom, I have the privilege of having an incredible amount of influence on my child at this time of his life. My words, my actions, my heart choices really matter. I play a part of who this tiny person becomes as he grows. Each tender word, each prayer prayed, each meal made is an opportunity to love and serve like Christ. Each person invited into our home, each choice to support my husband, each diaper change is a chance to serve someone other than myself. There will be days for doing other types of ministry. There will be time for spontaneous nights out with my girlfriends. There will be opportunities for my talents and skills outside of the home to be put to more use. But today matters. And I want to make the most of today. I'm still on a journey of finding purpose as a stay-at-home-mom, but I know that the Lord has me here, right now, for His good. And for mine.
Fellow stay-at-home-moms, did you experience anything similar when you had your first (or 2nd, 3rd, 20th) baby?
I believe that being a stay-at-home-mom is a privilege that not everyone has, and it was a choice that my husband and I made for our family at this time. There are many women in my life who I love and admire who work outside of the home! This is just my story. I applaud you working moms, you are awesome!
I'm linking up today with Casey Wiegand's "On Your Heart" Link-Up!