Is it really time for Feminine Friday already? The weeks fly by! I enjoyed all of the posts for this week, as I do every week. Be sure to stop by Kelli's blog and check them out.
Kelli posted some encouraging thoughts about her adjustment to motherhood. Her openness will be a comfort to any young mother who is feeling so many things -- happy and perplexing and even frightening or wistful-- as she starts on the journey of motherhood.
I can relate to many of the things Kellie felt, including anxiety. My children are in their twenties now, however. So, when I look back upon those times, I tend to forget what an adjustment they were and remember only the joys. I guess I'm like the example in John 16:21: A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. You forget it even more as time goes by.
Even though I don't think of it as much now, early motherhood was an adjustment for me! I had quick and easy natural labors, for which I am greatly thankful. Later, after I came home from the hospital after each birth, I had health challenges: fevers after both births, bouts of heavy bleeding after one birth; the reality of what it means to care for someone 24/7, my inexperience as a mother, etc.
Of course, there were the wondrous things as well: nursing!; holding each of my children for the very first time; hearing their little coos and their laughs. I loved nursing!!
I think God used the adjustments I went through as a young mother to show me the basic selfishness of my own nature and to teach me what His self-giving love is like. In fact, he has used every stage of motherhood, including the one I'm in now, to teach me something. Often, I've been a slow learner!!
Each stage of mothering brings its own joys and its own challenges. My children are both happily married now, but I still am constantly on my knees for them.
Motherhood is a profound expression of the feminine nature God has given to us. When I had my first child, I felt as if I'd joined a great sisterhood of mothers. I still feel that way sometimes.
As an older woman, I'd like to pass on a bit of advice that was given to me and that I ignored to my peril: It takes about a year after the birth of a baby for your internal organs to be fully returned to normal. Even though you may feel fine, you do need to be careful about lifting or moving objects heavier than your baby, and you do need to learn all you can about taking care of your health, especially your internal health. Many of my peers are starting to have health issues that result from "inner sagging" if you know what I mean. Taking care of yourself when you are in your most active childbearing years pays off when you hit middle age and beyond. Do those Kegels ladies!!
Also, each mother experiences the emotional, spiritual, and physical challenges of birth and taking care of a newborn in a slightly different way. Some have easy labors and bounce back to full energy quickly. Others have a harder adjustment. I hope young mothers feel free to enjoy their recovery from birth and the bonding process with their newborn at their own pace.
Oh, one more note to brand new moms: No matter what you suffer as a mother, it's worth it! Even if you are going through some hard times, take note of little happy things to treasure up in your heart, as Mary did about Jesus. The time will pass more quickly than you know. I used to nod my head when older women said that to me, and I believed it as an abstract fact. In actuality, however, I had no idea how quickly my children would become adults. It was especially hard to imagine that on a long day of changing diapers and running after toddlers. Now, I look back, and I finally get what those older women were talking about! Take time to enjoy, enjoy, enjoy your little ones now.