I recently took both boys to their pediatrician for their check ups. I walked in, signed both kids in, and settled down next to them to watch Moana for the 1000th time on the TV in the waiting room. I spotted a woman across the room, late 20s, early 30s, sitting uncomfortably on the couch, with a new baby in the carrier by her feet. She looked exhausted. No, she looked completely depleted of all energy, and she was clearly still physically in pain from labor. I smiled at her and said, “Your baby is so sweet! How old?” She smiled very weakly and said quietly, “He is a week old,” then she paused and said, “ I have an 11 month old at home.” I almost fell out of my seat. I quickly replied, “I wish I knew you better, I would come over and hold that baby so you could sleep! That has to be so hard! You are doing great!” We chatted a little more, and she informed me that although her mom and sister were helping her, she needed to go back to work soon and did not know how she would balance both babies.
My heart went out to her. Sleep deprivation is, for me, the HARDEST part of having a new baby. Feeling like you are walking through your day in a daze, eating whatever is put on your plate, and having no semblance of time or day. In a way, newborns are so wonderful because their needs are so basic. They need to eat, poop, and sleep. The rest is mostly snuggles and learning their temperament, and trying to establish a routine. But the other side of a new baby is also really challenging. If they have cholic, tongue tie, or other health issues, we often don’t know until we find ourselves crying along side them at 3 am wondering why they aren’t soothed by their mama.
Being open to life is HARD. Don’t get me wrong, it is wonderful, and having babies has been the best thing my husband and I have ever done, besides committing ourselves to Christ. But it is HARD. I remember one Christmas a few years ago, a friend came home to visit, and cried as she told me that she was unexpectedly pregnant with her 3rd baby in 3 years. She loved that baby, but she was depleted and overwhelmed. I remember what she said that day that really inspired me, she said, “Even though this is not what we planned, I will NOT allow satan to steal the joy of this baby.” That Truth penetrated my heart so deeply. Babies bring joy, even in the struggle. Satan works hard to steal the joy in our motherhood. Each child is a gift, and soul that we get to raise. It can be hard to remember that when we are sleep deprived, depleted, and feeling weak.
If you find yourself with a new baby, in whatever circumstance you are in, and you are struggling, I just want you to know- GOD SEES YOU. He is there for you even if you don’t see Him or feel His presence. He sees you in the pediatrician’s office, when you are wondering how the heck you will balance Irish twins. He sees you when you have a little one with a disability and lay awake all night wondering how their life will unfold. He sees you when your toddler is thrashing in your arms and you are 1000 weeks pregnant and feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. He sees you when you feel like you are not a good mother because you yelled again.
God not only sees you in that struggle, He LOVES you unconditionally, and wants to be invited into those moments to give you peace. God has entrusted this life to you because YOU are the only one that can give that child what they need. Whether that baby was born of your body, or in your heart through adoption, YOU are the best mother for that child. I firmly believe that God chooses us, regardless of OUR belief in our own abilities, to do great things.
If you are a new mom and struggling in any way, please reach out! If you know of a new mom out there, consider offering to come by and helping with a load of laundry, or just holding the baby for an hour so she can sleep. It is so easy to see a new baby and only see the sweet parts of that time, because there are SO MANY sweet parts. More than I can count. But moms with new babies are adjusting to a new life, and our help can really give them the support they may not even know they need.
What are some tips you have for new moms? What are some things that others did that were especially helpful to you? Share with us!!
Copyright 2019 Diana Resendiz. All Rights Reserved.
Image Credit: 2019 Karen Padilla. All Right Reserved.