So, you’re having a baby! One of the most fulfilling, life-changing, magnificent, delightful, loving events in a woman’s life. It will definitely change you forever. When you first get the news that you’re going to carry a child within your own body for nine months, you become elated and full of hope and promise. By the end of the first trimester, you will wonder why you ever allowed this to happen to you. If you haven’t succumbed to morning sickness – experienced mood swing – or find it difficult to squeeze into your sweatpants – just wait. It gets better. By the end of the second trimester, you are beginning to walk like a duck. Your profile remains the same, except for the bump that is rapidly increasing in size. Shoes are no longer an option, because your feet are now two sizes larger than before. Chances are, you’ve already lost sight of them anyway. The morning sickness has been replaced with a voracious appetite. Your mood swings are even greater. There is absolutely nothing that your husband can do right, By the third trimester, your once slender body has been invaded with stretch marks. Your ankles resemble elephant feet. You’ve given up hope of ever seeing them again. By this time, you have been showered with gifts for the new baby – attention has shifted from you to that same child – you’re beginning to wonder if you can be a good mom. Then the child is born and everything you ever thought about motherhood is about to change forever.
The beauty of giving birth is that even though you go through pain and suffering to get there – you have something wonderful to show for it. The helpless, little body you hold tightly in your arms, is totally dependent on you. You will now be expected to care for, instill values, protect, teach, love, be a friend as well as an enforcer. Your life will never be the same. You now have their vulnerable, little life in your hands.
All the things you dreamed about, during those nine months prior to birthing your first child, are about to go up in smoke. You will now be responsible for another life, other than your own. You are about to take a step down on the ladder of life, because it is no longer about you, but truthfully, it has never been all about you. You know you will have to clean little bottoms, mop up vomit from the floor, increase the amount of laundry and extend the budget to limits you hadn’t planned on. What you aren’t always prepared for is the endless attention a child needs. You will not always get the dishes done. You may not even be able to hide them in the dishwasher. Meals will often be frozen pre-cooked and less flavorful than homemade. Your hair may not get washed. A bath is like a weekly reward. You will be lucky to get your makeup on, teeth brushed and roll some deodorant under your armpits. You will wake in the middle of the night to the sound of fierce hunger and must provide immediately. Your husband will not understand why you have lost that “lovin’ feeling.”
OK, this is beginning to sound like a warning to never have children – not true. The fact is, having a child is one of the most rewarding, blessed, holy, self-sacrificing job a woman can ever hope to have. The key to being good at it is dependent on your relationship with your own heavenly Father. He will give you the courage, the fortitude, the strength, the understanding, the compassion and the selfless love necessary to be the best you can be. The house may always be a mess. You will have an endless stream of unmatched socks. Your hair is on the low end of your priority list, but you are holding the future in your arms.
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” Psalm 127:3