I always knew motherhood could be overwhelming, but little did I know that it began as soon as you become pregnant.
I thought, “I have a whole nine months to prepare.”
However, nine months is not enough.
There are so many things to consider and worry about when it comes to growing a life inside you. They tell you to keep your weight within a certain range, and each time you step on the scale you want to cry in defeat. My pregnancy book says to eat at least 8 servings of fruits and vegetables a day to make sure my baby gets the proper nutrients. I start each day planning to do this, but in the beginning, the nausea was overwhelming and all I wanted was to drive and get some french fries. Now that I am later in my pregnancy, I am too tired to grocery shop or meal prep.
Somehow I expect myself to workout just as hard and often as I did before pregnancy. Several other moms have done it, right? But what about this paralyzing headache, lack of energy, and oh, the occasional cramps? Could I hurt my baby more with my intense workouts?
The mom guilt is real, and the pressure is on.
Then there are all the things to consider for when the baby arrives. What carrier is safest? Breastfed versus formula? Is your baby’s mattress free of chemicals?
Do not even ask for other mom’s opinions on the best stroller, you will get 20 completely different suggestions.
Preparing for motherhood is even more stressful in this day and age with social media glamorizing motherhood or trolls demeaning mothers on their choices. Not to mention the ever-changing research you can find online for just about every topic.
Be sure to get your vaccines while pregnant and have everyone around you vaccinate, or you are dooming your child to death.
Having a son? Be ready to be mom-shamed or called a “monster” over your circumcision choice.
Bonus points if you post a breastfeeding photo to your instagram to empower women.
However, be ready for negative comments no matter what side of these arguments you fall on.
Before you know it, your due date is quickly approaching, and your to-do list is several pages long. You have baskets full of clothes to wash (who knew you needed to wash brand new clothes??), last minute items to shop for, and your “pinterest-perfect” nursery to complete.
With all these lists and expectations, it is so hard to enjoy the beauty that comes with pregnancy like the sweet little kicks, imagining who your little one will grow up to be and who he/she will look like, and the excitement of becoming a mother.
While I am a fan of making lists, sometimes it really does take some of the fun out of things.
I must admit, it is so easy for lists, expectations and other people’s opinions to directly impact my everyday walk with God.
I make lists of how I think I need to live my life (30-minutes of intimate worship, three Bible chapters a day, long-drawn out prayer time). But ultimately, this can quickly become overwhelming, and also puts God in a box.
I can easily spend hours reading other people’s opinions on God’s word, Christian life, and even politics. When I compare my Christian walk with others, I either end up feeling prideful or incompetent, quite like when we compare ourselves to other mothers.
Instead, I should be soaking up every moment God has created. While He is in that 30-minutes of quiet time I set aside, I have to be always listening in the simple and mundane tasks of each day.
Sometimes, we just need to throw out lists, expectations and the opinions of others that so easily overwhelm and just soak up the beauty of being a child of God.
Psalms 46:10, God says “Be still and know that I am God.”
He is there in the stillness, not the checklists that keep us busy or our ability to be a “perfect Christian.”
Whether you are overwhelmed by pregnancy and motherhood, or your walk as a Christian, I want to encourage you to just take a moment to soak up each and every moment. Deplug from your mommy forums or pull away from those to-do lists. You are doing the best you can, and what matters the most is that you are present in the moment.
Your child is not going to spontaneously combust because you do not use 100 percent organic products, and God is not going to strike you down because you chose to skip tonight’s reading for some much needed worship time.
Your child needs your affection more than a spotless house, and God wants your heart over how many chapters you can breeze through in your Bible plan.
Drop the lists and all the overwhelming opinions, and be still. You got this momma!
“When I am overwhelmed, you alone know the way I should turn.” Psalms 142:3 (NIV)