Thursday, October 2, 2014

Letter To Future Mother

A friend from college recently contacted me with a great idea.  She said that she has a friend who is expecting her first child, a daughter, in the next few weeks, and my friend wants to create a collection of letters to the new mom from mothers who have daughters.

She asked me to write a letter to this mom-to-be, and I was so humbled to have been asked.  I, after all, have only been a mother for eight months, and I have so much yet to learn and experience.  It feels a little like being asked to give marriage advice while I'm still on my honeymoon... but nevertheless, I will share with you, the letter I wrote her.

Dear Mama-To-Be,

You are about to begin the most joyful, rewarding, and miraculous journey of your entire life.  You are about to meet someone who you have been missing your entire life... you just didn't know it.  You are so lucky to be having a baby girl.

You are about to have a best friend who is only a few months old.  You are about to see a new side of your husband and fall more in love with him than ever before.  You are about to make choices every day that will not only impact a person, but shape and mold the character and nature of a brand new human being.

If I sound like I'm being a little dramatic, it's intentional.  This change in your life, this higher calling, this journey on which God is leading, for which God has chosen you is the highest calling, the greatest purpose of your entire life.  Do not take it lightly.  
Cherish it.  Treasure it.  Savor it.

I, myself, have only been a mother to my baby girl for eight months -- eight of the fastest, most joyful, and perfect months of my life.  Throughout these months, I have come to value two thoughts above all others, which I will share with you now:

Develop a very sincere attitude of gratitude.  I was very lucky that this has come pretty easily for me because I had several friends/acquaintances pregnant and expecting around the same time I was.  One had a very difficult pregnancy, which resulted in her daughter being born premature and stillborn.  Another friend had a perfectly normal and healthy pregnancy and underwent a successful home birth.  Their daughter was born without any trouble, and died of respiratory distress a few hours later.  By the time they rushed her to the hospital, it was too late.

I do not tell you this to scare you.  I tell you this because I am SO GRATEFUL for my daughter.  There are women around the world -- two whom I can name, in my community, whose arms ACHE for their baby.  When my baby keeps me awake, I remember there are women who begging God for a baby to keep them awake.  When motherhood is difficult for one reason or another (and it is difficult), I remember that my baby -- crying, or fussy, or frustrating as she may be, is safe in my arms and I cherish her.

Remember to nurture your marriage in this major life change.  You were your husband's first -- before children, before pregnancy, before motherhood, before everything else.  There are days, speaking for myself, when my To-Do list is endless, and the laundry never got switched from the washer to the dryer, and I STILL didn't run the vacuum, which I told myself I wasn't going to bed until I ran, and no dinner was ever made -- Hubby had to fend for himself with a can of tuna... and when I crawl into bed all I want is sleep immediately because the baby will be up again in another three hours.  In those instances, if possible, try to extend yourself and attend to the needs of your husband.  Do not resent him, but love on him.

Your role is wife and mother.  Wife came first.  Wife comes first.  Communicate your needs to your husband so that he can try to help you.  He wants to help, but he needs you to specifically tell him how his help is most appreciated.  Then, make sure he knows how much you appreciate what he does.  While you're nursing, rub his back as he's falling asleep.  The one night you manage to make dinner, make sure it is his favorite.  When your daughter is a little older, make a date night a priority -- you won't want to at first, but that is a sign that you really need to.  Allow yourself to spend a few hours with your husband where he, not the baby, gets your undivided attention.

Before I got married, someone told me that marriage is not 50/50... it is both people giving 100% every day.  Having a child makes this need all the greater.

I am SO incredibly happy for you.  I am praising God for the amazing, one-of-kind daughter that He knit together perfectly to be your child.  God chose you to be her mother, so trust your instincts.  No one will ever, EVER know her better than you do.  Rest in this.

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