Right now, I am listening to Christmas music throughout my house, and ironically the song, “Mary, did you know?” is playing. I love this song, it really is one of my very favorite Christmas songs. This Christmas is a special one for my husband and me. We are spending Christmas Eve for the first time ever with just our little family. It’s amazing how much joy this little baby girl of ours brings to our lives. She doesn’t do very much of anything actually besides eat, sleep, poop, cry and occasionally melt your heart with her little smile; and yet, we love her SO MUCH.
I wonder what Mary must have felt like to have had the huge responsibility of being a new mom to the SAVIOR OF THE WORLD! I was thinking about this on Sunday while sitting in church, and tears came to my eyes as I thought about how much I feel connected to Mary this year. Was she overwhelmed with the responsibility to raise a child of God? Was she worried about her capabilities? Did she feel humbled by this honor and responsibility? Was she afraid that she might fail? Did she also have to figure out how to do this whole mom thing…how to breastfeed, how often, how to sooth a crying baby, how to deal with the judgments of others, how to maintain a healthy relationship with her new husband while also meeting the demands of her baby and how to still take care of herself somehow.
Being a new mom is full of so much more than I ever expected. Now that we have little Ruby, I look at other moms and wonder with even more awe how they do it all. How does anyone ever have more than one kid? Or work while having children? Or raise children as a single parent? It is seriously SO HARD sometimes! Now, don’t get me wrong, I have been yearning to be a mother for years…so I hesitate to even write about this for fear that it’ll sound negative and ungrateful. I used to cringe when I would hear moms complain about being a mom. I would have done anything to have pregnancy sickness, or to stay up late with a sick baby, or to have messy fingers all over my furniture. So here’s the thing…when I say being a mom is full, I mean it’s full of almost every emotion I can think of. I feel stretched in ways I’ve never felt stretched before…tired, exhausted, guilty, sad, lonely, afraid, worried AND at the same time I feel full, joyous, strong, humble, close to God, happy, and hopeful. It’s so beautiful! All of it!
I’m writing about this today because I seriously dropped the ball on our “12 days of secret service.” I just couldn’t really to do more or give more than I already feel I am giving right now. I decided that it’s ok. This is a season of my life where my whole heart is in these babies and I am still adjusting to these new responsibilities. I know it won’t always be like this…it’s just taking me some time to figure out how to juggle everything. To me, being a new mom is like suddenly having to figure out how to juggle with a bowling ball. Eventually my muscles will get stronger and it’ll soon feel like juggling a bowling ball is no big thang. I want to be present with these babies, and sometimes that means that I don’t take on quite as much as I used to. Actually the night I stayed up to finish my last blog post, I woke up the next day with symptoms of mastitis. (Yes, I’ve been battling symptoms of mastitis more than once since baby girl came, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it is as horrible as people say it is and I usually start to feel it coming on when I am really sleep deprived.) So, last week, whenever I had a spare minute, I decided to sleep instead of do much of anything else. Hence, no 12 days of service. I’m hopeful that this can be something we do next year though, and I’m truly excited to start these traditions with our growing family.
If any of you have any stories or experiences to share about your experiences of giving service this Christmas, or about what being new mom was like for you, we’d love to hear them! Thanks for your patience while I learn to juggle bowling balls in this season of my life.