Motherhood, like labour and delivery, is hard. And, like labour and delivery, we can choose to work with God or stumble our way through and make things more difficult. Which way have you chosen?
My first labour and delivery
On 20th April 1998, I officially became a mother of one. The labour and birth were nothing like what I had envisioned. I had read Jackie Mize’s Supernatural Childbirth and believed that I would be having my pain-free supernatural childbirth.
I did not. The labour was hard and tiring. And at certain moments definitely painful.
It had nothing to do with my faith or the book. Instead it had to do with my haste and ignorance of how to work with God. In Birth Story #1, I recounted how I had ran ahead of God in my enthusiasm and checked myself into the hospital way to early, resulting in many standard operating procedures being performed. All totally unnecessary, in my case.
But I learnt. I learnt that in our mistakes and over-enthusiasm, God still comes through. However, there were consequences. I had my water-bag artificially ruptured, had a drip to “accelerate” labour, and had the dreaded episiotomy. And in the end, baby had to be vacuumed out. All totally unnecessary, resulting in a very exhausted me and an equally exhausted baby.
Subsequent labour and delivery experiences
I learnt my lesson. In my next 6 births, I had supernatural, pain-free (not labour-free!) births. God even graciously allowed Henson and me to experience what it is like to truly labour and birth His way – we had an unassisted home birth with our 7th child.
Productive work vs painful work
The first birth was tiring and at points, painful. There was worry and fear that I may just end up with a c-section. The subsequent births were pain-free and peaceful. They were still tiring but the exhaustion was not even close to the exhaustion of the first birth. Recovery was totally different too.
You could say that it was because my body was used to childbirth. I respectfully disagree. Just ask other mothers of large families if their subsequent births got any “easier”.
The best way
All this to say, if we lean in to God and work with Him, it is always the best way. However, we often don’t. We tend to think we know best. The plethora of information today does not help. We often end up feeling confused and overwhelmed instead of being helped. Just who are we going to listen to? Everyone has an opinion and a so-called success story.
God is a gentleman. In His graciousness, He lets us bumble and stumble along to find OUR own way. But it is always takes longer, ends up being more difficult, and sometimes, we even get lost!
MOTHERHOOD is hard.
Every mother – with young or older children – will agree that motherhood is hard. Every season brings its own challenges.
When we first become mothers, we think sleepless nights and leaky boobs are hard. Then we hit the tantrum, boundary pushing toddler years. Just as we find some semblance of harmony, we hit angst-filled, insecure teenagers who are trying to find their own place in the world. And we all say – please just give us back our sleepless nights and leaky boobs!
Some of us are even more blessed, we get to toggle between the toddler and the teen seasons all at the same time! Lord help us all!
Motherhood IS hard.
Don’t make it harder
Motherhood IS hard. And a lot of times, we make it harder by insisting on doing things our way, Man’s way, not God’s. Then we blame God for not coming through for us.
Yet, like childbirth, if we would work with God and not run ahead of Him, He will come through for us. Then the work we do would be productive, not painful.
It is not information we need but wisdom from above
Attending talk after talk, seminar after seminar, buying books after books, participating in parenting groups after groups … These are not bad in themselves and some of them are very good indeed.
But in the end, we still have to step back and ask God – what do I do with all the accumulated information and advice? Which information do I keep? And which do I throw out. Which method is applicable for THIS child in THIS season?
No shortcuts. Lean in to God in prayer.
What we need is not more information. What we need is to spend time in prayer, leaning in to God. There are no shortcuts. Prayer needs to be our first, not last resort. And we need to spend time in the Word. We cannot do this on our own strength and wisdom.
We need to pray to our Father for His wisdom to parent our children. How to love and see them, the way He loves and sees them. To see beyond their annoying behaviour. To love them even when they are pushing boundaries. And to know how to be firm, yet loving – a tough call indeed! We need to pray for strength to press on when the going gets tough.
Motherhood is HARD.
But don’t give up!
Yes, motherhood is HARD but we have help from our Father! Don’t give up on our children or ourselves!
As we approach Mother’s Day, let us press on and keep praying for our children and ourselves! We CAN do this because it is God who has called to be mothers (yes, He did!), and He will equip us. Let us heed His call to the best of our abilities and let God do the rest.
Keep leaning in to Him in prayer.
Have a blessed Mother’s Day!