Things have been a little crazy around here lately! To our surprise, our new addition arrived “early.” We welcomed our healthy baby girl into the world on March 24th and everything has been exactly as it should be – a blur. And if you’ve ever had a newborn while taking care of an active 2-year-old, you know maintaining sanity is a bit of a trick!
It’s been fun getting caught up in all the cute newborn stuff. (Seriously, check out my Instagram feed — I look like one obsessed momma) But with everything that having a newborn brings, it reminds me of the struggle I faced with my first child.
When Zoom came around I fought the hardest identity battle I’ve ever had. There were moments where I thought I was losing everything that made me who I am. Or even losing my sanity.
Here’s a little backstory…
I’ve never wanted my primary identity to be motherhood. Yes, I wanted kids. And I knew being a mom was going to be a big part of me. But I was determined to not let it overtake my entire life, because I knew that God had created me for more and given me a unique identity.
Then motherhood happened. Suddenly I had no time to myself and a tiny little person to take care of. Constantly. My most basic needs were placed on hold. Sleep was inconsistent, meals were inconsistent, even showers didn’t always happen. And the more I fought against it, the worse it got.
I remember sitting on my bathroom floor with the door closed, (because it was the only room in our tiny studio apartment that actually had a door) crying my eyes out because I felt like everything important to me had been stripped away. All that was left was a walking boob that existed to keep the baby alive.
It got to the point where fighting against the identity of motherhood was so exhausting that I gave up. I stopped fighting and decided to embrace it, just so I could get some rest.
Sound familiar? Don’t worry, you’re not losing your sanity.
After talking to several moms, I realized this battle was not unique to me. Can we all just agree momhood is h-a-r-d? Couple that with the body changes during and after pregnancy, it’s easy to feel like you don’t belong in your own skin.
Even though I listened to testimonies from other moms, it still took me a while to realize I was not losing my sanity, but what I was experiencing was normal. And more importantly, how God was using it to reach my heart. It wasn’t just about identifying as a “mom,” but something deeper and stronger.
Know your battle
Exhaustion, insecurities, being out-right scared sometimes… None of those were actually my issue. With no time to “be myself,” I had to come to grips with who I thought I was and if that person was strong enough to survive raising another human being.
Doesn’t it seem harsh to face a battle when you’re already hurting and tired? Well, sometimes that’s when we listen to direction best. And it was in that season I realized God was being very gentle with me. He allowed me to fall apart just enough to realize where my sanity really was, and it had to do with my identity.
I faced down the fact that what I did was not an indicator of who I was. Instead, it’s because of who I really am that I’m able to do the things I love.
I came to grips with the fact that my identity was created by the all-powerful, all-knowing God. That it is complete in Jesus. And even though I didn’t feel equipped for momhood, I would grow into it.
And it has added to my identity — not replaced it, but simply enriched it.