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Reflections on One Month of Motherhood

It’s been one month since I’ve welcomed my son into the world. Over the span of a few weeks, my life has taken on a major shift. Just last month I was getting more sleep, I was eating more regular meals, I was primarily occupied with schoolwork and chores around the house, and I was finishing up preparing a nursery. One month ago, I was also met with an overload of emotions. I felt incredibly excited to have my son in my arms, so much so that it was nearly all I thought about. I did everything I could to induce my own labor, even if I knew it was likely a myth and wouldn’t actually help. Perhaps all that red raspberry leaf tea, primrose oil, and miles circuit workouts did help. Beyond the excitement, I was also met with a load of fear and worries. I was terrified of having a child with major health issues, suffering from postpartum depression, not bonding with my baby, and not being able to balance life as a mother (the list could continue, but I’ll leave it there). While all of my fears may sound overboard to some, none of them were outside the realm of possibility. I knew that because before I had my son, I was met with quite a few horror stories, mostly from social media. My YouTube algorithm didn’t just give me the mommy tips and adorable baby videos I was looking for; it also bombarded my mind with a list of fearful possibilities. As I scrolled through YouTube reels, one second, I was smiling at a video of a mother witnessing her baby’s first words, and the next moment, I was crying while watching a video of a mother sharing the traumatic birth of her baby who suffered severe health complications. 

Leading up to the birth of my son, I had a long list of prayers that may sound oddly specific to some. Many times, I worried when I hadn’t felt my son kick in a while, and my heart would sink into my chest as I contemplated running to the hospital. Since this fear settled into my mind multiple times a week, I knew I could have been anxious without need, so I often prayed, “Lord, I haven’t felt my son kick. I want to go to the hospital, but if I did that, I’d be there every day this week. Please ease my mind and make him kick.” Multiple times, within minutes after praying this, I felt my son kick and knew that God had answered my plea. While this assured me that God cared for my son and loved me, the fearful thoughts continued. I often took these thoughts captive through prayer, but many times, I failed to do this. The “what if” terrified me. 

Thankfully, by the grace of God, my prayers were fruitful. The burdens that I cast on the Lord were carried by His strength (which wasn’t just present in my pregnancy). By His strength, on December 11th, 2023, at 4:16 pm, my son took his first breath of oxygen and was born a healthy 6-pound 7-ounce and 18.75-inch baby.  As I held my son on my chest, I was assured that God heard every cry of mine in my pregnancy and labor. When I was overcome by fear throughout my pregnancy, the God of love gave me peace. When I was pregnant, sitting on the bathroom floor throwing up, the God of kindness was near to me. When I was in labor, and the nurse told me I was at risk for seizures, the God of grace comforted me. When I was nearing the end of labor, and my son's heartbeat was dropping, the God of mercy gave me endurance. In all these moments, the transcendent God of all condescended to me and made known to me His imminence.

Still, a month postpartum, I am depending on His strength. While my nights are certainly interrupted far more often, and doing tasks takes far longer, I feel my days are much more purposeful. Before I had my son, I would often pray that God would give me greater joy as I completed my day-to-day tasks. Many days, my daily responsibilities felt meaningless. I often failed to practice what I preach about giving thanks to God as we do monotonous tasks, knowing that they are an expression of praise. I struggled to believe this and press on in prayer, and instead, I was often, at best, apathetic in completing my tasks. I was often unsatisfied with what I completed that day, and because of my inability to check off my to-do lists many days, I feared failing to meet my responsibilities as a mother. While I deeply desired motherhood, I was worried about my ability to handle it.

While I still struggle to get everything done in the day that I want to, I am reminded far more often of my purpose to glorify God as I look at my son. As I hold him in my arms, I remember that this precious boy has an eternal soul that has been given to Him by God. I have a deep longing for him to become a Christian one day, and I pray I never take lightly the responsibility I have to raise Him in the Lord. I look forward to the day I can teach him Scripture and sing worship songs with him, but as for now our relationship is simple in a beautiful way. He can’t call me mom yet, but he looks to me for comfort and help. My responsibility is to meet his needs and do so with the glory of God in mind — and it’s the best job I could have.

  While it’s hard to see the mess around me and not be able to do anything about it at the moment because I’m caring for my son, I’m learning to be thankful to God by rejoicing in the greater responsibility He has given me now. As the laundry piles up, the dishes remain undone, and I sometimes feel unable to console my crying son, I feel overwhelmed and tempted to be frustrated. Yet, by the grace of God, I get the blessing of being able to care for the one in my arms whom I prayed for. While doing the dishes and laundry are good for my sanctification and can be done to the glory of God, neither of those tasks encourages holiness in me as much as mothering my son. They are purposeful, no doubt, but my heart needed a more frequent reminder of God’s grace and kindness — which I receive from my son. 

As I tend to his small cry, I am reminded that just as he needs me, I need him. I need him for my sanctification, for my joy, and to fulfill my purpose. Years ago, that would have sounded terribly unbiblical to me, and I would have responded, “All we need is God,” and while that is true, it is also true that God gives us needs. He created His people with a need for food, shelter, the local church, a spouse, good friends, etc. All these are means of grace that He uses to sanctify His children. And oh, how I need these things to further my love for the Lord. For my humility, I need to feel insufficient in my own strength as I raise my son. If I didn’t, what else would compel me to lean on the grace of God? For my growth in holiness, I need all the trials, temptations, and tests of motherhood. For this same reason, I also need all the joys and precious moments of motherhood. 

I pray that as I continue to care for my son and raise him alongside my husband, I experience God in a deeper way than before. Over the coming years, I want to look at my son and other children and see more of what childlike faith looks like so that I may have such faith in God, my Father. May the God of all grace be glorified in the gift of motherhood, He’s given me.

1 Comment

Shari Chan
Shari Chan
Jan 17

Beautiful! With love,

Aunt Shari

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