Motherhood is by far the most challenging and fulfilling thing I have ever done. It is a constant complex of pure joy, tired eyes, happy hearts and a whole lot of unpreparedness.
Unprepared in the hospital when the nurse leaves you alone with this tiny human that you and your husband are supposed to know what to do with. Unprepared driving her home from the hospital. Unprepared when she can’t be settled. Unprepared when you love her so much you almost (quite literally) kiss her cheeks off. And unprepared when it’s time to leave her with a stranger for you to head back into the working world, exchanging a car seat and diaper bag for a pump and computer bag.
As I head back to work today, I am feeling extremely unprepared. But there are two things that I know:
1. The intensity of this feeling is temporary.
When I went back to work after Hadley I didn’t know how I would ever feel ok about leaving her with other people during the days, and if I would miss all the “big” moments. I can say that I didn’t miss a thing – the first crawl, steps and words were shared as a family. And I did feel satisfied with work again, it was fulfilling for me. And though my time was certainly cut short, the quality time was not. I found myself being far more intentional with my time with Hadley – running errands over the weekends during her naps so as not to miss out on time spent with her.
I wish I could say that after a few weeks back to work this feeling completely fades, but it does not. At least it didn’t for me, but it does get easier.
2. Most importantly, God’s grace is sufficient for me, even in my weakness.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My grace is made perfect in your weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
That’s the beautiful thing about the Lord. When we are weak, He is strong. I don’t have to worry about my daughters because they are in His hands, they are His first, He has just entrusted them to me.
He also is Heavenly Father who loves us deeply, and will grant us the desires of our hearts. My desire has been to be able to both stay home and work – and by the grace of God alone, He has given me an opportunity to stay home one day a week with my daughters. He is a good, good Father.
That’s the amazing thing about the Lord, He always shows up, even when we feel emotionally, spiritually or physically unprepared.
I have had sixteen whole weeks at home with Audrey, and I can truly say this has been the sweetest season our family has ever experienced. Though I am unprepared to leave her tomorrow, I can walk away from this incredible blessing of a season knowing my marriage, our family and my faith is stronger than it has ever been before.
So in my unpreparedness I choose joy. Joy that I have two healthy, beautiful daughters to return home to and a high calling to do everything I can to raise them in the ways of the Lord, which in this situation means seeking His peace and presence in the midst of being unprepared. He is good!