My husband has a beautiful heart. He reflects Christ’s character daily. He truly is my helper. I have spent years getting to know my husband in an intimate way, yet recently I have grown exponentially in appreciation for him. You see for 5 years it was just us. We traveled the world, we got to participate in some really awesome adventures with God, we lived in many different places, and we have experienced extraordinary. We have seen really hard times in our marriage... and we have seen really easy times in our marriage.
So what changed?
Well almost 5 months ago I gave birth to our first child. I won’t hesitate to share with you that it has been one of the most difficult experiences, but definitely one of the most rewarding! From moments just before our son arrived I have felt deep pain, yes physical pain, but I have also felt a different kind of pain... one that only a parent could. The pain of realizing how responsible I am for another life, a vulnerable life, a life that trusts me as mom.
Being a mother is a beautiful thing, but it is also painful. Why?
It is painful because I am new at it. Although I have had a ton of experience with children since I was young, being completely responsible for my own child is a whole other challenge. This resonates in my heart every time I look at my child or think about him, and at times it overwhelms my heart. I question everything, wondering if my son is ok, if what I see is normal, if what I am doing as mom is right, and of course I am paranoid about how things will affect him when he is older. The "what if's" and the daily doubt of whether I am doing a good job as mom is painful. Not every mother may experience this pain, but for someone like me, who struggles with fear, it is painful.
There is so much that a new mom can overwhelm herself with like paying close attention to make sure baby is healthy and developing appropriately and then making decisions such as scheduling, where baby should sleep, what kind of bottles to use, when baby should eat solids, or whether to vaccinate or not - just to name a few.
I have felt the weight of concern, worry, doubt, insecurity, and fear as a mom. I will admit that lately I have even experienced a very severe anxiety from all of this. The good news is that I have not had to endure this alone. I have a husband who has helped me through this transition into parenthood. He has helped me to think clearly, he has helped with making decisions, he has helped me take care of our son, and he has helped me calm down with words of encouragement.
My husband has helped me by reminding me that God is our King and that we submit our lives to Him daily. My husband reminds me that we should thank God, lift our requests up to Him, and that His peace will consume us. My husband also recites scripture helping me to focus on what God says is true. My husband also tells me that I am a good mom... which every mom needs to hear!
With all that my husband does to help me, it is important that I receive his help. I need to listen to his encouragement and allow it to build me up. I need to allow my husband to add input and yield to his opinions when we make decisions together over our son. I need to humble myself, acknowledging that there are times that I am weak, times that I will fail my son, and times that I will need help, because the truth is, I’m not perfect.
To the mothers who suffer from anxiety, yet have husbands willing to help... my encouragement to you is to receive your husband’s help humbly. Marriage is a great gift because we have a counterpart that can help us through life, share some of the load, and point us back to Christ.
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11
- Jennifer Smith unveiledwife.com
photo credit: @unveiledwife