She held out her new baby for me to hold.
I knew my friend meant it kindly, but I somewhat panicked and practically pushed the baby back at her.
Because, you see, I don't think I'd ever held a newborn before.
That's the truth. Even though I was nearly 30 years old. And even though I was due to give birth to our first child in only a few weeks myself.
I think my dear friend was horrified. I didn't know how to cradle a baby? Didn't know how to feed him? To change him? To tuck him in?
How in the world could I give birth to my own child when I had NO CLUE what I was doing??
The very questions I'd been asking myself for some time. What business did I have becoming a mother? What were my qualifications and what kind of experience did I bring to this life-impacting role?
Seemingly not much at all.
But God was gracious and somehow brought me along. He gave me the gift and then equipped me as we went along. Baby and I. Good thing our precious child didn't know he had an amateur for a mom.
Maybe you're like me and sometimes question if you're really qualified for this Mom-Thing. Maybe you've never held a newborn before. Or trained up a toddler. Or tackled those teenage years.
Well, if it makes you feel any better? You're in good company. I mean, honestly, how do you become "qualified" for such an amazing job as motherhood?
So now that I'm an “experienced" mother, this is what I'd offer to those who, like me, sometimes wonder about their mothering qualifications:
Take it one step at a time. You don't have to know everything about parenting - just what you need to know for today (and maybe a little bit more to be prepared for tomorrow).
Give yourself room to grow. Guess what? I've made mistakes. Gobs of them. I have regrets, have had to make apologies, and wish I could do some things over again. And that was only yesterday. But I'm growing and my kids give me grace. Now I just need to give me grace too.
Look out for role models and learn from them. I once attended a concert featuring a musical family for the sole purpose of meeting the mom after the event. I briefly introduced myself and then asked how she "did it"? She graciously gave me 20 minutes of her time and a whole bunch of helpful advice. I've "cornered" more than a few moms since then too.
Ask God to show you what He wants you to do. Pray about each child and each situation. Go to His Word and look for verses that apply to your lives and your relationships. He will be faithful to reveal to you what you need. He picked you for this job, remember?
So you want to know something? When that first tiny baby was born, I managed to hold him just fine. No experience necessary. He fit right in my arms like he was made to be there. He didn’t seem to mind in the least that I was totally new at all this. He was simply happy to be wrapped up in my embrace.
Motherhood doesn't require hours of previous experience or an impressive resume. Your children simply need the tender love and care of a mother. Take my word for it: you've got what it takes to be wonderful mom!
So have you ever wondered if you've "got what it takes"? What has helped reassure you along the way? Any verses that have helped?
In His grace,