She held her firstborn baby on her hip and looked down at my oversized belly. When I told her I was expecting our fourth baby she couldn't believe it. "Wow, so you got this whole mom thing down!…Right?" I could feel my belly tighten with a Braxton Hicks as I began to laugh and try not to wet myself. I might have scared her a little with my response. "No, the more children I have, the more I realize how much I don't have this mom thing down." She laughed nervously and changed the subject. I went to the bathroom.
Later that night, I held my son as he struggled through his second round of croup within the month. I could hear his throat loosen as he breathed in the cool night air and we watched the rain fall. The next morning I gripped my coffee cup and asked God to help me survive the day with only four hours of sleep.
The next night brought me to the end of my rope. The stuffy nose that needed saline drops, the little girl with the bad dream, and the baby inside of me with the hiccups that shook my entire body…it all seemed like too much. I cried quiet tears at 4am. I wondered how I would survive being a mom of four children…then I cried a little harder.
The sun came too quick that next morning. Somehow I managed to feed my kids breakfast, find clean clothes that matched, and fill their lunch boxes with something that would satisfy their little bellies. We kissed and hugged and I was happy to say goodbye! I drove to my mom's group that meets a few times a month and sat with a group of mothers who don't have it all together.
Then, one seasoned mother shared a few words that I needed to hear..."In my early years of motherhood l didn't know how to be a good mom, all I knew is that I had Jesus."
It was so simple, but such a good reminder. This mother of twenty-seven years knew from the beginning that she would struggle in this journey of motherhood, but as long as she had Jesus, it would all (somehow) work out.
I could feel my shoulders relax. Someone knew how tired I was. Someone walked this road before me and could say that nothing else mattered, as long as I walked with God. The piles of laundry, the fancy cooking, clean toilets—they didn't matter! None of it would hold more importance than my dependance on God.
Walking with God today, is all I need. No matter what my night was like, or how many tears I cried at 4am, if I can walk with God today, somehow this journey of motherhood will work out. As the nights and days display imperfection, I can be faithful.
Natalie Falls nataliefalls.com