An Imperfect Mother Doubts Herself: Finding A Way To Trust
The last 40 minutes my husband and I sat in the bathroom, him in the bathtub, me perched on the side of the tub leaning over, both helping our son try to go to the bathroom. Cash has been eating solids for a month and a half now, hes up to two meals a day of pureed veggies/fruits and has mutligrain or brown rice cereal mixed with water and breast milk. He recently began having some issues with constipation, we noticed he is straining to go to the bathroom but nothing was coming out. This went on for 3-4 days with no relief. I tried giving him the P's (prunes, pears, peaches, and plums) and water. I felt so terrible for him this morning and could see his tummy was bothering him, so I went online to one of my favorite baby websites for medical information (Ask Dr Sears- hes really conservative & offers great information for infants/toddlers/children) there I read about all the different natural methods of constipation relief. I decided to try his method of a warm bath (chest height) and massaging the babies tummy. So in to the bath we went!
My wonderful husband threw on some shorts (he said "to protect himself", HA!) and held our little guy while I messaged his tummy. Next thing I know I'm using baby wipes under water to help stimulate a bowel movement. I will spare you any further detail that may upset your stomach but it worked and needless to say, hes sound asleep right now, happy that his tummy feels normal again. We'll be sticking to just breast milk for today (: . I was just thinking to myself, "the things we do for our children.. i could never do what I just did for anyone else, i just wouldnt have the stomach for it". I began thinking about how selfless being a mother makes you..
Being a mother has changed me in ways I am yet to be even aware of. However, some of the changes I do see have made me into a better woman. I think of my family first, I put their needs above my own, I make decisions based on the whole of our family, we are a unit, there is no longer just me, Tessa. I am one flesh with my husband, and our son is an extension of that that we cannot separate. The love that has filled my life and my heart is unexplainable. The joy and peace I feel when im with my son, even just looking at him, or smelling him in the dark on those warm 2 am nursing moments when im barely awake & then I feel him in my arms & Im more present than I've ever been. A mother's heart for her child is only understood by another mother's heart. Its a deep almost painful love, because there is this tragic awareness that "I really have no control". It requires constant faith to put your child in Gods hands.
I often think of the mother I am, I wonder how royally I am messing it up daily. I am SO aware that my hindrances, my weaknesses, the flaws that seep out unnoticably in my daily behaviors, are being watched and observed by this little human. It pains me to think about how imperfect I am and how that could damage this perfect person. That is the greatest challenge I've faced as a mother. I've struggled so terribly, wrestling since day one with the idea that what I do really matters, who I am every single day matters to this child of mine. I see numerous clients walk into my office for counseling who have behaviors, cognitions, belief systems, and heart struggles because of their childhood, the way they were raised, how they were cared for and nurtured. A good portion of these families were great families. But the children still took away negative messages, or felt their needs weren't met, or percieved they weren't good enough at times or believed they were unloveable or unwanted, even in great families with parents who had every good intention that I have for my son. And to have that information stored in my brain, no, branded in my brain..well, sometimes it gets to me. How could it not?
I've learned now that God chose me. The Lord picked me. He created me to be Cash's mother. God knows every hair on my head, every strength and every weakness I live with, and He knew I would be the perfect woman to be the mother of this special boy. He knew his father would be the perfect daddy to raise up this Godly little boy into a Godly man. That is what makes me feel calm and at peace in those moments when I wonder if Im doing it right, if im being the mother that Cash needs. If i'm allowing him independence and yet giving him enough of me all at the same time. If being me is enough for him. It is. I know it is because Jesus chose me, knowing me and every bit of who I am.
And that is reassuriing. That is what builds me up as a mother and empowers me to just be me and know that I am who Cash needs. I am the only mother this baby will ever know.. and God ordained that, He planned that. And that is what I hold on to when I have my moments of imperfection or doubt.. When I have those moments when Im unsure about a decision I need to make as a mother.. I cling to my faith and trust Him.
I also just want to say thank you for those of you that have been emailing me! You guys literally have me in tears. I am so grateful for your courage to reach out and share your stories. You inspire me more than you know. I love getting to know you. I am thankful for each of you. If I havent written you back yet, I will today, the last couple weeks have been busy busy! You matter to me and I appreciate you taking the time to email me. <3
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