Friday, October 14, 2016

The (Un)Natural

When I was pregnant with the original Bear Cub, I had someone tell me, (and I quote): "I just don't really see you as the mom type." What the crap, right? Not the best thing to tell an already frazzled & very fat pregnant lady. After I convinced myself that punching her in the throat would do more harm than good, I realized that she was right.

I am not the mom type. 

Before you all start giving the comforting responses (read: "That's not true!" or "Everyone is different!" or "Of course you are!"), let me explain. I am truly, honestly, and completely 100% ok with this. I have accepted it and here's why. 

As a Christian, sometimes God calls us to step out of our comfort zone in order to stretch our faith and give Him glory. For some, this manifests in entering the mission field. For others, it's quitting a mainstream job to start a non-profit. For others still, it's joining a small group or serving their community. For me? It was motherhood. 

This woman (who shall remain nameless), hit the nail on the head with her brutal honesty. First of all, y'all already know how I feel about children. I never volunteered in the nursery and I only babysat in order to afford the newest MxPx cd. Even then, babysitting consisted of sitting the kids in front of The Little Mermaid and hoping they didn't talk to me. I never played with baby dolls or dreamed of my future children's names. The idea of being a mom scared me. I didn't think I was cut out for it. In fact, when I married the Man, I was tempted to never have children. 

Then I got pregnant. [Ok, so it wasn't that abrupt - we did talk about it and mutually agreed that we wanted a family. Roll with me.]

Anything and everything that had to do with the original Bear Cub's labor/delivery/recovery went wrong. 36 hour labor. Failed epidural. 2nd degree tear. Colic. [Oh the colic. Just thinking of those long nights makes me want to run for the hills!] Severe postpartum depression. I would collapse in a crying heap on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. At the darkest, my mom drove down from Chicago to take care of the BC because I couldn't get off the floor. What kind of mother struggled to take care of, let alone love, her own child? I was pushed to my limits in every way. I couldn't understand why other mothers had babies who would coo and smile and sleep while mine seemed possessed by the devil himself. It was hard. I struggled. I cried and begged for relief. Motherhood did not come naturally. 

Eventually, the colic dissipated and I sought treatment for my PPD. I went back to work. The Bear Cub started sleeping through the night. There was a light at the end of the tunnel. Looking back, God used the mess of motherhood to strip away parts of me that needed removing. He took me so far out beyond my comfort zone that I had nowhere else to turn but into Him. He drew me close as I relinquished control. My faith wouldn't be what it is if it weren't for motherhood. I am still not the "mother-type" (case in point, BC watched 582 episodes of Wild Kratts today instead of doing a Pinterest craft), but I would lay down my life for my children without a second thought. I have learned what it means to love unconditionally. I have the responsibility and privilege to introduce my boys to God's love. It is my job to raise them according to His will, in His timing, for His glory and I am proud to do it. In the end, that's all that matters. 

1 comment:

Stephanie Atkins said...

Lauren, I so needed this encouragemt! I feel the same way about motherhood. I have yet to have a full term pregnancy but after being pregnant short term, realized it wasn't going to be as scary as I thought...ha! We shall see. But I love that this is what you were "called" to in a sense. I am struggling right now finding purpose in the waiting. But sometimes that's when we need to cling on tighter to Jesus and he teaches us something new and fresh that would have never come if we're given exactly what we wanted in a neat box or mason jar (I love jars!).
Thank you for sharing your journey and the real life behind the fascade that Facebook paints. Good to know there are stil real live humans out there! Peace be with you, friend!