I am not a mother. I am not experienced in parenting in the least bit. I have never had to make a decision that directly affects any tiny human, let alone anyone but myself, really. I have never felt the pressure to make the best decision with all the given information, knowing that my decision could be very wrong or be very right. I have never had to decide what to feed my child, how they should sleep (With me? In their own bed? Long term effects of both? AW I don’t even know now what I would choose!). I have never held something so precious in my arms knowing that for the rest of my life the words I speak, the things I do, what I decide is best that very moment for my family and my child, will greatly affect my child.
The closest I got to this moment was last Valentines Day when I held my precious nephew on the day he was born. My sister had stepped away to the other room for just a few moments and I sat there holding this precious life. I had so many feelings and thoughts that overwhelmed my heart, soul and body. My heart was bursting with so much love for this little life I held in my arms. Then the thought overwhelmed me: my arms! I was holding this little 7 pound baby, littler than my purse, and what happens if I dropped him (while I was sitting. See these are my irrational thoughts!), what if my arms gave out while I was holding him, what if something happened in the next three minutes while my sister was away and I could do nothing to help him. Honestly and selfishly, I couldn’t wait for my sister to come back because I was not at all prepared for ANYTHING to happen to this precious boy while I was responsible for him. All I wanted him to do was sleep and continue sucking that sweet thumb of his because I knew I could handle that. Right? Just hold and rock him and then everything will be fine.
People. I held the kid for less than five minutes and this is what happened to me! Could you even begin to imagine if this little life was my responsibility? Obviously I am not ready to be a mother. After thinking about it and talking with several wise souls in my life, I believe it something that just happens and you take a deep breathe, trust and believe that you are making the right decisions for the little life you are holding in your arms. I am on the brink of being a hot mess as I sit here and type this out. I can attempt to put myself in my sister’s shoes, and man, she is my hero! All you mamas out there, loving your babies the best you can and make decisions the best you can with the information you have- you are my heroes!
Dare I say, it might have been easier to be a mother prior to the internet, prior to Facebook, prior to Pinterest, prior to the ability to make offhanded and anonymous comments towards people, their convictions and their decisions. I am sure it was always this way, though. I am sure that villages had women sitting around, telling other women that their decisions were wrong and they should do it this way, or that way. And you had an overwhelmed new mother, just wanting to make the best decisions for her child and so afraid to mess her precious child up. Everything is mostly well intentioned, right? You all want the best for your child and for all children. So that is why we offer up our advice and try to help one another out. But it has me scared at the same time.
My words and observations could be 100% off base. I mean what do I know, I don’t have children. I have never had to make decisions that directly affected another human beings life besides where my group of friends should go eat dinner. But here is what I know. I am going to need a strong village of women around me when I do have a precious life to care, protect and raise. I am going to need a group of women who can provide me wisdom, support, love and grace. Oh my goodness, so much grace. And most likely tissues (cause ya’ll if I am a hot mess now, it’s likely it won’t get any better). I am going to need wisdom and advice but I will mostly need a friend. A friend to be there in my celebrations as a mother. A friend to be there when I am scared that either decision I make may not be the right choice. A friend to be there when I have no idea what the “right” choice is. A friend to be there to have wine and chocolate. A friend to love me and talk down my fears of messing up little child. Also a friend to remind that little child that his/her mama did the best she could with what she knew.
Dear precious mamas out there. Be this for each other now. Stop the arguing. Stop the attacks on ways of lives and decisions each mother makes. Remember how difficult it is to make decisions, how you did not know the outcomes either. Be kind. Forgive. Have mountains and mountains of grace for each other. Because I need to hope and believe that when I become a mom, I will have that from you. All of us future mamas need that from you.