I get anxious about leaving the house with Eleanor. Again, despite all of our many successful outings, I still worry about things going wrong. What if I have to feed her in a very uncomfortable location? What if she fusses? What if I can't soothe her?
Breastfeeding makes me anxious too. Mainly the pain associated with breastfeeding. Am I doing something wrong? When will it go away?
And of course I worry about her in general. Is she ok? Is she breathing? Will she cry if I jump in the shower? My worrying is a bit out of control.
Of course, these moments only take up a short amount of time in the grand scheme of our days. I am lucky that I haven't experienced any depression and for the majority of our days I am filled with joy and truly happy about my new role as mom. Even though I am anxious about leaving the house, it doesn't stop us from going out. We have enjoyed many breakfasts out, church, several trips to the mall and Target, a trip to Lowe's and many grocery shopping trips. I sleep very well at night even though I worry and am anxious at bedtime. And despite the pain, we are still breastfeeding very well. The pain is even subsiding some. So I don't mean this post as a complaint or rant. I love being a mom, but experiencing this anxiety has brought to light something that has been truly missing in my relationship with Eleanor and my role as mom.
Of course my prayer life has suffered in the last 3 weeks. I have been busy. Of course I have let go of reading the bible. I am a new mom. Of course I am not turning to God with all of my concerns and anxiety...
But wait. Why shouldn't I? These things should be pulling me toward God, not away from Him. Why am I not leaning on Him through these struggles? Why do I not turn to him for strength and energy? When things become tough it should be natural to look to God, right?
For me, all too often, I turn inward. I rely on myself and forget that there is a higher power that can provide support. It feels natural to experience anxiety and worry. I justify these feelings because I am a new mom. This is how all new moms feel. I forgot that as a child of the Living God I am free. There are no chains that hold me down. I don't have to feel this way.
Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved
We are promised such wonderful things in the bible. One of which promises that God will lift our worries and take our burdens. Through God we can find joy even when things feel heavy and dark. This week, especially while Alex is at work, my goal is to act my part as a child of God and not be weighed down by worry and anxiousness. I will cast my cares to the Lord, for He is good. He loves me enough, and His love will carry us.
Psalm 121:1-2 I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
It's not always easy. But it is always better. I want to truly enjoy being a mom. I want to truly feel the blessings God has for me. I can't do this on my own. Even with Alex, we cannot do this by ourselves. To be successful parents we need God. We need the love and sacrifice of our Savior. It isn't just about teaching Eleanor these things, it is about living it out in our own lives. Not just when she can notice, but starting right now. The first three weeks were a whirlwind. But today I am slowing down, taking a moment to reflect, notice what is missing, and making a change. Today I seek strength from God.
Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God.