I was never prone to anxiety. I’m a pretty composed person and I go with the flow usually. However, as a new mom, I worried. I guess it just comes with the job. I found myself worrying about things I have never thought of in my life and questioning myself throughout the day. Am I doing this right? Is this normal? Should I call a doctor? Am I doing enough for her?
Even with a support system, books, and advice, the weight of this newfound responsibility is daunting. The feeling of powerlessness in the face of it can be a bit scary. I will be judged based upon this child’s health, intelligence, and character. I felt criticized when she cried in public or when I felt unprepared to satisfy her every whim. I was pressuring myself to have everything under control at all times. In the first few months, this was absolutely nerve-wracking.
Then, I remembered scripture. Philippians 4:6 – 8 (NLT), says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
So now, when I catch myself in the midst of questions or doubt, I immediately stop and pray about that concern. I pray that my daughter develops a relationship with God. I ask that God protect her from harm and illness. I pray that He be my wisdom to guide her and mold her character and that He help me to be the mommy that she needs. I pray that God guard her from bullies, predators, and kidnappers. I also thank our Heavenly Father for my baby, her health, her sweet disposition, her overwhelming cuteness, and for watching over her.
In these moments, I recognize that I am going to make mistakes. My baby is going to suffer and struggle at times. I am incapable of protecting and nurturing my baby perfectly, but I can do my best and trust that my Heavenly Father is ever-present to complete the works that I cannot. Putting her into the crib, walking away, and going to sleep was a huge act of trust for me. I don’t have to have it all under control. My Heavenly Father is looking after us both without condemnation.
In my faith tradition, we dedicate our children to the LORD, which serves as a reminder to me that I am not meant to be in control of everything. My baby is not just MY baby to parent. She is HIS to love. God Almighty has a perfect purpose for her and it is my privilege to participate in that. So, when I begin to feel the tension rising and the questions flurrying in my mind, I remember whose she is, and I find peace in knowing how deeply she is loved.