Surprised by Joy in Motherhood
“Dees,” said the sweetest little voice as our son pointed out the “doggie” in his bedtime story. It’s my new favorite thing. That and a million other things he says and does. Like how he follows our amens with an adorable “anay.” Or how he reaches over to play with my sleeve or hold my finger. Even how, to show his affection for his daddy and I, he grabs our legs and goes in for a big bite. Motherhood is sweet.
Before my husband and I began our journey into parenthood, I was thoroughly prepared for the pain and frustration that being a mom would bring. Mommy bloggers on social media preached to me that motherhood was a sort of death. Not the holy, Christlike death to our self-service that it truly is, but a death of all things easy and joyful.
They made me believe I’d hate my days at home with a little one. They said I’d never shower again and that greasy mom-buns and looking like a mess would be my new normal. They made it sound like survival was impossible without loads of coffee and a few glasses of wine to take the edge off. It terrified me.
As I walked through a season of suffering in the form of losing babies or to borrow from the book The Nightingale, “the miscarriage years,” I deeply longed to live out my motherhood further than my womb. But the narrative surrounding motherhood caused me to fear I’d only be trading in one type of suffering for another.
I’m very new to having a little one in my care and I know many struggles within motherhood deepen as children grow and multiply, but if you’re scared of becoming a mom like I was, I want you to know something. I’ve been deeply surprised by the absolute J O Y this season has ushered in. The glory and goodness of the Father surround us daily. It springs forth in the giggles of our toddler and settles in mind as he seeks comfort upon my chest. When those big blue eyes look up at me, I’m reminded of the miracles of God.
Even when I feel my faith fail and my frustration win, and I’m confronted with the truth that there are no perfect mothers—yes, even this is God’s goodness to me as I see my sin and rehearse the gospel to my weary heart. It points my eyes upward to the only perfectly patient and loving Parent.
God is kind to give undeserving sinners (which we all are) such beautiful gifts. And children are a sweet, sweet gift.
I’m also thankful for the women in my church who not only prepared me for the inevitable hard things within motherhood, but also told me about the joy of raising little ones. I should have trusted them.
Maybe you don’t have voices reminding you of this truth—maybe you only hear of the exhaustion, the tantrums, the endless diapers. So, I’ll be that voice today.
There is so much joy and sweetness in motherhood because Jesus is with you in your motherhood journey. As we raise our children, the joys and the hardships are avenues used to shift our eyes to Christ. Where he is, there are pleasures forevermore.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11 ESV)
When our “Dee” (doggie) did something funny yesterday, my sweet Theo and I found ourselves caught in a giggle storm. With pure tearful joy, I sighed, “Thank you, Lord, for this gift.”