Today marks 4 months with our sweet little boy, Ethan. Driving Ethan home from his check-up today, I was thinking back to how Nick and I must have led such boring lives before having a baby. Today, every single moment is consumed with Ethan’s well-being, how he sleeps, eats, and poops (gross, but true). As his momma, I am thrilled to have a very, very happy baby who sleeps well, eats well, poops well, and loves both me and his papa. God has certainly been good to us! Looking back though, I had two big fears when I was pregnant. One, I would feel like I was parenting alone for the first little while, since I would be responsible for feeding and nourishing Ethan. Two, entering into the unknown of postpartum depression.
The idea of parenting alone was daunting. This fear was and is absolutely ridiculous though! I have been blessed with such a hands on husband. Because of Nick’s patience (y’all, this man is a saint when it comes to dealing with me) and willingness to step up to share the new born baby burden, life is making its way into a very doable routine. He stepped up from day one to change diapers day and night. He still gets up early with Ethan so I can sleep in. We have even been working on trading off work out times. I cannot rave enough about how fantastic of a father and how supportive of a husband Nick is! He knows what is important to me because of our constant communication. Ladies, society has dumbed down men so much that we think we need to lead and be in charge. Not the case. Give your husband back the reigns in your marriage and house. He is the leader. You are the helpmate who comes along side him and together you will take on life. Ephesians 5: 21-33 talks about just this topic! Marriage and family is all about balance and the order is just as important too. In order to operate as a single unit, husbands and wives must have an individual relationship with Jesus first. The fruit of a relationship with Jesus will then overflow into marriage, which will then pour into raising children together, and then finally, work and career fall in line. God has called us to love Him first and then people. It’s what the greatest commandment is all about! (Matthew 22:37-40) Nick and I are continuously tested in the area of putting our marriage above our baby. It is hard right now because Ethan depends so much on me. We are certainly not perfect, but without God’s grace and correction, we wouldn’t even be able to give it a shot.
Postpartum depression is legit. I surely thought that at Ethan’s 3 month mark, I would mentally be in a good spot. Truth be told, each day still has it’s challenges. These challenges stem from a long time struggle with perfectionism. Not wanting to let anyone down. Always making sure if I wasn’t the best, I was getting better. The enemy puts his effort into manipulating my thoughts and when I give into the manipulation I strive for the unrealistic benchmark of perfection. It takes its toll. During my sophomore year of college, my Pastor encouraged me to turn my drive for perfection over to the Lord. Thankfully, the Lord shows Himself strong in this area and when I surrender, He gives me rest. (Matthew 11:28-30) You parents out there know kids can bring out the best, the worst, and bring back what you thought you had already conquered. It is encouraging to me that God can and will still use me, faults and all. I love how God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. In the new testament, Saul prayed three different times for God to “remove the thorn from his side” and God told him in His ever wonderful mercy, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness…” (2 Corinthians 12:8-9) I will never be perfect. There is no amount of striving where God will love me more or love me less and because of this, I have committed to saying and believing each and every day, “This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)
Nick and I have to fight for our marriage every single day. I have to surrender daily that I am not perfect and know God is in full control. Each day is an opportunity to be thankful! “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever.” (Psalm 136:1) So, no matter what fears weigh heavily, there is someone greater who has gone before me and will always walk beside me.
*There is healing for me in writing and I hope this offers encouragement to someone else who needs it too.*
May you find rest,