I love you and you are mine
By Daniela Matic
I love you and you are mine. As these words were sung at my baby boy’s baptism my eyes filled with tears. I looked at my little family and it was a surreal moment, I couldn’t believe that I was a wife and now mother. I was overcome with love for Tommy and reflected that if God loved me as much as I loved my son, He must love me enormously.
I am aware that motherhood is a gift. It was something that I had hoped for, but as I entered my thirties I was not sure would happen. I spent my twenties studying, teaching, working in the youth sector and taking on the role of a young carer. I found my work and family commitments all consuming but immensely rewarding. Yet something was niggling; I wanted a family. Looking back, I am thankful that I followed the advice of someone close to me. In conversation one day she challenged me to not focus on a future I wanted, but rather, enjoy the opportunities that were before me. In doing that I lived a fulfilling single life, which has allowed me to embrace marriage and motherhood without any regrets.
Now, as I sit in my rocking chair feeding my beautiful boy, I am happy even though life has slowed down. I am spending more time at home than ever before. Taking on the commitments I once had seems near impossible given that a successful trip to the supermarket seems like a massive achievement! This gratitude has kept me grounded over the past four months, especially during the more difficult moments (no one can quite prepare you for a baby with colic!). I find myself feeling frequently vulnerable but I don’t mind, as I know I’m blessed with a beautiful supportive husband. I am learning the value of depending on those around me. I am learning the importance of being patient with myself and not comparing my experience of motherhood with any one else’s.
I am adjusting to my new role of being a mother and am still figuring out how it will work in with other aspects of my life. I suspect it will take some time. Due to sheer exhaustion, I find it difficult to connect with God on some days. I’m learning to invite God into the ordinary moments, while singing to my baby at 3am or saying a quiet prayer at the beginning of a feed.
Since Tommy’s baptism I have reflected that God’s love for all new mothers is not unlike the love that we have for our children. Through the challenging and joyful times God loves us in a capacity that is beyond our understanding. God loves us with the tenderness of a mother as she delights in her newborn child.
Daniela’s tips for new Mums
1. Avoid comparing yourself to other mothers
2. Have a laugh at your parenting fails
3. Find new ways to spend quality time with your spouse
4. Enlist help and rest when you can
5. Trust your motherly instincts (& Google if necessary!)