“O Victoria, you’re such a natural,” an onlooker cooed as I scooped Carson into my arms.
While I appreciated the complement, I had to disagree.
Motherhood doesn’t come naturally to me. At. All.
Dragging myself out of bed at all hours of the night to nurse a waking child, not natural. Keeping calm with a grumpy-and-we-can’t-figure-out-why baby, not natural. Juggling a kid and groceries and keys at the checkout lane, not natural Cheerfully giving up my needs and desires to attend those of my daughter, not natural. Stopping my life to raise someone else’s, not natural.
I’m no natural mother.
Selfishness, self-righteousness, anger, envy, greed – now those things come very naturally. Call it sin, if I face the ugly truth. Paul’s cry is my own, “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” (Romans 7:15)
To be honest with you I was pretty proud of my natural labor and birth. I felt as if I’d climbed Everest, run a marathon, and won the Nobel Peace Prize all in one day. Little did I know that labor doesn’t stop in the delivery room. Turns out I’d be laboring every day after.
The past eight months have been full of the highest highs and lowest lows of my life. Well meaning friends have softly hinted that I should consider if I suffer from postpartum depression. I was routinely tested at our midwife’s and pediatrician’s offices and passed. (Or would you say I failed the test, as in I didn’t have PPD?) Though I did self-diagnosed via WebMd, I also self-diagnosed early onset menopause – so take that for what it’s worth.
Y’all, I think motherhood is just hard. It’s a wonderful, exhilarating, painful, terrifying, awe-inspiring, discouraging, carefree, burdened, major roller coaster. Sometimes you have to throw your hands up and scream a little to make it through.
Motherhood does not come naturally. At least not for me.
I need far more “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, [and] self-control” than I can possibly manufacture myself. (Galatians 5:22-23)
Only the Lord can make a natural mama.
And slowly but surely, He’s making one out of me.