There was a time when I claimed outright that I would be a “chill mom” whenever the time came.
I was a teenager, and I had arrived home a little too late. Shortly after walking in the door, my mom told me how worried she had been and about the negative scenarios she had considered before I returned.
Her reaction annoyed me because I couldn’t understand why her mind went straight to worry. Of course I wasn’t dead in a ditch. Of course I was safe. Of course sending a message just slipped my mind. And what was the big deal anyway?
I even remember asking something like, “Is this something that happens to all moms? Does your brain flip a switch and start worrying full-force? Am I going to worry like this someday?”
Looking back, I’m not sure how or even if she responded. Probably because I wasn’t asking to hear an answer. Rather, I had already made up my mind: I would not be one of those moms who worries.
It’s sort of humorous that I thought this—it’s not like I’m a stranger to anxiety. It’s an aspect of my life that God is continually refining and helping me conquer.
Sure enough, my transition into motherhood came with a new batch of concerns.
I won’t list them all because I don’t want to add to the burden of any new moms reading this. If you’re anything like me, you have no problem imagining scenarios or holding onto stories of what happened to that one baby that you heard about from a friend of a friend.
There are plenty. The world becomes so, so beautiful when your little one arrives, and it also seems to get bigger and scarier when you’re looking at it through their eyes.
I’m in the thick of this myself and have only been at this a couple of months. I definitely do not have all of the answers. I’m here just to come alongside anyone else who thought they would be more relaxed and at ease in their mothering role. It’s hard to be the “chill mom,” but I think that, armed with truth, we can be.
Here’s what I’m preaching to you and to myself:
Sweet momma, I know that the big worries moved in alongside some enormous love. Your whole life has changed in an instant. And now you can’t bear the thought of something happening to your precious gift.
I know that worrying feels like taking action.
“I can’t relax. If I do, what might happen in the meantime?”
And this is where we have to stop that thinking in its tracks. We are giving ourselves way too much power and putting on some serious pressure.
Sure, we’re spending hours feeding and diapering and rocking and burping and soothing and researching and adjusting. We have a role to play that is God-given. We get to participate in discipling and caring for the eternal soul He has entrusted to us. It is a weighty job that requires attention and intentionality.
But while the whole family sleeps, God is awake and watching that baby.
While you’re driving and can’t see their little face in the mirror you strapped to the headrest, God sees exactly what is going on.
While they’re in someone else’s care and you wonder if they’re being watched closely enough, God has them under His most watchful eye.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Psalm 139:2-3 (ESV)
“Acquainted with all my ways.”
When I think of Psalm 139, the verses in the middle are the ones that come most readily to mind. This might be true for you, too.
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
Psalm 139:13-14 (ESV)
These are beautiful verses detailing God’s hand in creating each person. They are perfect for sharing at a baby shower as an encouragement for the soon-to-be mom.
They make me think about my pregnancy. During its entirety, I was amazed at just how little I was actually contributing to the development of my child. I experienced symptoms and changes in my body, sure, but I wasn’t doing any of the growing or the forming. It was a surreal experience to watch new life come to be and get to participate, but I ultimately just observed and enjoyed.
This is where we learn to chill out, dear one.
Because once pregnancy is over and the baby arrives in our arms, we get to enjoy them in the same way.
God is still ultimately in control and intimately acquainted with all of their ways.
We are still just participants who get to worship Him while loving our babe the best we can.
When we let God be God and leave all of the control and power in His hands, we can experience so much freedom in motherhood. We can let ourselves just be mom.
I pray you run with this role. And when you’re tempted to start carrying more than you were meant to, I pray that you take a minute and remember Who is taking the best care of your babe. And once you’ve realigned your heart, I pray that you are able to starting enjoying rather than worrying.
Just mom, not mom-trying-to-be-God, is what you were made for. And it is exactly what your little one needs.