Hey sweet Mama. Yeah YOU. The mama who is pregnant in a pandemic. You, the one who is wearing a mask to your maternity visits. The one who is sad that your friends and family will have to greet baby for the first time via video chat...
let me whisper some encouragement to you. And welcome you to the ROLL with the PUNCHES club of motherhood.
This mask- yeah…it's absurd my mother-in-law made me a homemade mask to wear to my OB appointment. But it's reality. Our reality. The reality of being pregnant during a pandemic.
This social distancing yellow line- yeah…it's absurd we've got to stay 6-feet away from receptionists and be reminded of the fact with a chalkboard telling us such. But it's reality. Our reality. The reality of current CDC guidelines.
This picture in itself is completely absurd. Yet, it's our reality.
I'm not going to pretend I've taken this whole mess with a lighthearted air of indifference.
Nope. I'm not that strong.
Early on I cried from fear. I had nightmares about being in the surgery room by myself-without my husband to accompany me for my fourth c-section. I've bawled that my three other children are most likely going to "meet" their baby sibling, who they already adore, via facetime or zoom. I've felt sad for the first-time moms who are missing the joy of a baby shower (and sulked a bit for myself that I'm going to be missing the revelry my friends were preparing for me to celebrate this baby- my fourth and final). And I've wondered how quarantined do I have to keep my parents so they can meet their grandchild.
Mama, it's okay to grieve for all this. We've got to feel all the feels and prepare ourselves for all the outcomes. And I know the present reality for all of us pregnant women differ all across the globe. I don't know where you are sitting in this mess...a few outbreaks...or watching deaths occur in your urban city.
But being stuck in grief or fear isn't healthy. Dwelling on the fear is not going to change the outcome.
Instead…right now...we have to roll with the punches.
One morning, as I woke up and ruminated a bit on the absurdity of our present world-wide situation, I heard God remind me, "Hey, I'm here. I'll be there for you. Whether you are in that hospital alone or with your husband."
And it changed my mindset.
Reminded me that I'm never alone.
And neither are you, sweet mama.
I rely on my faith. And for me I know that God is with us through all the absurdity.
And, boy oh boy, motherhood brings with it the utmost of absurdities, doesn't it?
Mama, this is just one of many absurdities you'll face as a parent.
After that sweet child comes from your womb you'll find yourself having multiple conversations about the color of their poop. Pretty absurd.
The days ahead you'll be deliberating on whether to take a nap or take a shower or why even bother with either because you NEVER sleep anymore and as quick as you take a shower you'll just leak more breastmilk all over your shirt.
You'll panic and wonder if you are doing it right. Is the room too hot, too cold? Are you holding baby too much, too little? Which is best…formula or breast milk? In other words, your mind will be consumed with things that once, before you had a child, you would have thought absurd.
And one day you'll wonder why you even stayed up all night worried about the type of milk your child drank when you notice they just ate a Lunchable off the floor.
As baby grows up you'll find yourself digging out a Lego from her nose, you'll have to take her to the ER because she had an accident going down the water slide at a birthday party, and you'll probably also find yourself saying such things as, "don't pee in closet" and other statements that make no sense until you have a child.
Just recently I had to answer the question, "Am I going to die if I eat a worm…because I ate one." The conversation was absurd, yet it was my reality.
You'll have big moments of absurdity, too. Some as severe and scary as the present pandemic. I'm not going to mention those in this little post, because heaven knows we have enough to consume the worry portion of our brains. But know…you'll probably face things as fearful (and probably even more so) as this present pandemic over the course of your motherhood. And at times like that…you have to be strong for your child and draw close to the Lord.
Exactly what is being required of you in the here and now of the moment.
Yes, Mama. This is a big ROLL with the PUNCHES moment for us all. I'm not trying to make light out of being pregnant in a pandemic. No...it features a harsh reality for many of you sweet ladies. But I am trying to encourage you (and preach to myself a little bit as well) that this is just one of MANY roll with the punches moments in time for us.
We have to learn to weave and take a punch in the face and continue fighting in the ring. The ring of motherhood. Where we get the everyday prize of cuddles and love from our babes.
Mama, motherhood throws a lot of jabs at us all.
Some involving Legos in the nose and some involving Covid swabs in the nose.
But most absurd.
Mama, the most important thing we can do right now is roll with it and fight back with faith over fear.
Our baby books might not be filled with baby showers and notations of "first visitors" and otherwise normal aspects of pregnancy.
But is anything about life right now, "normal?"
But this baby book…it's going to be quite the story. Historic, even. With crazy masked maternity photos and drive-by-baby showers and quarantines and references to the Tiger King.
Mama, it would be easy for us to let fear or disappointment or feeling such a lack of control overpower the love. The love we have for our child.
But don't let those negative emotions OVERpower you.
Harness POWER over the fear.
Sweet Mama, instead of dwelling in the hypotheticals or the fear of the reality try your best to dwell in the love of the one who never leaves or forsakes us. He is our ESSENTIAL through all of this. The worker that never stops.
Yes, dwell in the love of the one who has knitted this child in your womb and has utmost confidence in YOU as a mama.
Dwell too in the love you have for this little bundle of love that is already kicking in your womb.
Let that love envelop you.
And then, if you can…have a good laugh…at the absurd reality of the moment.
Put on that mask and keep ROLLING with those PUNCHES, sweet Mama. We've got this!
Better yet…God's got this.