The hours and days following the birth of my son, Jack, are a haze to me. I don’t remember anything besides working hard to get him to latch on to my breast every two to three hours which consisted of his crying, followed by my crying, and eventually a successful feed. I was functioning off of less than a couple of hours of sleep at a time and without the help of my husband and mom I think I would have lost it.
My main objective: Survival.
I found I struggled relating to people. My relationship with my husband Tim was awkward. Even a simple kiss, which was once the most natural thing in the world, felt strange to me. I snapped at my mom and the other family members who came to help. And my son was a stranger to me who I apparently tortured each feeding. I didn’t bond with Jack until he was nearly two months old.
My relationship with God? Nonexistent.
I found that the stuff I normally talked to God about suddenly didn’t relate to my life with a baby. God didn’t offer much input on breastfeeding or on if a circumcision was healing. He didn’t tell me why Jack’s poop suddenly turned green or how to make it yellow again. And I was just too tired to try to think about anything else.
Eventually things got better. Tim and I reconnected. I fell in love with my son. And instead of being annoyed with them I longed to live closer to the rest of my family. But God still did not seem relevant, so I didn’t seek Him.
My “bible” became all of the different breastfeeding and baby sleep books I could get my hands on. I was obsessed with caring for Jack. It was all I could think or talk about. Because leaving the house was a hassle and I was often very tired, I didn’t go to church more than a couple of times the first two months.
My god was no longer My God, but my baby. A person I obsessed over and loved more than I ever imagined possible. Someone I would die for in a second.
I haven’t worshipped God like that in a long time.
Months ago, God gave me the desire to write reflections or devotions for new moms in order to encourage them during the first months/year of motherhood which has been the hardest transition in my own life. I want The Toothless Grin to be a place where we not only laugh about the ridiculous and lament the struggles, but a place where we can explore who God is and what He wants to communicate to us, the mommies of the world. So from here on out it is my goal to post something each week (as I am able) exploring a mother’s relationship with her God.
I am excited and nervous to start off in this new direction and I hope you accompany me on this journey. Please, let me know what works and what doesn’t. Tell me when you agree and when you think I’m off my rocker! I need all of your feedback to know if I’m on track. This is for you moms after all. My experience is just one of many so I need your help.
I hope to hear from you!