“I don’t know how I’m going to do this every day…especially when you go home!”
I was on day two of being home from the hospital with my newborn daughter. She was in the arms of one of my sisters, and they were watching T.V. while I sat down at the kitchen table with my mom, who was listening to all of my woes.
Motherhood hit me like a truck. I was prepared for the physical aspect of being a mother; I was prepared to lose sleep and to let my body heal from the trauma of having a baby. But I was not prepared for the onslaught of emotions that I felt after my daughter was born. I couldn’t believe how overwhelming something as simple as feeding my child could be. But the thing that possibly made me even more emotional than becoming a new mother was the fact that eventually my own mother, who had come up to help me after the birth of my daughter, would have to go back home and my husband and I would be on our own. My mother knew just what to do with my daughter, and she was preparing all of our meals and helping us constantly with cleaning and laundry. What on earth would I do without her when she left?
As I sat at my kitchen table, crying, my mom said something that I will never forget. She said: “Well honey, at some point you just have to say: ‘I surrender to motherhood.’ You give in to the chaos and allow yourself to just survive.”
Ever since she said these words to me, I have not been able to get them out of my mind. They are some of the strongest words she has ever said to me, and they got me through the first week of being a mom. Every time I felt overwhelmed, I thought to myself: “I surrender to motherhood” and I would repeat it over and over again in my head. This concept of choosing to surrender to motherhood each day has fascinated me. We make a lot of choices in a day. Some are simple, like what to have for breakfast. But each day we make a choice to be happy or sad, to be productive or lazy, and surrendering to motherhood works the same way. It is a daily choice, and one that takes great effort to make.
Being a brand new mom, especially during the first few weeks, is all about survival. It is about taking care of your new little one and yourself, and it involves a lot of staying inside and doing the same things on repeat all day and all night. But you have to surrender to it. You have to accept that this is how it will be for a while, but not forever. You have to submit to a schedule run by a baby and you have to be okay with not getting everything you want done all the time.
I am convinced that mothers are the strongest human beings on the planet. From the moment you become pregnant, you begin to sacrifice for your child. Motherhood is a very sacred calling. We as mothers are doing God’s most important work, and by remembering that day by day, by remembering to surrender to motherhood each day, we can make the journey more enjoyable.
We go through so much during motherhood at every stage, and the fact that we make it to the end of the day each day can sometimes feel like a miracle. Having a good support system can certainly help, but at the end of the day, it is our daily surrender to this lifestyle that makes us strong and makes us who we are: mothers. So, surrender to the chaos. Surrender to the constant feeding, burping, and changing. Surrender to the screaming toddler who won’t stop throwing a temper tantrum. Surrender to the preteen who keeps complaining about every little thing. Surrender to the teenager who just seems to drive you up the wall. Surrender to the chaos. Surrender to motherhood.