I don’t have any kids. I’m not pregnant and, despite what some people suggest, we’re not planning them in the very near future. Even so, having kids is a very real possibility within the next few years. I find my thoughts turning more and more to this possibility. How many kids will we have? Will they be boys or girls? What will they be like? It’s incredibly exciting but it’s also terribly scary.
Nearly every mum I’ve spoken to has said something along the same lines: Motherhood is the best thing and the hardest thing you’ll ever do. In the blogs I’ve recently been reading, I’ve also come across a number of posts that touch on the same truth. The best and the hardest. At the same time.
I’ll be honest, I’m struggling to get my head around that. It seems as if for the moment, I can only focus on one at a time. I’ll think about how amazing motherhood will be. I think about the joy those little lives will bring, and I feel an overwhelming desire to be a parent soon. Other times, I think about how hard it will be. The constant need to be selfless, the never-ending demands, the huge responsibility. These little lives will be completely dependent on me, and it’s up to me not only to keep them alive and happy but also to train them up in the faith and make sure they grow up to be well-rounded, moral, productive citizens. Thinking of it this way, I wonder if I’m even up to the task.
Holding the two of those at the same time – the best and the hardest – I think that’s something I’ll only really understand when I finally do meet my babies. The love that I’ll feel for them, I’m certain that nothing will prepare me for how intense it will be. Maybe it’s that love that makes the hardship, the selfless acts, the struggles all worth it.
And about being up to the task. I’m sure I won’t be – not to be a perfect mother, anyway. But I remind myself that it’s not just up to me. I have a husband, who I know will be such a wonderful father – gentle, playful and strong. And more than that, on those days when both of us are overwhelmed, at the end of our strength and unsure of what to do, we have our own Heavenly Father. Who gives us strength when we have nothing left to give, who shows us grace when we make mistakes, who makes beauty out of the mess and works all things for good for those who love him.
I’m still wrapping my head around motherhood. I don’t think I’ll ever be fully prepared for it, although I feel myself getting closer and closer to being ready. Maybe I’ll always be wrapping my head around it – even after I meet my babies. For the moment though, I’m waiting in the one who gives us strength for those best and hardest things he calls us to do.