I remember being a girl – I played house and longed for the day when I would join the noble ranks of motherhood. I envisioned being the perfect wife and mom.
At 23, I married the love of my life. Two years later, we were excited to announce that we were expecting. We shared the news with family, friends, co-workers and our church community.
That’s when it started.
The words spoken to crush my newfound joy over the baby growing inside.
Rather than being welcomed into motherhood with cheer I was welcomed with words that brought anxiety to my heart.
“Just wait till the baby is born and the sleepless nights come.”
“Just wait till you have two, it is such a hard adjustment.”
“Just wait till they crawl and are into everything.”
“Just wait till the terrible twos.”
“Just wait till they start school and come home with foul language.”
“Just wait till the rebellion of the teen years.”
Wait for what?
Wait for the life I have dreamed of to be more arduous than I ever expected?
Rather than pray for wisdom, embracing God’s promise of peace and strength, my heart was trained to expect the worst. The words of my mouth and the thoughts in my mind had become tainted with fear and frustration.
Unconsciously, it led me to struggle with trusting God Himself created my precious little one with His own hand and would be faithful to give strength in the process of raising this child.
Why was I doing this to myself?
The words I hear and say impact my view of motherhood, making me feel that the daily challenges of life with kids is too much for me.
These words I hear pronounce a hopelessness for the 20 years of childrearing I have in front of me—as if the only light at the end of the tunnel will only appear when my kids are grown and gone and I become an empty nester. Though the chaos brought by the invasion of a little person daunts me, I certainly don’t want to feel like I can’t enjoy these years.
I know that rather than embracing joy, I had been embracing fear. I don’t want to lose these years and the lessons that I might gain from them.
Yet what choice do I have?
I choose to reframe my words that I say to my friends and to myself. Rather than speak negatively concerning the difficulties of motherhood, I can strive to speak words of grace and confidence.
“Just wait till you get to hold your newborn baby in the silence of the night. It is so special.”
“Just wait till you have the joy of seeing them explore the world around them when they crawl.”
“Just wait till they are old enough to talk and begin to know the personality God gave them. He gave you such an awesome responsibility to train that personality in the ways of God.”
“Just wait till they start school and get excited about the things they are learning.”
“Just wait till they become teenagers and you can be proud that you have been a part of raising respectful young men and women.”
When I hear the pessimistic comments accentuating the struggles of motherhood I choose to speak these words of faith and hope to myself. I choose to reject the negative thoughts, and purposefully build confidence in the quietness of my own heart.
Naomi Fata is a wife, a work from home, homeschooling mom of three amazing children, and author of Beyond Head Knowledge: Knowing Christ Who Satisfies Our Hearts. She says she is an ordinary person who has found victory in an extraordinary God. Weekly she writes about renewing our minds at Christian Resource Ministry. You can find her on Instagram Twitter, and Facebook.