10 Lies vs Truths of Becoming a Mother
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” – John 10:10
Looking back on all the joy-stealing lies I swallowed when I was pregnant, I am amazed by the sheer onslaught that discouraged me and stole my peace. My actual experience has been that, one by one, God has proven the enemy wrong, and conquered every “what if” worry and concern of mine.
Lie 1: You won’t get any sleep. You will be so tired that you won’t be able to function, let alone enjoy your new baby.
The truth: Yes, Teague, like any newborn, was awake at all hours the first few weeks and months, and have been sleep-deprived. But, on Mother’s Day, Teague gave me the greatest gift—6 straight hours of sleep in his own bassinet. And ever since, he has increased in his sleeping skills. I now make an effort to go to bed within an hour or two of putting Teague down for the night, so I am actually getting more sleep (7-10 hours) at night than before I had a child!
Lie 2: You and your husband will be so sleep-deprived and stressed that you won’t be kind to each other. You will resent each other, and your marriage will suffer.
The truth: Yes, navigating the new roles of parents together has been hard. Nick and I do have disagreements. We have gone to bed angry. We have each felt like we were doing more. But, our relationship isn’t stagnant: We are growing into our new roles of mom/dad, husband/wife. We recognize that love is a verb, and we are going to keep choosing to love each other. I’m thankful that God loves me even when I am selfish, so I have his forgiveness as an example. We can always start anew.
Lie 3: Your body will change, and you won’t like it. You will be heavy. You will have stretch marks, and you won’t be able to lose the baby weight.
The truth: Yes, my body has changed, and I am different. But I love it. This is a powerful, amazing body that carried and is now nursing a baby! How incredible that God made me able to do all those things. Everyone’s story is different, but within a week of giving birth I was within reach of my pre-pregnancy weight, and now I am 10-11 pounds below it.
Those numbers make me feel good about myself, but I try to balance that with the knowledge and truth that my worth isn’t tied to a number on a scale. I think breast-feeding, running every morning with Teague in his stroller and the physical demands of keeping up with my baby have helped me stay fit.
Lie 4: Your husband will find you undesirable (see above).
The truth: So not true. You can ask Nick about this one.
Lie 5: You won’t know what to do with a baby. You don’t know enough to be a good mom. You aren’t qualified to be any child’s mother. This baby deserves better.
The truth: Yes, Teague deserves the best, but it turns out God handpicked me to be Teague’s mom. I don’t have any prior knowledge about children or a degree in education or early childhood development, but I do have a God that will give me the wisdom I need, just for that day, to be the best parent to Teague. I will never be a baby expert. However, I am an authority when it comes to raising this particular baby.
Lie 6: You won’t have time to do anything you enjoy.
The truth: I am writing now while the baby sleeps. We go on 4-5 runs together a week. There have been a few things I have given up, like drinking wine or watching shows. But I don’t really miss those things. Becoming a parent has helped me isolate what is really important to me, allowing me to spend my time on the things that matter most. I am so grateful for the people in my life, like my husband, grandparents, and neighbors who will help me with Teague, so I can still have a break or do the things I enjoy.
Lie 7: You will lose your identity.
The truth: Yes, my identity has changed because I am now also a mom. I am doing some of the same things that I did pre-baby and some new things too. And while originally I envisioned working two days a week, I actually only work 4-5 hours a week on fewer but more impactful things. I also volunteer for projects close to my heart. Recently, I resumed a Tuesday night ladies Bible study I used to attend. I like the personal growth of a new identity.
Lie 8: Breastfeeding will be difficult and painful, and you won’t be able to do it. Besides, you have weird hang ups about your boobs anyway. You will fail.
The truth: Yes, breastfeeding did hurt the first week or two, and I was having issues. But I asked for help and found a wonderful lactation consultant. She was an amazing turning point for. Yes, it takes some time to get used to breast-feeding, but now I love encouraging other new moms, too.
Lie 9: You will be so worried and anxious about everything, that you won’t be able to parent your child well. Your stomach will churn and be tight and uncomfortable as each new worry comes to mind.
The truth: During pregnancy, whenever I would get nervous, my stomach would start churning and turning in knots. But now, I really haven’t been plagued by this nearly as much as I thought. I am simply too busy, and I think that God has given me the confidence I need to tell the enemy to stuff it!
Lie 10: You may not like being a mom, this is a permanent decision. What will you do if you dislike your new life?
The truth: I absolutely love being a mom. Honestly, this is one of the sweetest and funnest seasons of my whole life. I never thought that I would love being a mom this much, but it is absolutely the best. Believe all the well-meaning people when they tell you that.Teague is the greatest blessing in my life.
I am sure there will be more lies scattered on this path of motherhood. But one thing is eternally true: When I turn to God’s Word, his Truth will turn each one on its head. To help me along the way, I have made an effort to memorize this passage:
“Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long” (Psalm 25: 4-5).
Now, each day I can ask God for the strength, grace, wisdom, and patience to parent Teague (just for that day), all while counting my many, many blessings!
Jamie Alter is Graham Blanchard’s New Mama-in-Residence who shares her insights and lessons learned on the roller-coaster new parenting journey. She is the Director of Brand Development at Alter Endeavors, a digital marketing firm.