“It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master”
The night after Samuel was born I remember thinking that it was absolutely absurd to expect me to ever sleep again. How could I?! I’ve been blessed with this beautiful baby that I love deeply and now you want me to sleep and not watch after him constantly?! It was absurd! (That lasted for 5 days before I realized that sleep is a very integral part of life). So, late at night while I held him in my hospital bed, staring at his sweet face, I began thinking about just how badly I wanted to do this “mom” thing right. I don’t want to make mistakes. He is too precious and perfect to make mistakes; I need to get it right – always. I have never been a perfectionist with anything in my life… quite bluntly, I just don’t care that much. But with Samuel – I care so much that it physically hurts.
On those sleepless nights I found myself researching every little thing as it pertained to Samuel (present tense still applies more than I’d like to admit), listening to my mommy gut but trying to find any article I could to back it up. To my surprise the book titled, “The Heavily Researched, Scientifically & Mathematically Proven, 100% Tested & Correct Guide to Mothering” has not yet been created. Ugh! I wanted a complete reassurance that I was choosing the best thing for Sam as it pertains to the questions of cloth diapering vs. disposable, how and when to introduce food, when and if you should sleep train, safely vaccinating or not, how to build up a child’s immune system, and many, many more. The problem is that when you begin researching these things you learn that every mom does something different and they believe whole-heartedly that what they are doing is the only right option. It’s in this moment that the enemy of comparison makes his debut. Here are just a few examples… After reading an article about a mom who has a 3 month old consistently sleeping through the night because she implemented the Ferber Method at 8 weeks with said child, I begin wondering if I am creating an environment without rules and boundaries because I haven’t yet done any sleep training and don’t know if I want to. Or, am I subjecting his gut to horrendous GI issues because I’ve decided to introduce his first foods at 5 months instead of 6? Or, am I exposing his skin to horrible chemicals by failing to live up to my cloth diapering dreams? It doesn’t end there because not only do also compare my body with other moms who are 5 months postpartum but I also start comparing Samuel’s development with the 3, 4, 5, and 6-month children around him. How are we measuring up? How do we compare to those around us? Am I doing what is best for Samuel?
This is when God gently and mercifully reminds me that He is the only one I should be comparing myself to. Because as much as awesome as my fellow mom’s are, we have all sinned and fallen short of glory; we are all imperfect and in desperate need of our Savior. He is the perfect one, the only standard to which I need to hold myself. And when I begin comparing my sweet son to other children, our Creator assures me that he designed him with intention and my trust is required. So, instead of comparing my son to others, I will surrender him to my Lord. Today and everyday I will remind my heart that, “You are enough as a mother when you act like your Redeemer, dear one. When you talk like he talked, love like he loved, forgive like he forgave, and teach like he taught.” (Jen Hatmaker, Out of the Spin Cycle)