Yes, You're Ready Enough for Motherhood
I was 31. I wanted to be a mom… someday. When I was more "ready." I had a mental checklist, my own set of pre-reqs for what it meant to be ready to be a mom—a good mom.
And I wasn't qualified.
I was waiting to be the kind of good mom who was, well, more naturally mom-like. An obvious saint. Free of any and all personal issues or flaws, because I didn't want to "mess-up" my kids. Someone wayyyy more patient. And gentle. Fine with giving up on her body, interests, talents and career to happily fulfill the needs of small, whiny overlords—with a smile. Someone who was, errr, more eagerly domestic. Always on top of housework and appointments and meals.
I was waiting to be the kind of good mom who had more savings. A Pinterest-y house in an upstanding neighborhood and a suitable family car. A perfect husband—you know, the kind with a no-risk killer job, an obsessive knack for doing and fixing things around the house before asked, automatic parenting skills, and boundless energy.
I was waiting to be the kind of good mom who had loving, supportive parents and family available—physically, emotionally, mentally—so they could be there for backup, babysitting, bonding, fun field trips, and those desperate mom-needs-help-and-a-break moments.
Nothing about becoming a mother happened according to my readiness-checklist.
And I am so freaking glad.
Our first pregnancy came unexpectedly. My body didn't cycle regularly, and we'd been told to expect fertility challenges. This falsely confirmed for me that I just wasn't cut out for the job of motherhood. We'd been advised (again) to get on hormones and fertility drugs to regulate my cycle if we were considering ever having children in the future.
A month later, we got pregnant—without doing any of that. And at the worst possible time.
My husband had been out of a job for 3 months, and it wasn't looking good. He was a brilliant, seasoned engineer and he got interview after interview, sometimes making it to the third round, but for some inexplicable reason, could never land the job. This was incredibly hard on him. My attempt at starting my own business had been an embarrassing flop (especially compared to the cush, over-paid software job I'd left to do so). We had bills and loans. We had no health insurance, no retirement, and our savings were meager and dwindling. Our families were not in positions to help.
But something—someone—was coming. And this small person had already begun to change me. I had a supernatural peace—timing, trials, thwarted checklist and all.
And somehow—I'm still not sure how—things worked themselves out. Maybe because they had to. Definitely because God is a solid backup.
Now, less than 3 years later, my superhero husband gave up engineering and started his own small brand, which he runs out of our home office. I stay home with our toddler—the last career on earth that I, or anyone who knows me, would have thought I’d accept. (I am almost starting to like it, even.) We have a house I love, health insurance, diapers, and even savings. We're both notably better people now that we're parents. Our third child is on her way (our second was a miscarriage), and we are open to as many more as God sees fit to give us.
Neither my body, nor my life, were ruined. I still have hobbies: some old, many new. I've discovered a slow, even happiness I never had before kids.
I can’t help but wonder if I would have felt "ready" enough to be a mother yet—if I hadn't been surprised by motherhood. And it makes me think: it's doing motherhood that makes us ready. Nothing other than the practice of motherhood itself can bomb away our never-ending fears and objections.
We don't need to be checklist-ready to be mothers; we are ready enough.
Ready enough to be moms—good moms, even.
Points to Ponder + Discuss:
- How does the world and society define a "good" mom?
- Are these definitions fair and accurate? Why or why not?
- What things were/are on your "I'll be a good mom when..." checklist?
- What role has grace played in helping you be a good mom?
- Ponder / discuss the following verse as it might relate to this article's topic: