Tuesday, 11 October 2016
Taming Your Inner Mama Bear
Lately, I have been dealing with a lot of new feelings. Aside from an overwhelming amount of pregnancy hormones coursing through my body, I have also been dealing with a lot of thoughts and realizations about motherhood and parenting.
In the past week, I have started to grow a baby belly and have had a few people notice. I have never enjoyed my belly getting larger before, but I love this, and it's quite a welcome change. Along with the visible sign of my baby's existence has come some pretty intense feelings. I have started to feel overwhelmingly protective of this little life growing inside of me. I spent a car ride with my husband, Jordan, in a near panic over the thought of needing to protect my child from being badly influenced or hurt by anyone.
What if other kids dont like my kid and they get bullied? What if my child doesn't believe in God when they grow up? What if my children become rebellious and hate me? What if other people try to undermine my authority in front of my children? What if I am no good at this whole parenting thing?
These feelings are unlike anything I have ever felt before. As a woman with an anxiety disorder, it is never too surprising when I am worried or fearful about something, but I have never felt like this before. It is almost like a feeling of fear and worry that seems completely natural and in no way influenced by a chemical imbalance or mental instability. It feels right and like I am actually made to feel this way. I am re-assured by others saying "That is just your motherly instinct kicking in" and "That's the protective mama bear inside of you", or "That's completely normal".
I believe it is normal, natural, and even healthy in some ways. The instinct to protect and nurture and shelter your child is something that God instilled into most women. But can we go too far?
Like I have said in the past, I let fear run my life for many years and only recently have found some freedom from this struggle. Because of this, I try to be very mindful of why I make the choices I make and pinpoint areas that I am letting fear hold onto me. It is very very important to me that fear does not run my parenting. So, I have been thinking about this, and I think it is never too early to start learning to be the best parent you can be. My baby won't be here for many months but I want to work through these areas of fear as much as possible beforehand.
So, what do you do when you are a mama and you are afraid? How do you tame that inner mama bear?
First, realize that nothing you have is your own, including your children. Your child belongs to God and you are only meant to steward the things God has given you, not possess, not control, steward. It is up to God what your child is meant to do and where your child is meant to go and who your child is meant to become. It is not up to you.
Second, realize and believe that as much as you love and want to keep your child safe, I promise you that it does not compare with the love and concern that our God has for our children. We are given a responsibility as parents to raise our children in God's ways but we do not have to do it alone or on our own strength. God is in control. God is in control. And He wants to see you succeed and He wants to see your children living in His grace and freedom.
And Last, but not least, surrender your child's life into God's hands and trust Him. Let go. How many of you know that whenever you try to take situations into your own hands, instead of trusting God, it never turns out well. This is no different with parenting. He is really our only hope.
Now, my first child isnt even born yet, so I am not really speaking from experience, but I believe this truth and I plan to hold onto it as I bring children into this world.
I will not live in fear, and neither should you! Let's surrender our children into the hands of the one who created and gave them to us in the first place.