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New Mama Guide

Amy Kaufman

I still remember the exact feeling I had when I looked down to read “Pregnant” on the pregnancy test I had just taken.

I was excited, yes, but those feelings quickly turned into absolute fear. My husband and I had been trying for a few months so it wasn’t a total unexpected surprise, yet this was my first time being pregnant so the fear of the unknown and what was about to happen in the coming months completely terrified me. I prayed every day single day for a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby. I have always known that motherhood was my calling and I thanked God every day that my husband and I were able to get pregnant on our own. At the time we didn’t have any other children, so other than going to work every day, I had all the time in the world to pray. And do anything else I so desired for that matter. Seriously, what did I do with all my time before I had a baby?

I was blessed with a relatively easy pregnancy and even more blessed with a healthy and beautiful baby boy. We couldn’t wait to take him home and start our new life as a family of three! The coming months, however, proved to be some of the most challenging months both mentally and physically that I have been through. My son was a very fussy baby for the first seven months of his life. He cried almost the entire day and night regardless of what I did, what my husband did, what grandma and grandpa did. Nothing made him happy. We had many tests done and found out he was in fact a healthy baby. So why so much crying?! Why so little sleeping?!

I firmly believe that God gives you exactly the baby you are meant to have. He handpicked YOU to be your child’s mother. When I heard that sentence for the first time, it made me emotional. I’ll say it again. God handpicked YOU to be your child’s mother. What an amazing feeling! But at the same time, God, uh, just wondering, why did you pick the cranky one to give to me? Don’t get me wrong, I love my son with every ounce of who I am, but dang, those were some long, tired, lonely, hard months!

I’ve talked about this before but I think it’s worth noting again. I believe God gives us exactly what we need. In the first seven months of my son’s life, I was forced to really dig deep inside of me to find the strength to run on 2 hours of sleep each night for months and months. I was forced to be selfless. I was forced to give 100 percent of myself when I thought I had 0 left to give. I had no choice but to ask God for help, strength, and guidance on every decision I made for my son. I couldn’t do it alone.

While I talked to God throughout the day, I would hardly consider it praying. I went from having no kids and all the time in the world to pray, go to church, volunteer, and help others in various ways, to not even making it to church for three months straight because I didn’t want to leave a crying baby with anyone for that long. I also didn’t want to bring a crying baby to church with me. My nighttime prayers quickly went out the door when I fell asleep the second my baby fell asleep for the night. There was no getting up a few minutes early to read a daily devotional when I had already been up the entire night. I did not have the energy to give God my time like I had before.

And that was hard for me. I wanted to keep my relationship with God alive but I felt like I had no time in the world to give Him. It wasn’t until I read an article by Blessed Is She that talked about spiritual advice for a first time mom, that I really started to realize how every little act you do can be an opportunity for prayer. The article explained that “every small act, when done in love, can be a form of worship to the Father.” Every late night feeding. Every diaper change. Every time you give up a night out with your friends to stay with a sick baby. Every time you wash another bottle, do another load of laundry, have another sleepless night. They can all be forms of prayer if you offer each task up to the Lord.

You might not make it to church as often as you’d like, or say as many prayers as you should, but if you’re working your butt off to be the best mom that you can be, then God recognizes your efforts. If God chose you to be a mom and you’re patient and loving to the baby He gave you, then you did what was asked of you during this season of life.

My son is now almost ten months old and is one of the happiest babies I know. We bring him to church with us every Sunday. I am back to my normal prayer routine and it’s much easier to find the time that I once had now that he isn’t a newborn. If you are going through the newborn stage, please be kind to yourself. Stop trying to be a perfect mom and realize that the only perfect ones out there are the ones who have accepted they aren’t perfect. This stage too will pass and you’ll be wishing these days back. Trust me when I say that God is proud of you regardless of the negative comments you tell yourself to convince you otherwise.

Scripture to lean on, darlin ❥

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. –Philippians 4:8

God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. –Psalm 46:5

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” –Matthew 19:14

And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water whose waters do not fail. –Isaiah 58:11

Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. –Psalm 62:8

Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. –Proverbs 31

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. –Galatians 6:9

Amy, pictured above, is the creator of 'Look Ma, No Sleep!' She's a first time mama to her sweet boy Finn, and a wife to her amazing husband Ben.