Maternity Archive

Mommy Mondays: Practical wisdom for those first few crazy weeks!

If you are reading this and you have cried more than 3 times in the past 24 hours, you smell like a mixture of a boys locker room and sour milk, you are not sure what day of the week it is, you havn’t worn a bra (let alone makeup) in at least a week and you almost always hear crying in your head but can’t tell if it is the baby or just your imagination…then you might be a new mom.  If this is you sweet sister, stop, take a deep breath, give yourself a little hug and remind yourself that it won’t be like this forever.

I promise.

Being a mom is hard. Period.  Being a first time mom of a newborn is pretty much as hard as it gets.  I’m not talking about those first few days while you are still soaring along on pure adrenalin.  I’m talking about that second and third week when you are exhausted and depleted emotionally and physically  and your body and hormones are going crazy and all of a sudden you feel totally inadequate to do this mothering thing.

Take heart.  You CAN do this.  It will NOT always be this hard.  Like your new baby rests in your provision, God is telling you to rest in HIS provision for both you and this little one.  Here are some very practical pieces of advice and verses to meditate on that I shared at a recent baby shower for a sweet friend (pictured above) who is in the midst of those first few difficult months as a first time mom to sweet little baby Zeke.

Approaching baby’s birth:


~ Do not be anxious – Phil 4:6 (about the delivery/transition/c-section), instead PRAY! Cast every care and concern onto Him. He loves you so much! 
~ Keep a big picture perspective – Col 3:2  At the end of the day what matters is not HOW the baby came into the world but that a healthy baby was born!
~ You CAN do it with Christ – Phil 4:13 (He has made you for this very purpose and will enable you to do whatever he has for you!)

 

After baby arrives:

~ Expect to become a living sacrifice for this new life. – Romans 12:1  As a mom, your life literally becomes a living sacrifice.  It is a difficult and beautiful and sanctifying thing.

~ Again, this season is HARD but will NOT last forever. No bible reference here…just speaking from experience! :)

~ In every decision you face, keep a big picture perspectiveCol 3:2  You will face many decisions that, at the time, feel like life or death issues – breastfeeding, immunizations, schedules…What truly matters is that you provide a safe, loving, gospel centered environment for this little one.  NOT how they were fed or diapered! Take a deep breath.  Trust your gut and try not to assign to much importance to the “small” stuff.

~ Keep prioritizing your husband over baby to stay on the same team. – Gen 2:24 In the midst of the constant urgent needs of baby, the important needs of your husband and the marriage can quickly be pushed to the side. Make an effort from the beginning to take time to still pour into your marriage and the partner that God has given you.  You become “one” with your husband…not your children. haha.  Even if it means just going for a walk together to listen to how his day went.  Try to make time to still be his wife and friend as your first priority.  This will bless you and serve your marriage and family well if you get these priorities in order early.

~ Stay involved with your biblical communityHebrews 10:25 These are difficult and exhausting times and many new moms feel isolated and alone.  Try not to isolate yourself from a biblical community of other women and mothers.  They will prove invaluable emotional and spiritual nourishment to refresh your soul and remind you that this is normal and that you are doing a great job!  You will need some kind of nourishment from God’s word and that kind of free time will be hard to find. Making the difficult effort to get out the door to be in community with your church will be worth it!

~ Share your burdensGal 6:2, Prov 27:9 – We have all been there!  You are not going crazy!  Let people in on what you are going through and let them love on and help you!

~ Learn from othersTitus 2:4 – Us mom like to try to convince ourselves and others (moms, mother in laws, friends) that we have it all together.  Don’t! Ask for help.  Learn from others who have done this before! Being a mom is hard!  You need biblical perspective and practical biblical wisdom!

~ Do not feel the need to “satisfy” everyone with your parenting style.  God will give you the wisdom to make decisions for your family if you ask Him. - James 1:5, 2 Peter 1:3 –  You will get all kinds of unsolicited advice, opinions etc. Some will be helpful, some will be downright hurtful.  Take what you think will work best for you and YOUR family.  Pray through your decisions and don’t be afraid to say,” I’ve decided to do things differently!” God gives us the grace to make certain parenting style decisions for ourselves and he equips you through Him and his word to have the wisdom and discretion you need to be an amazing mom who glorifies God!

 

Deep breath in.  Make yourself a cup of tea.  Sit outside in the sun for a minute while baby sleeps. Listen to some worship music to refresh your heart.  You can do this sweet sister.  God chose YOU to be this little one’s mom.  Not anyone else.  And the profound thing is that by giving you this little one with many needs, He will show you how he cares for your needs and loves you and will make you into an even more beautiful woman of God through this journey.

 

From one tired mom to another.

 

 

This Little Love.

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes babies!!!!!  There is just something really beautiful about preparing for your first child together.  It is a pivotal moment in the relationship when you make the decision that it will no longer be just about you two and you begin to prepare your hearts for the most important act of selflessness you will ever be a part of; parenting.  I have been so blessed to get to know Johanna as a friend. Our paths were meant to cross in more ways then we realized when she first contacted me a few months ago to do her pregnancy and newborn shoots.  She has a beautiful heart for children already and I don’t think she even fully realizes how God is going to expand her capacity for love all the while doing a great and unexpected work in her own heart.  Isn’t that the truth about being a mom though?  There is an unexpected refining that takes place when you become a mother.  It is a constant and often-painful dying to yourself but an even more beautiful blossoming as a daughter of God.  As a mother, God works in you to be both as strong as an army and, at the same time, weaker then you ever wanted to admit.  Inside her belly is not only a growing life but a new perspective, a new marriage, a new future, a new and beautiful helplessness that will, with God’s grace, not only grow their relationship with each other to a new and deeper love but it will grow them both as believers as they are daily-dependent on the One who gives life. Johanna and Chris I cannot wait to meet (and photograph!) this little love of yours!

Just had to share!
My sweet friend Ashlee Proffitt has just launched a PRECIOUS line of beautiful and meaningful children’s room art and is doing a fabulous giveaway this weekend! These art pieces are just so amazing that I had to share them here! I cannot wait to put Chloe and Vera’s up in their room!! Get one for your own child’s room or give a set as a gift for a mommy of little ones in your life!  To see the full line of this adorable artwork you can stop by her Etsy shop. To enter her contest for your chance to win a free art piece check out her full blog post here!!! (Contest details are at the bottom of her post!)  Here are just a few teasers! Now go win one for yourself!!!!

The home stretch!

I cannot believe that I only have about 10 more weeks until we get to meet sweet little Vera and welcome her into our family!!  For some reason this pregnancy has just flown by at breathtaking pace.  I think because I was so sick during the first trimester that those first few months were just a blur of mixed emotions.  It is hard to be excited about and feel connected to something that you can’t feel or see and yet is causing you to have to pull over in your car because you cant keep your breakfast/lunch/dinner/water down. ugh.  I really was completely mentally and physically MIA as a wife, mom and friend those first few months so when I finally got into my second trimester I was just so happy to be feeling like myself (and like a normal human being again!) that I went full speed ahead trying to make up for lost time!  And then I blinked and the second trimester was over and now I am moving into what Graham calls the “endurance phase” of pregnancy. haha. Your body literally feels out of control/taken over by an alien (albeit a very cute one) and you start to become glad that you can’t see past your belly b/c honestly you dont really want to be reminded of what is going on with the bottom half. haha.  All of that to say that I am BEYOND excited to bring our second daughter into the world and I feel enormously blessed and excited with every little kick in my belly.

Last weekend we overhauled Chloe’s room and fortunately she was SO excited with the changes – literally spinning around singing “thank you, thank you, thank you!!!”  (pictures of the room transformation to come!) She loves that Vera has a crib in there now and will be sleeping with her. hehe.  I think making progress on the girls room has been as good for her as it has been for me.  It is all becoming more real and I just feel so blessed that God is giving us another girl – a sister and “forever friend” (as we say to Chloe).

I am trying to transition mentally into this next season of my life as well.  Re-prioritizing, coming to terms with how things are going to have to change a bit once I have a second little one.  I might have a million blog posts that need to go up, and they just may not ever happen, and I am learning (slowly) to be ok with that and not fight against this next season of my life the way I did when I had Chloe.  I lost too much time mentally when I first had her, trying to “balance” my photography work with being a mom.  Here’s the truth…you can’t “balance” it. You have to make some choices. You have to prioritize. The scale will tilt in the direction of where your heart is and I want my heart to be in my home with my husband and my girls. I don’t want to be bitter toward my mom responsibilities or even worse, my kids, because I “didn’t get enough done” in my business today.  That is an awful feeling that it has taken me awhile to learn to recognize and shift my thinking.

I will still do photography.  I will still run a business as much as God continues to give me work to do.  But I am learning to welcome the fact that the next few years of my life will look different than the last in terms of what I will “accomplish” with my work.  And I am ok with that. More than ok…blessed to know that my business is in God’s hands and that gives me freedom to be the wife and mom that I really want to be!

(Photo courtesy of my talented and beautiful friend Sarah of Sarah Sandel Photography.)

How about a little portrait special!!

I am feeling another mini-session special comin’ on!   This special offer will be good for any portrait sessions booked through the remainder of May (actual shoot date can be anytime!) and can be used for engagement sessions, children/infant, couples, maternity shoots, senior portraits…anything!!!  I will open up only ten slots for this special offer so book yours today!!!!

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