As we prepare to bring our little girl into this world and get ever closer to her expected due date, I’ve found myself thinking and questioning more and more, “Am I really ready to be a parent?” Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t be more excited for our little family to be growing and to see the little bundle of joy that has been leaping around inside of me (literally) the last 7 months. However, I can’t help but think about this question.
My husband and I knew we wanted to wait a few years after we got married before trying to have kids, and we did just that. During that period we enjoyed time just the two of us, lived in three different states, and made some career adjustments. And, something we always said was “I just want to be ready when we start our family.” I’ve always seen parenting as a very selfless act, one in which you give up or at least put aside your needs and wants for those of your child.
When we first got married, I knew I wasn’t ready to do that. I had spent our entire dating relationship and engagement anywhere from 6 to 17 hours away from the man I loved. And, I just wanted to enjoy time getting to know him in our first years of marriage.
We began talking about our desire to start a family, and I began thinking, “Yes, I am ready. I know it takes being selfless to raise a child, but I’m ready to do that.”
Being pregnant over the last 7 months, though, I’ve discovered how wrong I was…I’ve worried over what this life stage has done to my body, wondering if I’ll ever look or feel like I did before carrying this precious little one in my womb. I’ve fought tiredness and wished I just had my energy back so I could do the things I wanted to do. I’ve complained about some of the less than glamorous pregnancy symptoms, like nosebleeds, nasal congestion, and more. I’ve cried over the different health diagnoses I’ve received throughout this pregnancy and lost rest and peace of mind over the stress of it. With each of these things, I’ve become me more and more aware of how “not ready” I am.
But, you know what I’ve also come to accept? I’ll never be totally ready and that’s okay. You see, the truth is, I’m not perfect, and I never will be. But, I also don’t have to be. 2 Corinthians 12:9 reminds me that Christ says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness…”
While I will never be totally “ready” for this parenting thing, I don’t have to be because I have God’s grace on my side. By realizing my weakness, I give way to His power. And, I can only hope that I can instill an understanding of God’s grace in my precious baby girl by accepting it myself each time I fall short. I want her to know that I’m not perfect and never will be, but that God always will be. I will forget things and let her down, but God never will.
So, that’s right. I’ll never really be “ready” to be a parent, but I really don’t have to be. And, that’s a realization that I am okay with.