Four and a half weeks ago, I gave birth to the most beautiful, wonderful little girl and the pressure to be perfect quadrupled. Everybody has an opinion about the right way to raise a baby and they are all very passionate about what they believe is the best thing for a baby. Being a new mom is vastly overwhelming, especially since you've been told that the only way a baby should EVER sleep is on their back in a bassinet or crib, but the ONLY way your baby will ACTUALLY sleep is when she's curled up on you. You begin to beat yourself up because not only can't you get your baby to sleep correctly, but you're finding it's impossible to keep up with the Super Moms that find the time (and energy) to cook and clean and do the laundry with a newborn.
Saturday I decided that we had been away from church for way too long and that the following day, we would be at church. I picked out my outfit and the outfit for our little Bean the night before and laid it all out so it would be one less thing that took up time in the morning, because one thing I've learned these past four weeks: it is IMPOSSIBLE to get anywhere on time with a newborn, and I desperately wanted to make it to church the next day. Sunday morning came, and I actually woke up on time. Everything was going smoothly until it came time to get dressed. I had picked out a skirt and shirt combination that I thought would be conducive to nursing, should Bean get hungry during the service. Unfortunately, when I went to put it on I just didn't feel comfortable in wearing it to church, leaving jeans as my only other clothing option. Now, I would just like to say, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wearing jeans to church, however, I had been raised that when Sunday came around, you got dressed up and put on your Sunday best, which in my house did not include jeans. So, I struggled. Was it better to go to church in my jeans than to not show up at all? Eventually I decided that God would just be happy that I was in church and that even though it may not have been what I wanted, that day jeans were my best and it was all I could give.
Once I finally got over my internal struggle about my clothing, it was time to dress the Bean. I had picked out a darling newborn sized dress that I was so excited for her to wear. I put it on and it didn't fit. I couldn't even get the buttons on the back to close! I was so distraught, because newborn onesies and pajamas still fit great, so I couldn't believe that this dress didn't fit. In the end, she ended up wearing a dress that was definitely a little to big, but again, I figured it was better that we were in church in jeans and clothes that were too big than not at all.
Needless to say, the stress of the morning got to me and more than once I snapped at my poor husband, who was just trying to help. I was just so frustrated feeling like nothing was going right, or going the way I had planned it. So, as hubby finished getting ready, I went out to the car and fed the Bean. In the quiet of the car, I began to pray, asking God for a "reset" and apologizing for being so cranky. As I was sitting there, I remember thinking "This is so not how today was supposed to go. I just wanted everything to be..." and I paused, trying to figure out what it was that I had wanted everything to be. At that moment, it was like God filled in the blank and said "Perfect?" and it hit me. I had been trying to make everything in my life perfect. I had been avoiding going to church, cause I didn't have the right clothes, or because I was uncomfortable with breastfeeding in public, or because I didn't want to be late or disrupt people by coming in late or having a fussy baby... and in that moment, I was chastised and reminded that God doesn't want us to wait until we're perfect to come to Him. He wants us to come to Him, mess and all, and to give it all to Him. In this world that pushes perfection, it is such a relief to know that right now, this second, I am enough for my God. Yes, He does call me to be perfect, but He knows it's a gradual process and He certainly doesn't expect me to do it alone.