Help! I’m a new mom (and Free Book Friday)

By Kim Wagner

“Being a mother has been so much harder than I imagined. I have been in tears many times over the past few weeks and in the evening I have been very depressed. The only thing that helps is knowing that God is with me and He is teaching me through this process.”

This new mom’s words took me back several years. We were living in a suburb of Dallas, Texas, with our firstborn. My husband drove our only vehicle into the city for morning classes, followed by afternoon and evening responsibilities at the church where he served as pastor. I was left home alone all day, with no vehicle, no family or friends close by . . . alone with a crying baby. And it was hard.

At the time I felt like I’d never experience a restful night again, a relaxing moment, or even have the energy to accomplish cooking an entire meal. I felt like my daughter’s all day crying jags was proof I was a failure as a mom. I’d like to say that I drew closer to Christ during those months, but actually I spiraled into a pit of depression for awhile. I didn’t get dressed most days and felt like I’d never live a “normal” life again. But today, as I hold my first granddaughter, those days seem like someone else’s life.

If you’re struggling as a new mom, here are a few things to consider:

• Check out health issues: If you’re experiencing bouts of depression and extremely
low energy levels, talk to your doctor. You may need extra iron or vitamins. When my
daughter was six weeks old, I found out I was extremely anemic and that played a huge
role in feeling like I couldn’t cope with the load of a new baby.
• Ask for help: Invite a mom over who is further along than you are. Share your heart,
express your concerns, and ask for advice. Don’t let it become a negative gripe session,
but use this time to get some beneficial input.
• Environment: Let the sun shine in! Set a goal of one fun activity per day—nothing big
or strenuous—something as simple as taking the baby for a stroll in the sun. Don’t stay
in bed with the shades drawn and the lights off. Expose yourself to lots of light for a
brighter disposition.
• Laugh: Find a source of laughter — perhaps it’s a good-humored friend who knows you
need regular doses of comic relief. Choose to laugh rather than give into self-pity when
you’re battling for your sanity.
• Grab onto one word: Find a good daily devotional and read it while nursing or doing
an early morning feeding (even if your eyes are half shut) and look for one word you can
cling to that day. Scribble down the word (or verse) and keep it in your pocket to refer to
throughout the day.
• Cry out: Talk to Jesus. Let Him know you’re struggling. Let Him hear how you feel and
ask Him to help you see tangible evidence of His care (it is there—sometimes we’re just too wiped to see it).
• Worship: Fill your house with praise. Play lots of uplifting music. Check out my favorite
worship CD (it’s a lullaby journey through Scripture).

In my mind’s eye, I can see myself rocking and walking with a crying baby who wouldn’t give it up . . . that mom who thought she’d never get a moment’s rest or live a “normal” life again. And you know what . . . at about six months it all changed. That little one found out she actually liked sleeping. She took on a precious personality. She became the joy of our lives. Hang in there new mom—it’s challenging, but worth it!

(Moms, what is God teaching you about motherhood? Leave a comment below, with your e-mail address, telling us what you’re learning, and we’ll pick five of you to receive a copy of Erin Davis’ new book, Beyond Bath Time.)

KIMBERLY WAGNER is married to her favorite pastor, LeRoy Wagner. Their children include Rachel and her husband Adam, Caleb and his wife Lindsey, plus a growing tribe of grandchildren! Kim’s passion is Christ, and she desires to ignite women’s pursuit of God’s glory. She is a frequent guest on the Revive Our Hearts radio program, as well as a regular contributor to the True Woman blog. Kim has written several devotionals and resource materials for women and loves encouraging women to become students of the Word. She is the author of “Fierce Women: The Power of a Soft Warrior.” You can connect with her through her website: http://www.kimberlywagner.org/ where she’s transparent about what God is teaching her.

Image: David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

17 thoughts on “Help! I’m a new mom (and Free Book Friday)

  1. My kids are grown, the youngest is 17. I can so relate to all that Kim has said in this article. I knew God called me to be a stay at home mother very early on. He laid it very heavily upon my heart. What he showed me is that as a young mother it is very important to be positive and and happy. As mothers we set the tone, so to speak, for the essence of our home. Caring for young children is hard work on every level, but through the guidance and strength of the Lord, He can carry a lot of that burden. I am now a grandmother of 4 and one on the way! In this season of life it is important for me to continue to cling to the lord moment by moment so I continue that essence of a Godly home when everyone is at “Grannie’s house”

    MATTHEW 5:16 So let your light shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your father who is in heaven.

    • Julie,

      I love this lesson to be a “happy mom.” I’ve learned the hard way the impact of being an angry mom, a grumpy mom or a disconnected mom. Thanks for sharing your mom wisdom with the rest of us!

      Erin

  2. Being a mom has taught me to let go of the little things and focus on what will be gone in the blink of an eye-my children as children. It has also brought me closer to my heavenly Father because I am so thankful He has entrusted me with these little people!

  3. My daughter is now 19th months, praise God! While we don’t find ourselves in the infant stage struggles, we now find ourselves in the “okay how do I teach and shape a toddler stage!!” This has been such a fun stage, but also filled with uncertainty. I know this little miracle is so much smarter than I understand, so I’m struggling to discover how to start teaching solid Biblical truth and the gospel to her. Maybe I’m being to hard on myself, and think that I should always be doing more when I am doing what I should. I am thankful to have found our routine and schedule, but suddenly I feel I need to change things! Maybe this is a “type A person” issue!! God bless, and thank you so much for all the wisdom and advice. We young moms cherish godly, Bible based encouragement and guidance when we just don’t have the answers!

    • Laura,

      I always say I’m Type AA! Motherhood sure does do a number on those of us who like to have things go a certain way!

      I love the model Deuteronomy 11:19-21 gives us for teaching the Bible to our children. It works for kiddos of any age.

      “You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth.”

      In other words, just talk about the Bible all day long. Write verses where everyone can see them. Don’t wait for formal Bible training (that won’t work with a 19-month-old!) but just talk to her about God all day long.

      Press on!

      Erin

  4. Thanks for this post! God has been teaching me a lot about motherhood as I am in this difficult stage with a 3 year old and 11 month old. I’ve learned that we raise children as a ministry for God, with the ideal goal being to produce hearts that want to love and serve God and live to further his kingdom. Kids are not just for our own enjoyment- if that’s the reason we have them, we’ll be disappointed pretty quickly! I’ve learned that children aren’t our possessions- they are on loan from heaven and we are just stewards for a time. I really hope I get a free copy of that book- I’d love to read it!

    • Ann,

      Great lesson that kids are not for our own enjoyment! I went to a wedding shower yesterday and an 89 year old grandma who was there shared that she did not raise her kids for herself, but for their future spouses. She said she was always asking herself “Will child x be a good husband or wife?” A good thought!

      But thanks for the reminder that ultimately we raise our kids for God’s glory.

      I have prayed for you to have smooth sailing as you mother today and patience for whatever those chubby little fingers throw your way!

      Erin

  5. Thank you Kim!! My first baby turned 1-month old yesterday. I SO needed this encouragement from someone who has experienced firsthand the “is life ever going to feel ‘normal’ again?” feelings and came out on the other side!

  6. I’m a recent Mom (baby is 6 weeks old) so I’m still trying to “figure it out.” I’m learning to trust my gut. With all the parenting books and advice out there, you don’t know what is the best for your child. I’m learning to go with my gut and what feels right. I’m also learning to be proud of my accomplishments, even if they are seemingly small (like showering and doing a load of laundry… on the same day!).

  7. Good evening! Although, I am not a mom yet, I have several friends that are new moms or are going to be moms very soon. I would love to have a book to pass around to the new moms. I was part of Jason & Erin’s youth group when she wrote Grafitti! She is an amazing woman!

  8. Hi!

    Thank you for this post.I have been very comforted by the “Beyond Bath Time” blog. I remember I felt very overwhelmed as a new mom. I had so many expectations of what it would be like. I knew it would be hard, but I didn’t realize it would totally change me and take all of my time. Just so much change all at once. It was an emotional first few months…

    I feel like God has shown me so much in my short time as a parent (my little girl is 8 months, now). He’s revealed just how selfish I am. I love my little girl, but my selfishness is revealed at the slightest inconvenience. How in need I am of the Lord’s grace, and how freely He gives it to me in Christ. That has also been a comfort in this time, when I’m feeling condemned and that I am failing as a mom. God freely offers me His grace in Jesus. Motherhood has also given me a whole new understanding of the word dependence. Wow! I truly cannot be a good mother to my baby without the Lord! Motherhood has revealed just how needy I am… and that is not a bad thing. I know that is exactly what God is wanting, that I wholly depend on Him alone in my parenting (and in everything for that matter). I am reminded of the hymn “I need Thee, O I need Thee, every hour I need Thee”. Yes, Lord, every hour, every minute, every second, I need Thee!

    Sarah

  9. Sarah,

    Motherhood sure is a HOT refiners fire, isn’t it! It has been the greatest tool that God has used to point out my selfishness as well. Oh, how we need Jesus!

    I’m thankful that this site has been an encouragement to you. I hope you will come back often and be a part of this community of moms seeking to find God’s heart for motherhood.

    Press on!

    Erin Davis

  10. Moms,
    Thanks for reading BBT (and commenting)! Here are our five winners from the April 20 Free Book Friday giveaway — Julie Berry, Stephanie Brown, Laura, Tiffany and Sarah Jerez. Check your e-mail inbox for a message from me so we can get a book on its way to you!

    Jessica Drews
    Web Content Manager

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