Luke James Wulff was born on June 4th, 2013 and since then I haven’t had time to take a breath. Motherhood has been the most interesting journey I have ever been a part of. I am a person who is generally in control of almost everything in my life, and the addition of a newborn into my world has thrown this control out the door. From the flood of emotions I have felt in the last few weeks to the unpredictable nightly feedings that have left me physically exhausted… I for the first time in my life can honestly say I have no idea what I am doing.
There are mothers in this world who make parenting look so easy, they seem to just roll with the punches and gush about the joys of motherhood. Sometimes I wonder, are these mothers truly as happy as they seem or could their so-called happiness simply be a mask for the uncertainty that comes with being a new mom? To these mothers, I solute you for your happiness. However, my personal experience is not one of joy and eternal bliss… rather it is one of uncertainty, insecurity and overwhelming amounts of emotions (emotions ranging from some of the deepest love I have ever felt for a human being to crying on the couch because I don’t know if I am feeding my son enough to help him grow).
Being a perfectionist is the largest hurdle I have had to overcome when it comes to parenthood. I am the textbook definition of a people pleaser who wants things to be done perfectly because of the fear that judgement will come upon me if I don’t do things the “right way”. I have found that this people pleasing mentality has led to many midnight internet searches on whether or not swaddling, pacifiers, bottles, newborn routines etc. are good or bad for Luke.
These internet searches have led me to be certain of only one thing:
Internet browsing should be banned for all new moms.
In my obsession with searching the web I found that there is no “right” or “wrong” when it comes to raising a child. In writing this blog, it seems like a pretty simple concept… I just need to do what is right for me, Luke and my husband. But in practice it is so hard to not get caught up in all of the different baby theories that have flooded this country. I am finally to a point where I am beginning to rely less on internet searches and more on my instinct (and the occasional call to my mother for support and encouragement), but this is a huge work in progress and following my instincts still feels unnatural, and I have the fear that this so-called “motherly intuition” will lead me to do something “wrong” when raising Luke.
As I enter week four of parenthood, I will say it is getting better… just like everyone told me it would. My emotions are less of a roller coaster and I am getting the hang of Luke’s signals when it comes to what he needs. The fear of SIDS, weight gain, bringing Luke into the hot weather and just the general chaos of motherhood often times flood my mind; but I am choosing to move beyond these fears by trusting my instincts and doing things my way instead of focusing on what everyone else tells me is the “right way”.
So, what is it like raising Luke? It is an adventure that has forced me to let go of control and order in my life. It is a challenge that has led to a deep reliance on God when I used to always just rely on myself. Being a mother is the most amazing growth experience that God has placed in my life, and I am so happy that I am being pushed to my limits spiritually, physically and emotionally (I can say this right now because my son is peacefully gazing up at me with his big brown eyes… talk to me in an hour when he is a fussy mess and I may not use the word happy to describe this growth journey). Reflecting upon the last few weeks of my life, I can honestly say that I look forward to what God has in store for our family and am excited to see what God has planned for Luke as he grows and develops.