“You don’t give off the mom vibe,” the pest control guy told me after I let him know I was pregnant. As if feeling like a teenager again with out-of-whack hormones wasn’t enough, now I have someone who has spoken to me only a handful of times weighing in on whether I’ll make a good mom. As I relay this story to my friend, she asks, “How does he define a mom-vibe anyway?”
And it’s a good question. Because in the other questions peppering me every day – How do you plan to finish your doctorate? What are you going to do about your business? What are your thoughts about childcare? – I’ve forgotten that there aren’t any perfect answers that will make me the perfect mom.
In the midst these questions, I’ve burdened myself with needing to come up with the right answer, and I wonder why no one is asking John how he plans to continue all of his activities and interests outside of work.
Then I remember our theme for the year: Abide. I can configure the best plans to have a tidy answer to all of these questions, but it’d be a false sense of control. To actually abide requires an examination of my heart and my impetus for coming up with the answers.
On a walk, I ask myself these hard questions – not the logistical ones, for once, but the heart-level ones. I squint from the glare off the sidewalk and turn the corner to a tree in full bloom. No matter what plans I devise, they’ll need to change with the seasons, and who can predict life with a new, little addition anyway? I can either try to control my vision of what could be, or I can abide in this season of preparation and waiting.
The beautiful part about abiding is that I rest not in what I do or what plans I make, but in who I am. For me, this is actually first whose I am, and it begins with my second theme for the year: Pray Deep.
Becoming the mom that I desire doesn’t happen in my best laid plans or even in my actions once I am a mom. Though our actions point to and fuel our identity – it’s hard to be a writer if you don’t write – it starts with what our identity is in. Through this assurance, I can confidently adapt to our new normal coming in December.
My hope is that whatever season of life you are in and whatever questions linger over your day that you would ask yourself the even harder questions about your identity, your heart, and your reasons for searching out the answers in the first place. I suspect that once these harder questions are examined that the other ones will fall into perspective.
And just for fun, here’s some baby bump pictures: