Multifaceted Me Series: Mami
When I was a little girl, I would proudly hold up all ten fingers to show how many kids I wanted one day. My desired number didn’t decrease until I was in college when seven kids sounded more manageable (ha!). It’s not quite realistic to my husband, but I’m sitting at about five at this point.
It was my assumption that I’d become a mom the day my baby was placed in my arms. However, I was in love, fiercely protective, and beaming with pride the moment it was confirmed that a little human was being formed inside me. It was unbelievable how deeply I felt for someone I had not met yet.
During this time of pandemic anxiety and racial reckoning across the globe, I see Elías, and I become overwhelmed with too many questions:
- Does he think only three people in the world exist: mami, dada, and grandma?
- What if not being around other children stifles his social development?
- Do we have enough books in the house that serve as mirrors and windows?
- What will the transition back to daycare look like?
- Will it ever be safe for him to even be around other people?
- What will happen if he does get coronavirus?
- How will Kyle and I authentically increase his cultural proficiency?
Elías will be one in a little over three weeks, so my experience is limited. Many parents are prone to relying on the amount of time (whether years upon years or mere weeks and days) they have parented as a means to justify scoffing at the missteps of a new parent. While I am an advocate for experience as wisdom, a new mother has unparalleled intuition and insight about her own child. Nobody else in the world has ever been Elías’s mommy; I am the only one with the unique experience of being HIS mami.
The overwhelming list of questions above is merely a sample of what can become a cycle of more questions. In as little as one year, I have learned that I can research every concern I could possibly brainstorm until 2 o’clock in the morning, and I am still not ready when the time comes barreling toward me to act in the moment. God has prepared me for each new stage in His timing; not my controlling need to be 100% prepared for what might come in the future.
I know motherhood will evolve as Elías goes from one phase to the next. Up until this point, being mami to Elías has meant feeding him appropriately, creating an environment for him to sleep well, playing with him, cuddling with him, reading to him. While these things will continue to be true, the experienced mothers have enlightened me that the phases become more complex.
In the midst of labor pains and during the seemingly endless nights of newborn screaming, I communed with God most fiercely. The mothers who have humbly shared their wisdom directly or indirectly with me share a common attribute: rest and trust in God. In His faithfulness. In His promises. In His wisdom.
There was recently a Twitter thread regarding Paul’s letter to Timothy, and something stood out to me that I had never noticed or stopped to consider: “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well” (2 Timothy 1:5). What a recognition of faith – through one’s maternal side!
I may have previously overlooked this detail because I often skim the letter greetings (oops..), or maybe it’s because I was not somebody’s mother before. I read and reread this one verse and felt an incredibly beautiful weight; a responsibility yet a burden. Whatever phase Elías gracefully strides or roughly tumbles through, I most desire to have a sincere faith like Lois and like Eunice as I learn to love my son faithfully.