There. I said it. I’ll say it again: I’m not ready to be a mom.
Yes, I’m pregnant and yes, in about 6 and a half months there will be a tiny little baby I and my husband are going to keep alive (and dearly love), but (and I can’t say this enough) I’m not ready.
The thought of sleepless nights, dirty diapers, painful breastfeeding, and all other parenting horrors the internet and my friends have told me about have mostly crippled me with anxiety and fear the past couple days. Top that off with the stress of currently buying a house, working on two separate book projects, traveling week to week, and teaching full time, and the looming “you’re going to be a mom at the end of August” truth bomb is really at the bottom of the stress-triggers list, but it’s there nonetheless…I’m not sure that I’m ready to be a mom. (And playing with friends' children and frequently feeding a fluffy white dog doesn't really count...)
But, I will be a mom. I guess technically I already am a mom since this child is just as real as I am (and fairly powerful considering how one bout with nausea or the wrong smell can knock me out for a few hours). And no matter how “ready” or “not ready” I feel today or in April or at the end of August, this baby will arrive, ready to be cared for. If I’m not ready now, it’s probably time for me to start getting ready.
It occurred to me the other night, after a fairly extensive conversation with my husband and parents, that everything is going to change. I stupidly (and selfishly) said, “This child will fit into my life,” and my mom audibly laughed out loud while my dad just playfully rolled his eyes and my husband slowly shook his head.
I think that’s really when it hit me that I’m not ready. The plans I've made for the Fall have to be modified. Some things I’ve committed to have to be shifted and changed. Some places I wanted to go and things I feel very called to do will have to wait to be visited and handled. It will no longer be “me and Tommy against the world” able to pick up and leave at the drop of a hat…It’s going to be the two of us trying to wrangle and feed and survive the intensely life-altering drama of a newborn child with no experience and (no matter how many books or mom-blogs are read) little "on-the-job” preparation.
This child isn’t "fitting into" my life…my life is going to be changed by his or her life, and that’s not something anyone can ever really be “ready” for.
When Jesus Christ stepped into human history, the world wasn’t ready…In fact, He kind of snuck in unnoticed, a tiny child unable to even feed Himself. For 30 years He laid low save for a few days lost in Jerusalem, only to be found by His worried parents who then grounded Him for the next 18 years. The world wasn’t ready for Him… We weren’t ready when He preached the beatitudes, we weren’t ready when He healed the sick on the Sabbath, we weren’t ready when He faced condemnation and crucifixion, and we certainly weren’t ready when He resurrected from the dead.
He came here not so we could make tiny modifications to our existing routine, fitting Him in when it was convenient and easy. Jesus Christ came here to literally turn everything on its head, re-shape the very course of human history, and totally transform our lives for the better, because it was what we needed to be able to spend eternity with Him.
He came here so our lives could fit into His, and we will never be the same.
Becoming a mom will draw me closer into the very mystery and beauty of the Incarnation. Becoming a mom will serve as a constant reminder that no one, not even the very Mother of God or the people that followed Christ, were ready for the radical presence of Jesus in their lives. Becoming a mom will shape my virtue and hone my sanctity and make me holy (at least I hope it does…)
But knowing those facts doesn’t make the impending reality of a totally different life come August 31 any easier. What it does do is remind me that my life is not meant for just me. My life, just like Christ’s, is meant for others. My life, just like Christ’s, is meant to be a reflection and showcase of eternal, sacrificial, unending love. My life, just like Christ’s, is supposed to imitate and image the magnanimous gift of creative power and be a delighting in that creation that is given and sustained freely by a Creator who cannot stand to be without His creation.
I’m not ready…but, I’m getting (slowly) to a place of recognizing that this, more than anything else in my life, is God’s little “sanctification package” tied up in a nice, neat, little (nausea inducing) baby…and no one is ever quite ready for that.