This year, for the first time ever, I was a mother on Mother’s Day. Sometimes I can’t believe it; in my head I’m still 18, graduating high school and looking out at a future of unknowns. But here I am: Mommy to a little blue-eyed, bouncy baby girl.
I love being a mom. But the day I found out I was pregnant wasn’t the best day of my life. I was nervous. Terrified, even. I felt completely unqualified for this new role—completely unable to be the kind of mother my baby would need. I was afraid of motherhood.
These feelings assault many young women long before they’re married and holding a positive pregnancy test. Perhaps due to family relationships, what the culture has told them or personal struggles, motherhood holds more potential for failure than for success in their eyes. But this negative portrayal of motherhood does not have to be your reality. The fears are not the facts.
For the girl who’s afraid of motherhood, here are some truths for your heart.
God doesn’t call the qualified.
I didn’t feel qualified to be a mom because—well, nobody is fully qualified to be a mom! Motherhood is a transition unlike many. It is difficult, transforming and sanctifying, but also unbelievably rewarding. But the most beautiful thing about it is this: God qualifies us for motherhood when He calls us to be moms. We don’t need to worry about it beforehand. We don’t need to question our qualifications. As the famous saying goes, “God doesn’t call the qualified; He qualifies the called.” If the Lord has motherhood in His plan for you, He will give you the qualifications you need.
What’s more, you don’t need to have it all figured out before you get there. While some babysitting experience and research are definitely helpful, motherhood is a journey. Ask a mom of any age and she’ll tell you: She’s still learning! Every child is unique. The children God gives you—whether biological or otherwise—are the ones He has called you to disciple and influence. He will equip you for that calling.
You are not your mother.
Dear girl, you are not the sum of your parents’ mistakes. None of us have perfect parents because no one but God is perfect. Some of us have been hurt by our mothers. Some of us fear becoming just like the mom we knew in childhood. But you are not your mother. You are not destined to repeat her mistakes.
You have a specific calling in this life, and were born for such a time as this (Esther 4:14). Where your mother was weak, you may be strong. If not, you might know your weaknesses more clearly and face them with greater determination. Just because your parents didn’t set a great example doesn’t mean you’re ill-equipped for motherhood down the road. You may be the one to change the direction of your family. You may be the one to redeem what was broken. By entrusting yourself to Christ, you align yourself with all of His strength to accomplish good for your family—no matter what your past.
Motherhood does not have to steal your identity.
The world tells us that babies change who we are. In a way, they do; your heart expands to love a little being in ways you never thought you were able. But motherhood does not make up the whole of who you are. It’s just one facet of womanhood, certainly not our entire purpose on this earth.
By maintaining your identity as a woman—your interests, passions and heart’s desires—you will be an even better parent to your future kids. Bringing your children into the richness of your knowledge and experience will only make their childhood that much more special.
Don’t believe the myths about motherhood the world would have you believe. Your identity rests in who God made you to be, regardless of marriage, motherhood or career.
His grace is sufficient.
The hope we have as Christ followers is this: He is present with us “even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). His grace is sufficient for the hardest paths we take. His love sustains us when we feel overwhelmed. If you’re afraid of motherhood, you have this hope as you look toward the future! God often calls us to things for which we feel unqualified, but the calling requires dependence on Him. That dependence is a gift, and the best gift you can give your children is a mother whose whole heart is dedicated to Christ.