I Feel Like a Cow!

Updated with baby Roxy
Having a baby is one of the most wonderful thing that can happen to a woman. I really love it. I love newborns. 

My baby smelled heavenly of milk and that special baby smell. He looked divine with rolls of fat on his legs and tiny toes on his feet. I just adored my baby.

But after a week of being home with just him and the incessant demands of feeding (I was solely breast feeding), I happened to look at myself in the mirror during one of his naps and… 

I felt what I saw there. I saw a woman wearing a loose, milk-stained shirt with uncombed, clumps of matted dirty hair. She obviously needed a shower. But when can she have it? Anytime now that little adorable baby might wake up and look for his momma. The shower could wait. Then I smelled her. Wow! It was like milk was oozing out of her pores! And I couldn't help but exclaim, "What a cow!" I smelled like a cow, I looked like a cow, and I felt like a cow! 

Moooo! And I chuckled. I laughed at myself. Alone. 

So this is what motherhood is like, I thought.

New mothers often find themselves isolated and overwhelmed by the new role that they have to perform. Hormones are unbalanced and still on the way to physical recovery, they often feel depressed and alone. Husbands may not understand what they are going through and so do friends who wonder why they are not excited with the new baby. On the extreme, they may have post-natal depression and need proper care and counseling. On a normal level, mothers can't help but feel stuck after the constant round of feeding and diaper changing, especially when there is nobody to help with the chores or to alleviate their loneliness. 

I was feeling that way then. And there are times when I still feel stuck with the never-ending grind of taking care of children, house, work and all. How does one get out of these mess? 

But life is messy filled with people whom you trust and doesn't come through, the difficulty of striving for financial security, and of simply making it through one day... 

When do they end? They may take a different form but they sure make me feel like a cow again. Ugly. Messy. Alone. Helpless. Forging to nowhere. Seeming to last forever. Makes me want to run away. Escape.

God, are you there? I often ask.

And I find that He is. Right here. With me. That's why He is called Immanuel. He is with us. (Matthew 1:23). We are not alone.

My 'cow days' are over. I don't feed my babies now every hour. And I sure have thrown away my milk-stained clothes; and look and smell normal for the most part. My 'cow days' were only for a season. They have come and gone. And any situation that has a 'cow face' will do the same. They will come and go, serving their purpose in me (and anybody involved).

So, they may look endless? Menacing? Hopeless? Scaring the wits out of me? Giving me sleepless nights? 

I know sleepless. It started just before I labored for my baby and went through all the nights of caring for him. God has given me the courage to be a mom. And being a mom has given me confidence to face challenges with God, whether they make me feel like a cow or not.

God calls mothers to be courageous. I was a cow-ard before I became a mom--- cow-ering because of the future, cow-ering at responsibilities, afraid of children, afraid of what other people might say, afraid of being a loser, afraid of so many things. But just as in any calling, God has promised His strength and He will carry us to where we should be. He said, "Only be strong and very courageous... that you may prosper wherever you go" (Joshua 1:7). He just wants us to love Him and hold fast to Him (Deutoronomy 11:22).

And so when you find yourself feeling like a cow, stuck in a situation so big that you cannot move, remember to "trust in the Lord with all your heart... Acknowledge Him, and He will direct your goings" (Proverbs 3:5,6). You will find your mind soaring high, your heart singing praises... And a cow can't do that. 

You are not a cow.

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