"Sometimes while I'm talking to God, He'll show me something about myself in such a way that I have to laugh at my own humanity and how funny I must look to Him." - Donna

Donna...just found your blog...I absolutely love it! And I love your singing! I'm at work right now and it was just exactly what I needed to hear to help me make it through tonight! Thanks for your ministry here!
- Robert

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

New Mother Syndrome (Baby Shower Devotion)

I received an e-mail from a friend, its content riddled with errors. These weren’t small mistakes, but glaring oversights. A few moments later, I received a second message apologizing for the first e-mail. “Please forgive me. I must be suffering from New Mother Syndrome. All I can think of is the baby.”

What mother hasn’t felt that way when she brings home a newborn? What is this syndrome, and how does it affect us?

The New Mother Syndrome affects our thoughts. When I had my daughter, I obsessed over her. I could think of nothing else. Was she too hot or too cold? Was she hungry? Did she need a diaper change?

The Syndrome affects our sight. We develop tunnel vision. In a room full of people, we see only our precious tiny baby.

And it affects our heart. At times, I felt my heart would burst, as it seemed to expand with the love I held within for my firstborn. I couldn’t imagine my heart having the capacity to love another child as much. That is, until I had another. My heart grew – again.

Every new mother discovers the capacity for a new kind of love similar to God's agape love. Agape love is unlimited, as is a mother's love, regardless of the number of children she bears.

In Psalm 139, we read that God knew each of us before we were born, and he thinks of us. “Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.”

My son used to play soccer. When he put on his uniform and ran out onto the field, it became difficult to distinguish him from his teammates. But it only took a moment for this mom’s eyes to discern which child belonged to me. My ears became tuned like antennae to his voice. If he cried out in distress, I’d run right to him, much to the dismay of the coach.

Just as our eyes and hearts focus on our children, God’s eyes and His heart focuses on His children. Psalm 34:15 says, “The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.”

Isn’t it reassuring to know the Lord’s eyes are upon us, and His ears are open to our cries? I imagine that the heart of God swells with each person who accepts Jesus as Lord.

So if you’ve been hit with the New Mother Syndrome, can you expect to recover? Never! It’s a chronic condition, lasting a lifetime.

If you can’t think straight in the newborn stage, wait until the toddler years! Then from about the age of five to twelve, the racket in the house is deafening and not conducive to rational thought. And the teen years? With many parents, it's back to obsession and worry.

Our vision remains fixed. From ball games and recitals, to graduation and marriage ceremonies, our eyes stay focused on our children.

Does the heart recover? Not really. It flutters with every child’s cry, breaks with every fallen tear, and periodically swells with pride.

Motherhood is a privilege and a gift from God. Immeasurable joy fills my days as I do my best to be an example of godly love.

Yes, New Mother Syndrome may be acute and chronic, but I thank God every day for the blessings associated with this affliction!

(If you'd like to use this column in your newspaper, blog, magazine, or any other format, please email me by clicking on 'Write Donna' in the right-hand column of this page. I'm getting a lot of requests for baby showers. I'm happy to email a .pdf. Thanks! - D.)

*Websites where you can find New Mother Syndrome include:
Christian Work at Home Moms.
Christian Mommies.


Anonymous said...

Lovely, Donna. How about a devotion for teenage mothers? I'd love to hear what you have to say about that.
Dotsie Bregel

lawilder said...

I love your little moving line that creeps to the left, down at the bottom of you website page. How did you make that happen?

Charleen said...

I must be strange or something because my mind was the clearest (my skin too) and my body was the healhiest ever when I was pregnant with my son. It was a perfect and happy time in my life. Married three years we felt so fortunate to be having this baby. I got morning sickness only once, briefly and that was that...My son is now 44 and he still is the joy of my life along with my DIL and their own children, my grandchildren. Loved the article.

Donna J. Shepherd said...

I loved having babies, too, although I can't say I wasn't sick more than once. :) No grandchildren yet, but I look forward to holding precious grandbabies one day.

Thanks for stopping by!

Heather Ivester said...

Donna, Trish Berg at Simplifying Motherhood is collecting stories and advice for new moms:


She has a book contract, and it seems like your wise words may be a great encouragement to new mothers!

You may want to send this to her! :)

Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience said...

A beautiful post by a beautiful woman. I thank you, Donna, for your words...and His words.

Ann V. (HolyExperience)

Toni Star said...

Lovely words about motherhood, Donna!

Always enjoying coming to your site.


Diane Viere said...

New mother.....old mother...tired mother syndrome! Mother of teen-ager syndrome is nearly as riddled with error as the new-mother-syndrome! What a beautiful post for any mother at any stage!


Donna J. Shepherd said...

Thank you, Ann, Toni, and Diane. - Donna (who's blushing at Ann's flattery. :)

Alene said...

Boy do I ever remember that syndrome! Thank you so much for this beautiful post and reminder of what a gift it is to be a mom. Blessings.

Write2ignite said...

My babies aren't babies anymore...but I still remember what that was like! Thank you for the post, Donna. Absolutely beautiful!

Donna J. Shepherd said...

Thank you so much, Alene and Donna. Happy Mother's Day!

DrDeb said...

Great post, thank you! As an Interfaith Spirituality writer (and a mom!) I think your words would resonate with any mother of any faith, and I added your site to my favorites!

Dr. Deb

Donna McDine said...

Terrific heartwarming post! I'm in the midst of the teenage years with my oldest now with a learner's permit. Hmmm, the days of watching them at the park seem so much simplier now.

Warm regards,

Donna J. Shepherd said...

Thanks, Dr. Deb! I looked for the link but couldn't find it, but I do appreciate your stopping by!

Donna J. Shepherd said...

LOL, Donna! Isn't that the truth!

Elaine L. Bridge said...

Wonderful, as always, Donna! Psalm 139 was my reading this morning, so enjoyed this especially. Miss you!

Donna J. Shepherd said...

Thank so much, Elaine, for stopping by and taking time to leave a comment. Miss you, too!

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