“To everything, there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1
A Time For Everything And A Season For Every Activity
As a young girl, I have always envisioned myself becoming a career woman.
Don’t get me wrong. I loved fairytales and, I, too, looked forward to my happily-ever-after. But early on, I had decided to refrain from getting into a relationship while studying. I refused to rush into love.
In my season of waiting, I realized that there was more to life than having a boyfriend. Besides, I surmised that my inability to fully commit to a relationship would become a major relationship roadblock.
Before graduating from college, a headhunter found me; and to make a long story short, I was immediately hired. I found myself enjoying a season of career growth and opportunity in my life by God’s grace.
I was already working then when I said ‘yes’ to a guy who courted me for one and a half years. Finally, I started to open up emotionally to a guy – something I had held back for years. Not long after, he proposed to me, and I said yes! And the rest, as they say, is history.
So how does this relate to my motherhood journey?
To start with, I conceived on our honeymoon. My husband decided to buy a pregnancy test kit when I was suddenly experiencing vertigo in a car ride with him. It came out positive. I can’t stress enough how much I enjoy long road trips, but that changed during my pregnancy. Due to severe motion sickness, we canceled our scheduled trip to my hometown, Cebu. In my attempt to save my career, I considered a work-from-home arrangement. But even that was not possible due to extreme fatigue. To make matters worse, I was rushed and confined to a nearby hospital a month before my due date. I had a difficult pregnancy, to say the least.
A Time To Be Born And A Time To Die
Motherhood is a journey of new beginnings. We prayed for a child, and God faithfully answered our prayers. But I never expected to see the death of my career along with bearing a child. I dreaded the day that I could no longer get back to where I left off. I mourned over that part of my life journey.
Then, God lovingly reminded me of the verse found in Ecclesiastes that says, “To everything, there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”
I learned that though I don’t have control over my circumstances, I have control over my response and perspective. Amid uncertainties, I know I can trust God’s plans for my life.
A Time To Be Silent And A Time To Speak
After several discussions before marrying, my husband and I reached a decision that we’re not going to hire a caregiver. Why? We don’t want to delegate the task of nurturing, teaching, and caring for our baby. My husband and I couldn’t expect another person to impart values and life lessons to our son. As they say, “Education starts at home.” From 0-6 years of age, statistically speaking, mothers have the most influence on a child. My husband explicitly told me that while he administers our finances, he expects me to manage our home and our baby. However, this decision raised eyebrows. It’s painful. Since then, I had kept silent about my motherhood journey. I felt misunderstood and cried out to God in my predicament.
To give you a glimpse of our daily life, we don’t have a house helper. I had an emergency C-section and exclusively breastfed my baby. From 6 months up, I would personally prepare his steamed vegetables and fruits – no processed baby food whatsoever. I have high regard for working mothers who sacrifice time to provide financial support to the family. Likewise, I have a deep respect for stay-at-home mothers who sacrifice careers and whatnot. It all boils down to the unique context of every family. Hence, there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
I’ve been silent long enough. Now I’m opening-up to tell about my motherhood journey. My experiences, thus far, have taught me to ask myself this question in adversity, “Will my response honor God?”
Looking back, I’m thankful for how God has enabled me to bite my tongue instead of retaliating to people who hurled insults against me. Psalm 37:7 says, “Trust in the Lord and wait quietly for His help. Don’t be angry when people make evil plans and succeed. Don’t become so angry and upset that you, too, want to do evil. The wicked will be destroyed, but those who call on the Lord for help will get the land He promised.”
This year, my son turned 2. He knows the alphabet, planets of the solar system, numbers (0-30), shapes, colors, phonics, animals, and animal sounds. He loves to sing songs and play drums! He eats fruits and vegetables. He knows when to say “Please” and “Thank you.” It’s heartwarming to see how he respectfully interacts and engages with other kids. Once, I’ve witnessed how an older kid suddenly grabbed his toy while playing and how he managed to shift to another activity, totally unbothered by the incident. He didn’t pick a fight and didn’t feel entitled at all. Then, they went on to play.
My husband and I do the best we can in the hope of teaching and training our son while he’s young. Yet it’s amazing how God is teaching me through my baby boy. I’m truly blessed to witness our child grow through stages of development, and yet I grow along with him too. God has allowed me to experience the highs and lows of motherhood to change me from the inside-out. I’m still a work in progress, but I’m not the same person as I once was.
Interestingly, in the time of a pandemic, a new season in my motherhood journey is unfolding.
No, we’re not expecting a baby.
But it’s a birth of a new beginning – a pivot into a new career in this digital era.
Indeed, God has made everything beautiful in its time.
“(God) has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11
Written by: Catherine Anne Ebo-Lalo