I was excited to attend a baby shower over the weekend for a friend who is due with her first baby in June. There were a total of 6 of us (out of maybe 17 or 18) at the shower that were pregnant. Even knowing that a shower is typically a lot of gals around the same age, I felt like that was a lot! But it was SO fun to see gals in every stage of life – and several stages of pregnancy – getting together to celebrate my friend and her new little life she’s expecting.
I think one of the most important things we can do is celebrate pregnant women. Celebrate women in general, obviously, but there are so many unique ways that you can celebrate and bless women who are expecting. Whether or not they have supportive families, if they got pregnant on the first try, or tried for years, new lives are worth celebrating. As a mother of soon-to-be three, I believe that feeling celebrated for every single one of my pregnancies was really special for me. It wasn’t necessarily a shower or gift or party that made me feel special – it was friends’ and family members’ reactions to our announcement, and meaningful things they said (and are continuing to say) throughout.
Women need encouragement. Expecting mamas and new mamas often need it even more. They need to know that they are made for what they’re doing, that they will figure out the best way to raise that little one. Does that mean it’ll always be easy and come naturally? No. But it does mean that we should encourage all mothers in their journey.
I saw something recently about how a mother who had experienced a long journey with infertility and finally was blessed with children through IVF felt the need to defend her children against someone who said her children were “synthetic”. Who on this earth has the right to say that to anyone? To suggest that babies, children, humans are anything but God-given and made of DNA and cells and souls just like “the rest of us” is the most awful thing you could say. So many mothers today are faced with insecurities and fears, not to mention the ever-growing plethora of choices about every single thing to do/be/get for your baby… why would one then start attacking the babies themselves, saying terrible things about how or when or why they were brought into the world?!
So this is where I feel a call to be encouraging, supportive and just plain loving to mothers of all experience levels, all walks of life, and all kinds and numbers of babies. Whatever the reason you become a mother, you should still be celebrated, supported and encouraged. If you know a mama, or a woman who is expecting, do something nice for them. Say a kind word, pop a note in the mail, or pick up their coffee. If you’re close to them, get them a gift, throw them a shower (or sprinkle!) or pray with/for them. I guarantee you, each of them needs a little love, a little encouragement, or just to be seen, known, and loved.
It can be hard… pregnancy, waiting for an adoption to go through, enduring fertility treatments, having little ones, or struggling with teens. All of those things can be hard on a woman, and I know that sometimes a little encouragement can go a long way. That nice thing you do for the mom? It’ll benefit the child, too.