Life After Babies

I am a total sucker for the “On This Day” feature on Facebook.

Each day, it shows you what happened on the same day in years past. It’s fun to read old blog posts, cringe at terrible status updates about my “difficult” teenage years, and of course, seeing photos of my boys as babies. It’s true everyone: it goes faster than you think.

Basically, I’m almost always in tears because of these pictures of my babies.

It hit me hard when a few days ago, a memory came up from two years ago. They were pictures of me pregnant with Finn. And I nearly threw my phone across the room.

HOW? My baby is almost TWO? Liars! You are all LYING.

But Facebook never lies (this is where you laugh). At least, not in this case. It really was two years ago. Which means I haven’t been pregnant for almost two years.

In these two years, God has been teaching me a lot about myself and lot about purpose. It almost feels like my anthem, knowing purpose and walking in the identity Christ has given us. I wish I could talk to women about it everyday. It’s what brings a fire in my belly.

It’s also been the hardest journey.

As women, we struggle to know our worth and how much we are loved. We don’t always believe what we know is true about what Christ has done for us because we think we aren’t good enough. Diving deep into this and figuring myself out after having three boys felt like my mission, and I took it gladly.

But just the other day, I got swallowed up. I felt like I didn’t know who I was at all.

Talking to women about their identity and purpose does bring a fire in my belly, and it also makes my belly ache. There isn’t a baby there, and the realization that I have been without a baby for this long feels like a twist in my gut. It’s who I was for years. It’s the job I had for years. It brings fear into my belly, too. The doubt creeps in. I’ve always been a mom of babies and toddlers. What am I supposed to do when I’m not that person anymore?

My baby turns two in April. You know what’s also true? Your baby will become the clearly favored child. I cannot discipline him the way I do my other boys. He’s just too cute and squishy, and I just want to pretend he’s not as old as he is and still innocent. Also, I know, I’m working on it, he’ll be well-rounded. But I can’t get over him. I can’t get over how much I love him, and how much I love my other boys. It feels other-worldy. It brings something out in me that I never knew I had.

I forgot for a moment that I have been this woman, the woman without babies for almost a year now. I’ve been the woman I’m scared will fail.

In the midst of having such young children for so long, it’s easy to think that it will never end. That we’ll always look like we never sleep or wash our own clothes while our children are clearly well-fed and dressed to the nines. It surprisingly gets easier. And then you’ll be like me, on the other side of the difficult time, and actually swimming above the water and doing your make up every day.

Life after babies? It’s the same. The love for my boys only multiplies every day, and I kiss their cheeks as many times as they allow me.

Even as my boys grow, my role in their lives changes, and I have to give up that they just aren’t babies anymore, I’m still me. God still says that He loves me, He cherishes me, and that I am His daughter.

My prayers have just changed from, Lord, help me to survive this day and this week and these small people to Lord, draw them to you so we can serve shoulder to shoulder. I want to bring these little boys into the Kingdom, and I want to call them brothers in Your Name.

Published by Janelle Delagrange

Wife to a graphic designer, mom to three young boys, and writer of the soul.

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