Posted in Family, Grandparenthood, motherhood

Letter to Mommy-to-Be (Are You Ready?)

“I didn’t give you the gift of life.  Life gave me the gift of you.”  (Anonymous)

Dearest Dolly (my beautiful, pregnant soon-to-be-mommy Sarah Elizabeth),

Last weekend, you called me very teary-eyed.  “Mom, I’m just not ready for this baby.  We don’t have anything set up in the room.  I haven’t picked a pediatrician.  We don’t have curtains.  The house is not sterilized (and on and on the list went).”  My first thought was that you are right.  After many busy weeks working two jobs, being in two weddings, future maid-of-honor commitments and graduate school classes, you had not really done many of those things.  The room was painted and the crib set up, but that was about it.  And it could be any day now.  You aren’t ready.

I tried to reassure you (and truth-be-told, myself) that it would all get done somehow and that your shower was tomorrow and people would give you fun things and hopefully that would all help with the preparation.   My words fell short of the mark for your anxious heart (and my own).  After a few moments of going around in circles and commitments beckoning once again, I thought to myself, “I am getting nowhere and you are just going to have to figure this out yourself (not my proudest hour).”  We spoke a little longer and then we both had to go, you to wedding dress shopping with your best friend and me into the bank to get cash to pay for your shower.

Sarah, it’s a week later, a very different Saturday.  A pediatrician has been picked, baby dressers, car seats and swings are set up, miniature clothes are hung in the closet or placed in giant drawers too big for them, and curtains are on their way (I don’t think the house has been sterilized but neither of us are germaphobes and don’t really care about that anyway – don’t judge us as you read this).  All your “ducks are in a row,” as we like to say.  Calmer hearts prevail.  You are ready.

Or are you?  The question looms in my mind.  I swirl with thoughts about the coming weeks and your preparedness.  Are you ready because his room is painted, child-care is figured out, onesies are neatly folded, infant Tylenol and baby wipes are purchased, and you’ve packed your bag for the hospital?  My mind answers loudly.  No, Sarah.  No.  Those things are good and necessary, but they are not what makes you ready.  My dear sweet mommy-to-be, you are ready and this is why:

You have spent almost 26 years cultivating what matters, your inner self.  Since you were just a little girl, you explored the broken parts of yourself and asked for help.  You sought and still continue to seek wise counsel getting to know these areas, not shrinking back or avoiding them, but allowing God to come in and reveal and heal.  What a gift you have given yourself and baby Broden.  You are ready.

You have fed your soul with good things.  You have sought a genuine relationship with your heavenly Father and in turn, compassion, integrity, kindness, grace, justice, truth, and love are what has come to matter the most in your life.  You actively look to mete these out in the practical, everydayness on your journey.  What a gift you have given yourself and baby Broden.  You are ready.

You have chosen a really good partner to share your journey and parent with, someone who shares these same values of the inner life.  Cody is authentic, adventurous (as we all know), discerning. fun-loving, sincere, hard-working, loving and willing to grow.  We couldn’t have picked a better husband for you.  What a gift you have given yourself and baby Broden.  You are ready.

Over 26 years ago, I found out that there would be a surprise gift coming into my life in March of 1992.  Little did I know then that the gift of Sarah Elizabeth would be one of the best of my life.   Last February, you found out that there would be a surprise gift coming into your life in November of 2017.   He, for sure, will be one of the best gifts you ever receive, as you were for me.  But, remember sweet Sarah, you are giving him yourself, your broken, beautiful, in-process, creative, growing, loving, gracious, and kind self, and there is nothing that can even come close to that!  This is why YOU ARE READY, precious daughter, friend and mommy-to-be!

I love you.

Mom (The Dolly Mama)



Sappy, sarcastic, serious and spiritual hope-bringer. Eat my potato chips with milk.

16 thoughts on “Letter to Mommy-to-Be (Are You Ready?)

  1. Oh Esther this post just gave me goosebumps ! You hit the mark ! Love what makes us ready is so different than the thousand to do lists in a baby manual.
    If only we all could ” explore our broken parts and ask for help !”
    As the great adventure of parenthood begins God is tender with us. It is an overwhelming task to say the least but God is always there to gently lead us …..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful, authentic and loving words from the heart of a Momma ❤ This precious Miracle of Life will bring so much love into your family!!! Praising God….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. None of us are really ready for anything that comes to us in life, we think.
    Was Merlin Grove’s wife Dorothy ready when her husband was martyred?
    Was Tim ready when he found out Dee had cancer?
    There are so many examples I could give of crises that made us think we were not ready.
    The readiness comes when we actually go through the events with the Lord’s help. He is the one
    that makes us ready, not before, but WHEN. His grace comes at just the right time when we need it. As she lay on the living room floor, the Lord knelt beside Mrs. Grove and gave her the grace and strength she needed to raise her kids and go on with her life.
    Every day God gives us this help as we trust Him for wisdom. I did not expect to be doing what I am doing right now either. I feel very inadequate, but God gives health and strength.
    Sarah will be fine, but there will be times she’ll have to trust that God is there with her. We all can look back and see what God has done, so we know He will continue to be there in the future.


  4. A beautiful essay on just exactly what is important. Thank you Esther . . . And Sarah, you are as “ready” as any one ever is to have her first baby!


  5. One thing I learned as a mom myself. it’s not the stuff that needs to be ready it’s the people who will be around you and the around that precious bundle. you are right she will be fine, she will love her baby and everything else can fall into place from there


  6. Beautiful Esther, My eyes were tearful as I read this post. I wish all the best for Sarah and her new baby. I am sure she will be a great mom following your example. What a blessing to the world.
    Love you!


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