Meagan Barras shares her personal account with us today of how she has pursued her faith and come to understand the genius of the Catholic faith in dynamic ways through this season with her newborn. She and her husband are living the sacramental path of sanctification and are open to life—specifically in the call to the vocation of marriage and family life.
May you read her witness and ask God what he is showing you in your own journey of trusting God in your vocation.
Question 1: Meagan, in your previous interview you said, “Motherhood reveals how selfish we really are. Going to Jesus, to the cross, sick and overwhelmed―he doesn’t desire perfection from you. He desires you, not perfection. He speaks to my heart: ‘I am doing the work―just come and rest. Remember who you belong to.'” Now that you have your baby boy in your arms, do you find comfort in knowing God does not desire perfection? Have you given yourself the opportunity to rest in him, knowing that you don’t have to be a perfect mom? What notions of motherhood have you had to let go of on an on-going basis?
Meagan: Yes, I have had to go to the cross more. And I still have to let go of perfection. I didn’t realize how difficult it was going to be not to feel like I am failing all the time. When you have your first kid, everything you do feels like you’re messing up. I keep trying to remember that I am the best mother for this child and that Cody is the best father for this child. I have found that even having a strong prayer life is challenging—knowing that I may fall into the comparison game. It’s incredibly difficult not to set expectations for myself and this child. I didn’t even realize I had set those expectations. Going to the cross is necessary to release my expectations and find peace.
Question 2: In the previous interview you mentioned that you would need your husband and God. How have you relied on your husband during this transitional time into motherhood?
Meagan: How have I not relied on my husband? Cody is the right man for me and the man I needed. The ways he expresses love and sacrifice are the way that I needed. He kept reminding me that it was not all on me, and that we were in this together. Cody has been gracious in my struggle to discern how to return to work with my primary desire to be a good mother as well as a good minister. I found myself defensive and overly apologetic. I tend to defend my decisions and Cody just keeps reminding me that I am discerning for the present season. He has been an anchor, grounding me with his support.
Question 3: You also mentioned that you would have to “be unaffected by other people’s opinions, ideas, and judgments. To be truly rooted in God’s plan―to trust.” Have you been able to trust in God’s design for your motherhood? Has it been hard to combat the opinions and judgments of other moms or other people in your life?
Meagan: It’s been challenging—a constant struggle really. But it is more about constantly re-orienting back to God. Judgments come from well-meaning people that care about me as a new mom, to general commentary on motherhood on social media. This challenge has created a unique opportunity for me to return to Jesus when I am questioning, second-guessing myself. I have had to fight anxiety and the fear that I may be messing up this child—am I really qualified? There is such bonding with other parents in this journey—we survived a round of battle—of the fourth trimester: life with a precious newborn. It is all worth this struggle to grow and receive more life! Children bring so much life—my son’s smile alone brings human connection and bonding that is hard to describe.