The thing about having a baby is that no one, no one, can prepare you for the full experience. People will give you advice—mostly unsolicited—but until you take your sweet baby home . . . there just aren’t words to convey the joy, pain, responsibility, honor, anxiety, and sweetness of parenthood.

My first year of parenthood was a complete fog. I remember when my daughter turned one. I had mixed emotions about the day. I was still struggling to embrace my role as someone’s mother. I wasn’t sure what I was doing as a parent. I was hard on myself. I felt like everyone was handling motherhood so much better than I was. Shouldn’t I have had it together by then?

It’s my turn to give unsolicited advice. I wanted to let you new parents know—well, really I want all parents, stepparents, single parents, aaaalll you legal guardians know—it’s okay to struggle with parenthood. It’s a relationship. And relationships are messy.

I am far from an expert, but here’s another thought for you . . .

God entrusted your baby to you. He’s pretty smart (that’s an understatement). He doesn’t make mistakes. God placed your child in your life on purpose and for a purpose. Never feel like you aren’t good enough, patient enough, or wise enough to be your kid’s parent. No parent feels like they’ve got it together all the time (and if you do, tell me your secret).

Our culture (and social media) fuels this idea that unless we meet a certain standard and portray the perfect image, we aren’t worthy. We don’t measure up. So we struggle with comparison and guilt and shame.

But it doesn’t have to stay that way.

Let’s make a change. Let’s rebel against the unrealistic expectations of the world and remember that our value doesn’t lie in perfect Instagram photos—our value lies at the Cross. Our value comes from the fact that a perfect Savior decided that our imperfection was worth giving up His life.

So. The next time you start beating yourself up because the house is a mess, you can’t fathom cooking another dinner, and the baby needs a diaper change . . . take a deep breath. Remember, you were God’s choice to parent your child, and you are enough. (And then order takeout.)