Hykie and Gerridene Berg share in the joyride that is parenting. In an open conversation with MM, having waited for years to have a child, the struggles that come with parenting are not any less real or challenging, despite the joy of parenthood.
Let me start by saying well done to all the moms and dads for being such incredible parents and really doing your best to shower your children with all the love in the world. I can’t imagine a parent not wanting the best for their kids, not willing to lay down their lives for their children. But, let’s be honest, it is no easy task. The challenges and the battles are real, it’s hard, and it’s tough. Raising a baby challenges our mental capacity, emotional stamina and spiritual wellness at an entirely different level.
My wife, Gerridene and I waited long for our baby to arrive. Like so many of you, we were faced with the dreadful reality of not being able to fall pregnant. We were devastated. We have yearned for a baby for so long. For my wife, this yearning was so much more than I could imagine. She dreamt of having children her whole life. I am 44 years old and didn’t want to be called granddad at school events if you know what I mean. I felt like our time was running out.
Our journey included intense prayer, fasting, and seeking the best medical help possible. We dug deep into our faith, and by the grace of God, my wife fell pregnant. It was a miracle. She gave birth to our beautiful little girl on 29 November 2022.
I believe children are made in heaven, not in the womb. It was one of the best days of our lives! We were so excited! My wife was just incredible during birth. Let me tell you, I have a new-found respect for any woman who has ever given birth. As for me, I gave myself a massive pat on the back because I didn’t pass out. High Five, Hykie!
But no one could’ve prepared us for the journey ahead. Both my wife and I are results-driven people. We are super entrepreneurial, goal-oriented, driven, and have huge dreams. Gerridene was a lawyer but had the privilege to fire her boss and start living her passion: empowering women to live healthier lives, achieve their fitness goals and help them find their place in the body of Christ. I am in the entertainment industry, and we have several business ventures requiring time, energy and effort.
Even though my wife and I are people of faith, we have often attached our worth and purpose to results, business and productivity. We have always struggled with the notion of being content and “ok” without the busyness. Our identity is not in the world but it has been an adjustment! Before having our baby, we could do whatever we wanted to, travel wherever the wind blew us and spend our time as we wished. Please don’t get me wrong; we wouldn’t want things any other way. Lemeh is our greatest blessing, and still, things have been rough. Gerridene struggles with moments of depression, inadequacy, being overwhelmed, not feeling beautiful, and sometimes overwhelmed by a sense of “purposeless.” I mean, breastfeeding alone is taxing. I struggle with people pleasing, wanting to control everything, and wanting to fix everything. Our lives were turned upside down, and we realised that we had to change to see the change we desired.
We learned that God wanted to do something very powerful in our hearts. Our faith was being tested. We had to surrender everything to Him. We had to let go trusting that He was in control of everything and wouldn’t abandon us. We realised that this was a season like anything else in the world. It was a season of testing, growth, practising gratitude and learning to lay down our lives for those we love. It was a season of learning how to inconvenience ourselves for the sake of another. It was a season of true love. We finally realised that God was doing what we could not do for ourselves, carrying us and leading us in times of confusion and hardship. Parenting is a joy but an incredible responsibility for our children and ourselves.
We pray that you experience God’s incredible grace during hardships. It’s essential to be honest, and real about the struggles. Share your feelings openly, pray and ask for wisdom. I promise you it is on its way. Give yourself a pat on the back and a high-five! You are exactly where you are meant to be. It’s been planned for you in love.
Hykie, Gerridene and Lemeh.