Motherhood. I could simply say this word and mom's everywhere would be nodding their heads with a reassuring "ahh yes, motherhood". It's hard to describe and put into words because it is simply something you cannot explain, you can only experience. The moment you decide you want to become a mother you start learning lessons along the way. My son's first birthday is coming up this month and like most mom's i'm sitting here stunned that a year has flown by. As I reflect on where this last year has gone I can't help but think about how much my little guy has taught me in such a short time.
Time waits for no one
This one makes sense and we hear it on probably a daily basis "just wait, he will be graduating college soon" "he'll be asking for your keys before you know it". I get it now. I mean, I was just in the hospital. I was just waking my husband up at 2AM to let him know "this is definitely it, time for a baby!". We blinked and a year went by. Enjoy every little second you can and soak it all in. Spend less time doing dishes, worrying about the future and stressing about the craziness. Soak up every single second you can. Hold your baby, study their face, sit and play with them, learn along side them.
Take care of yourself
Mom guilt is a real thing but I've learned how important it is for me to get time in for myself. Oh how much I appreciate that 50 minute yoga class or the ten minutes my husband takes little man to go feed the dogs. Whether you can fit in something big or something small, make a priority to fit it in. For me, self care makes me kinder, more patient and a more loving mama. Take the time, make it regular and make it a priority. My self care may not be as leisurely or spontaneous as it once was but it has taught me to be present and intentional with the time I do get.
Baby sitting, help with laundry, a night out, a nap... it takes a tribe to raise a family. It takes grandparents, friends, cousins, aunties and uncles to make this whole thing work. Take the help when you can. We are completely spoiled by being surrounded by a supportive family. I understand that's not always the case for everyone so this is something I don't take for granted.
It's a season
Some great advice I got pre mama hood was to remember...it's all a season. When your life turns inside out just remember it wont be like this forever. Enjoy it, embrace the mess and remember you are strong enough to get through it all.I have felt exhaustion like I never no I could. We're still up 4+ times a night, Sometimes every hour. But man oh man those quiet moments when we cuddle makes every second worth it. When things seem hard and maybe even impossible, just remember it's a season that will pass. Soak it up as much as you can. And on another note, it's OKAY to be overwhelmed, frustrated and exhausted. Motherhood is a life changing, beautiful miracle that I wouldn't trade for anything. But It's also okay to admit that it's really hard. Be gentle with yourself and offer lot's and lot's of grace.
You ARE doing a good job
Advice on sleep training, nursing, solid foods, nap schedules and everything in between can make you question yourself. I have had plenty of conversations with God and my husband saying "I DON"T KNOW WHAT'S RIGHT". There is so much advice, resources and different way to do things. Remember, YOU are doing a good job. YOU can love on your little like no one else. Life will go on if you don't follow the perfect bedtime routine or schedule.
From the moment we decided we wanted to become parents we began learning the art of patience. Pregnancy doesn't always happen when we want it to. We don't always (or ever) go in to labor on our due dates. Nap times don't happen at the perfect time every day. As our kiddos grow older and they want to do things on their own ( like walk through Costco over being held) and it forces us to sloooowwww down and step out of our busy, fast paced life. Having patience is one thing I have yet to master but continue to learn on a daily basis.
I have been pooped on, spit up on, woken up hourly, bitten during teething and I love that little man like no other. I have not been the perfect mom, I've been on my phone too much at times, I've become frustrated, my anxiety has gotten the better of me and that boy just wants to crawl up and cuddle with his mama at the end of the day regardless. The love that a mama and her child has is like no other.
Try, try and try again
This has been a humbling lesson for me. So many times prior to motherhood I would think things were impossible, too hard or I failed too many times. Do you know how hard a baby has to work to do anything!? I mean, Jacks worked so hard to learn how to crawl, walk and the most recent, run without falling face first. I've watched him try and fail over and over again until he could finally, successfully put a blanket over his head and play peek-a-boo. I've watched him unsure on how to climb off the couch until he tried over and over again and it became easy. Being a mama to this sweet little boy has proven to me that anything is possible if we don't give up.
Get clear on priorities
We unfortunatly are working through our first sickness with mister Jacks. It is heart breaking, difficult and a sure way to get clear on priorities. When your baby needs you and is sick, the things you were so worried about don't seem to matter anymore. Mamahood helps you get clear on the things that are truly important to you.
I am learning new things daily and this list could go on and on... but these are some things that have really stood out to me. I would love to hear about your journey and lessons that you've learned along the way too!