Since becoming a mom I have a whole new respect for my mom and mothers everywhere.
First of all, there’s the whole pregnancy thing which includes many sacrifices and inconveniences.
Then, there’s the whole labor thing which includes drama, pain, worry, and ultimately huge reward.
But after that is the whole mom thing. The day-in, day-out taking care of EVERY need of another person. Of being responsible for their well-being.
I am learning many things about being a mom.
Would you like me to share? Oh, okay. : )
1. Worry comes with the job.
When we first brought Ellery home from the hospital, I suddenly became very aware of the treacherous world that we live in. I doubted the air in the parking garage wondering if there was anything in it that might harm my child. I woke to EVERY sound she made while she was sleeping and frequently would put my hand on her chest to make sure she was still breathing. I read books, articles, blogs, and web pages trying to see if I was doing things the right way and if things were normal.
Now, some (most? all?) of these things are perfectly natural, new-mom, beneficial, caring things to do. And while I have relaxed a little and feel like I am getting into a I-love-being-a-mommy-and-I-feel-like-I-am-doing-a-pretty-good-job stride, I am still thinking about her all the time. Which I’m pretty sure I’ll do for the rest of my life, and I’m okay with that.
I’m just very aware at how drastically she is changing my life.
Also, I know there is healthy thinking about my baby and how to take care of her, and unhealthy, not trusting of God worry. My continual goal is to place her in God’s hands and leave her there—taking care of what I can
and not dwelling on what I can’t.
2. Comparison happens all the time.
Right before Ellery was born I visited a friend who had just had a new baby of her own. I marveled at how put together she seemed, how natural. Fast forward to a few weeks later and I was frazzled, hormonal, overwhelmed, and certain that everybody else was doing this mom thing better than me.
That, my friends, is a lie from the devil. I love the saying, “comparison is the thief of joy,” and it is so super true. I later learned of that mom’s personal struggles and how not put together she was at times. Don’t get me wrong, she’s a GREAT mom, but so am I, and putting myself down when comparing myself to others is never okay.
What works for my family may not work for the next person, and that’s perfectly fine.
I’m learning, and I’m resting in the fact that God made ME for this little girl and has given me instincts that I need to follow that are right for us.
3. On your list of priorities, you’re usually last.
I don’t know if I’d ever really realized this before about moms. I’m sure I knew it in the back of my head, but again, my respect and appreciation of moms has gone way up (I love you, Mom!). In the first couple weeks after baby girl was born, I was lucky if I was able to change out of my pj’s before the mister got home from work (just keeping it real). She would be fed, changed, napped, and taken care of several times over before I was able to grab a quick bite to eat or go the bathroom. Now, I am NOT saying this to complain AT ALL. I LOVE being at home and taking care of Ellery and letting her take priority. It’s just something that I have realized that you take on as a mom. Making sure everyone else and everything else (laundry, dishes, cleaning, etc.) is good before you start worrying about yourself. I’ve gotten a little better at finding times in my day to eat, get dressed, etc. I hope that I always am able to put my family first, but also find time to be refreshed and filled up on my own.
4. Cleaning is now
So, when I do find time to do things, I find that I look forward to cleaning up the house and getting things done. Now, don’t get me wrong, doing the dishes is still not my favorite thing, BUT it just feels SO GOOD to get stuff done. I only have a limited amount of time every day (some more limited than others depending on the little one’s very varied schedule) and there is such a feeling of accomplishment if I am able to utilize that time well. Every day I have the goal of doing at least two things: taking care of Ellery and hopefully one other thing. High expectations, right? But I’ve found that this helps to not get discouraged if I have a day where all I’m able to do is feed her, change her, store breastmilk, wash bottles, and do one load of laundry. Hello! I got a load of laundry done! : )
I do also really enjoy the days where I have extra EXTRA time and I am able to make something or do something fun. It has helped to discover that each day is different and there are stages within each one. One day she’ll sleep all the time and the next she won’t sleep at all. I have tried to not focus or get stuck in any one day, knowing that tomorrow may look completely different.
It also REALLY helps that I have SUCH a supportive hubby that not only helps out, but also never places any unfair expectations on me getting stuff done.
AND I think it’s important to also add that sometimes you need to take the free time you get and just be. Just relax. Or even sleep. ; )
Anyway, that’s not really a comprehensive list, but just some thoughts that I have on this wonderful, amazing, challenging, rewarding, hard, good, beautiful journey that is motherhood.
Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments!!