My hope for my child is to have a Mother that is honest about her walk. A Mother that will do their Father justice when they are apart in her teachings. A Mother that speaks in the hard times in order to show her child how to get through them, together. A Mother that admits life is difficult but that she will always be there for them. Most importantly I hope for them to always know a home of unconditional love and peace…
My son is almost a year old now and today was the first time I felt like a Mom. Don’t get me wrong, I love Motherhood. It is the antithesis of where I believed I would end up. But it fits. Just fits my being.
I love being a Mom. I love the late night nursing sessions, the creative play and learning-oh so much-about myself. Even through all these transitions I have never felt Mom-ish. Well, not completely.
Today involved a Doctor’s appointment and trip to the pharmacy. That is it. Not a big deal right? Wrong! When I arrived home I collapsed in bed for a power nap out of sheer exhaustion.
My doctor’s appointment was nothing amazing. I spent it deflecting squeals and screams of delight while attempting to nurse and answering personal medical questions from the beginning of time. No big deal. You learn to juggle eventually. It was the trip to the pharmacy that awoke my epiphany. Apparently everyone on this base has a medicine need and we waited for two hours to reach the counter. (Luckily they had Giada on the big screen or I would have counted tiles to avoid stares) My Sweets decided he would pick today to transition into squirmy screech monkey that did not want the stroller or Momma’s grasp. He also preferred to eat his milk as if I was a two-way drive through.There I sat for two hours wrestling my baby to keep him from crawling on the dirty floor. Nursing with very little discretion by the end out of sheer exhaustion and apologizing profusely to everyone seated around me that My Sweets tried to take down.
After receiving my medication and piling us back into the car I caught a glimpse of myself in the rear view mirror. Flush and glistening from the ordeal and could not help but laugh. This is my life now? But I still rock hot shades and killer boots? My little one fell asleep on the ride home and I carried him inside to bed. He rested his little head on my shoulder and gave the sweetest sigh. Yep, this is my life and I am so blessed to have ended up here.
What is the exact moment you realized you were officially a parent? Please share you stories in the comments!
When I was pregnant I made up my mind to try to breastfeed. Read all the recommendations handed over by my doctor and was assured I would take to it after a while. But still I had heard so many negative things about the effort (pain, physical changes, pain) that I was compelled to set a goal of one year at least to try to give my Sweets the healthiest start. Since I am person that thrives with goals I knew this would aid me.
The stories of pain and loss of identity as a separate entity set my nerves for my first feeding sessions. I was intimidated by the notion I might mess up and make my baby less inclined to take to nursing. So much literature out there to read before giving birth and so little energy set me up for a mind jumble mess near the end of month nine. The normal rush of ideas of failure popping into a Mother to be’s brain did not help either. But I have to say from the first moment that wrinkly little peach of a baby took to me I have never since doubted the gift of nursing. I have learned so many simple truths that can be applied to life in general simply by nursing. Still am awe-struck at how far we have come in the blink of an eye.
1. Relax you know what you are doing. So many times we get jumbled by the would a/could a/should a voices that we dull out our own voice. You have great instincts as a parent already sometimes it is best just to listen them instead of others.
2. It gets messy, it is okay. Like forgetting your nursing pads at a day long briefing messy. Don’t worry there will never be a mess so big you can’t clean up. ( and hey people will forget too, eventually )
3. The quiet moments make it worth while. In my younger days I would have found this statement dull as dishwater but today I am a changed woman. Gasp darn I say a matured woman who fully appreciates that beauty of life in the quiet moments. Soft breathing and warm cuddling moments make it ALL worth while.
4. Sometimes you fail. It is okay. I have had crying nights or nursing strikes galore. Well, at least a few and will say it is fine. The bad days do not last if you push through. Just keep trying.
5. No one is perfect. I haven’t met one person yet who has surpassed all of life’s struggles or woes. And I have not met anyone without flaw. So while you feel alone in your down days remember you are not. We have all been there and gotten through. You will too.
With my sweet little one quickly approaching toddler hood I am taken aback at the things that have changed in this past year. So many lessons learned I thought I would share.
1. Moms don’t sleep. Well at least not often. Just when you think you have a routine down a new tooth pops up, the family journeys on a vacation, someone gets sick or anyone of a million little trivial things of day to day life venture on the schedule. Mom is the one that has to keep everyone focused and everyone sane while the dark circles grow to orbit worthy proportions.
2. Mothering can be a competitive sport. There is this little thing I like to call Mom-petion. It is what Moms do. Period. Doesn’t matter the age, culture or location there is always that one Mom (or group of Moms) trying to judge and best their counterparts.
3. Don’t judge! Until your child has personally embarrassed you in a restaurant (airplane, store, etc) you have no idea the day(s) that Mom has endured to bring her to the place of pajamas in public and a sullen look. You may be a more together Mom but you are not a better Mom when it comes to her kids.
4. Showers are vacations. Hear that single ladies? Enjoy your bubble baths while you can. Last time I filled the tub it was for a chubby little man who has an odd affection for bubbles.
5. Your child will be the sweetest eye candy. It is normal. There are times still that I will forgo relaxing during the baby’s nap time to look at his baby pictures. Such as right now – I haven’t slept more than five hours consecutively in the last two months and I still climb in bed and instead of sleeping become enthralled with the image on the monitor screen.
6. Nothing tests a relationship more than a child. The dynamic of my marriage has completely changed. You will hear many people tell you a baby will bring you closer to each other and make you love each other more. Almost sounds like a romantic glamorization. While these statements are absolutely true IF you can make it that long. What you do not hear people talk about is the constant interruptions that will test your marriage to the brink. Learning to put each other first while caring for an infant may be one of the hardest challenges you see.
7. Nothing tests any relationship you have more than a child. My friendships have changed as well. Be prepared some will not hang around to have late night gab feasts turn into early afternoon coffee runs and diaper rants.
8. It is worth it. Becoming a Mom-bie, losing friends, losing naps and baths it is all worth it when that chubby little hand reaches for yours while resting peacefully in your arms. Or that sweet little face utters Mama for the first time recognizing what they actually mean themselves. It is so worth it and all one big lesson.