Monday, December 11, 2017

LESSONS IN MOTHERHOOD | part one





i remember exactly where i was when i asked my mom, "it's not like it's that hard, right? i was sitting at a stoplight, eight months pregnant with jackson. in an effort to educate myself, i was reading all the blog articles about motherhood, newborns, birth, etc. it seemed as though every article was doom + gloom, describing motherhood as the hardest thing ever. i had never heard my mom talk about the early stages of motherhood like that, so it couldn't be true, right?

HA. as i was sitting at another stoplight earlier this week, i mentioned that conversation to my mama. we both laughed because those first months of motherhood for me were that hard. and then some. apparently my brother + i were easier babies. good sleepers.

motherhood is the most humbling experience of my life. it's wonderful + beautiful, crazy + messy, fun + gratifying, weird + strange. all at once. i've learned some valuable, hard lessons during the last (almost) six months. i'm grateful for every single one because it's molding me into the kind of mom i desire to be. here are some of those lessons:


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GOOD FOR HER; NOT FOR ME.

this is the biggest, hardest, + best lesson of motherhood i've had to learn. i'm still learning it actually. every mom raises/nurtures/feeds their babies differently. but here's the thing: mothering differently than others doesn't mean you're doing it wrong. let me say this again: MOTHERING DIFFERENTLY THAN OTHERS DOESN'T MEAN YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG. i read this phrase in amy poehler's book: good for her; not for me. it has become my motherhood anthem.


I DIDN'T LOOOOOOVE THE NEWBORN STAGE LIKE EVERYONE SAID I WOULD.

there. i said it. i thought i was the only one until i opened up to another mom about this, and i could have cried when she whispered, "i didn't either." the only reason it was hard for me to embrace that short season is because we didn't know about jackson's dairy intolerance, so he didn't sleep a lot like most newborns. i felt bad about this at first, but i'm so proud of myself on the other hand because everyone kept telling me he was just colicky, and i knew in my gut that wasn't the case.  


IF SOMEONE HAS A "GOOD" BABY, IT DOESN'T MEAN YOU HAVE A BAD BABY.

before we knew of jackson's dairy intolerance, i struggled with thinking that i had a bad baby. this came from well-meaning conversations with other moms who didn't know that their words were almost damaging to my tender mama heart at the time. they would say, "oh, i never had to deal with that. i had a good baby." or "my babies slept a lot when they were that age." after i went dairy-free, jackson became a different baby almost overnight. he wasn't "bad", he was uncomfortable from the gas. now i will say that he prefers to be held a lot and likes to be entertained and still doesn't sleep through the night - yet. but this does NOT mean that jackson is a bad baby or all the other things i let myself believe when people would say they had a good baby. it just means that his needs are different in this stage of his life.


YOU APPRECIATE YOUR PARENTS SO MUCH MORE.

my mom tells me about once a week how i'm doing a great job at this crazy mothering thing, and i always remind her that i had a good teacher. [okay, i'm crying now. geez.]


I'VE NEVER CARED SO MUCH ABOUT SOMEONE'S PEE + POOP.

this was more in the newborn stage, but i still monitor it throughout the week. i also have a weird fascination with trying to get boogies out of his nose. motherhood, y'all. it's beautiful + a little gross.


GOOD FOR HER; NOT FOR ME

i just need to say it again. for myself. for the mom who cries when no one is around because she feels less than qualified. for the mom who wonders if she's doing a good job (spoiler: YOU ARE.) for the mom whose plans didn't go the way she had hoped. for me. for you. for her. mothering differently than others doesn't mean you're doing it wrong.  



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