Motherhood is the toughest job you’ll ever have. It’s messy, overwhelming at times and unpredictable. At the same time, it’s beautiful and rewarding. Since having kids, I’ve changed a lot. Without a doubt, for the better. Those two little brown eyed babes that call me mama have rocked my world in the best way possible. I cannot imagine a life without them, the crazy and all. Now that I’m almost three years into motherhood, I’m sharing some things I’ve learned with you today.
10. Stop worrying. I worried all of the time when AG was a baby. With Luke, my thought process is whatever it is, we’ll get through it. He had a tongue tie when he was born and struggled to gain weight and nurse. If this were the case with AG I would have lost it, completely lost it. With L, I did my research, made appointments and did everything in my power to get it fixed. When L had RSV at two months old, I held on to the hope that this too shall pass. As a second time mom, I know it passes and I also know that worrying will get me absolutely no where. Say a prayer and give it to God.
9. Embrace it. The mess, the tantrums, the snuggles, the hugs and the kisses. Motherhood is hard. There are days that feel like they’re never going to end. Days that are filled with lots of tears, tantrums and who knows what else. But the beauty of life is that there is tomorrow, which brings a fresh start. The tough moments don’t last long. Embrace the crazy and remember, you’ve been given the greatest gift and they call you mama.
8. Let go of expectations. The way you think it should be is all in your head. Each child is different. I’ll admit that I expected for Luke to be sleeping though the night by now, since AG was at one month. Since that isn’t the case, I had to get rid of my expectations of how I think things should be and focus on how they are. Expectations make you focus on something else other than what is in front of you by thinking about how you think things should be. Get rid of the expectations and put your focus on the reality of what is in front of you.
“Things turn out the best for people who make the best out of the way things turn out”. John Wooden
7. Give yourself grace. This should really be number ONE. Motherhood looks different every. single. day. With littles, things will not go as planned. Your to do list may not get finished. The house that you just cleaned can easily be messed up in minutes. Some nights dinner may consist of cereal, leftovers or a hodgepodge of what’s in the fridge. We, as moms simply cannot do it all. We tend to go and go and go until we can’t go anymore. There is no such thing as perfection, especially in motherhood. Mistakes will be made and days will be tough. Give yourself grace, take a step back, breathe and keep on trucking along. Do the best you can with what you have.
6. You are capable. Capable of raising a child. Capable of making tough decisions. Capable of managing a chaotic household. Capable of teaching your child. Capable of being a good mom. The list goes on and on, you’re capable of more than you know. I know that when AG was born, I underestimated myself. I didn’t do a lot of things because of fear that I couldn’t do them. Now with two, the fear is still there but I know that I’ll figure it out. Don’t doubt yourself.
5. Pregnancy brain never goes away. Write it down, take a picture, tell someone to remind you…if not you’ll forget. Even though you’re not pregnant anymore, your pregnancy brain can turn into mommy brain. I remembered everything before kids. These days, I’m forgetful. I find myself trying hard to remember what I was about to do. I’m easily sidetracked and live by my lists. Gone are the days of taking mental notes.
4. Make time for YOU: You can’t be a good mom without taking care of yourself first. Same goes for being a wife. In the early days, it’s hard to make yourself a priority when you have a little one depending on you for so much. But try, just try and take some time for YOU. Even if it’s 5 minutes to just breathe, read a book or a magazine, go in the car by yourself to pick up dinner, or go for a walk. It’s amazing what a few minutes of quiet can do. When it comes to marriage, the same is true. It is easy to focus so much on the littles that you don’t focus on each other. Set some time aside for just you and your spouse when you can. Shut the TV off at night and talk, listen and connect. If you can’t get out for a date night, do at home date nights after the kids go to bed.
3. Nap time is for decompressing. Sit on the couch, grab a cup of coffee, pull a blanket over yourself and give yourself a pat on the back for surviving the morning. Don’t try to get everything done during naps. I was guilty of this. As soon as the kids would go down, I’d get right to work. I’d work until they woke up and the crazy would start all over again. I wouldn’t get a break and I was running on empty by the time dinner arrived. Now, I try to take the first 30 minutes of naps for ME. Some days it’s longer, others I have too much work to do but it’s important to just take a minute to breathe and take in the quiet.
2. You need your girlfriends. The saying it takes a village couldn’t be more true. You need your friends in the journey of motherhood, especially those friends who just get it. Those friends who will listen, give you a shoulder to cry on or show up with a bottle of wine after though days. Take time with those friends, cultivate those relationships.
1. You cannot do it all, stop trying. Cut your to do lists in half. Skip work for snuggles. Put down your phone and get your hands messy. There isn’t a perfect balance of motherhood, marriage, work, etc. It’s a day to day balancing act. The weight of the scales will shift daily. Put your focus into what needs the most of your energy that day or even in that hour. Know that the next day, or in that next hour, the weight may need to be shifted. Focus on one thing at a time. You’ll be amazed at how much more you can accomplish when you’re only trying to do one thing and not 100.
While it’s easy to write all of this out, I’m still working on living it each day.
You know the saying… the days are long but the years are short.
Couldn’t be more true.
What is something you’ve learned since becoming a mom?