Being a mom is awesome! And tough, and amazing, and hilarious, and depressing, and lonely, and really great. And that’s an understatement.
Today, as my second year celebrating Mother’s day as a mom, I decided I finally wanted to write and share a few things I’ve learned on this crazy ride called motherhood. Since I’m a veteran mother now (LOL) I thought it was time to share some of my experiences, plus I wanted to get a little real and raw, which is kind of a new thing for me.
I remember when I first found out I was pregnant with Jack I felt like I was finally becoming a member of this exclusive and powerful club I have always dreamed of being a member of, the “mom” club. I had many goals and aspirations for my life, but this was really my number one.
It was my time to have my very own child, to raise and help to be an amazing, emotionally healthy, well-adjusted, overall awesome person. I thought I had such a good idea on all the things I would need to do to be the ideal mom to raise this person, and that yes even though it was going to be hard, I was made to do it. In reality, as Ygritte said to Jon Snow, “You know nothing.”
That’s one of the craziest parts of motherhood, that really YOU KNOW NOTHING.
That’s why I wanted to share a little bit of what I’ve learned, to hopefully help all the future mother’s out there or to commiserate with all you other mom’s who’ve probably experienced and are struggling with some of the same things and to let you know it’s ok and you are not alone. So here are five things I’ve learned in the past couple years as a mom.
- Nothing goes according to plan
If I could emphasize one point of motherhood over and over again it would be this one. That’s because looking back, there were so many time’s when I was so hard on myself for not being able to do things how I thought I should. or how my mom did, or how my friend did when that is so pointless. Your experience as a mother will never be the same as anyone else, and that’s OK.
For me, this even goes back to the day that Jack was born and I had this idea that I was not going to get an epidural and that I was going to do this “naturally”. Whelp when those extremely painful contractions started all that flew out the window. Looking back I always felt a little guilty about it, and also felt a little guilty when it happened again with his sister. But that’s honestly ridiculous! And that’s easier to say now, but as a mom, we can sometimes make ourselves feel guilty for the smallest things. Which brings me to my next point.
2. You will never feel more guilty in your life
Mom guilt is the WORST but it’s so hard to fight.
I remember when I came home from the hospital I was breastfeeding Jack and although he ate constantly he was not gaining weight, in fact, he was losing it. I remember going to the doctor’s office and them telling me that my milk was like skim milk so although I was producing a lot, the fat content was just too low to sustain him and I needed to supplement with formula. Later that day I came home and was feeding Jack, and I just started to cry. I felt sooooo guilty about not being able to just breastfeed and that I had to give him formula like I was denying him of something and that I was a bad mom. Which wasn’t true at all.
Then Sofia was born and the mom guilt hit me two-fold. I felt guilty when I was giving Sofia too much attention and Jack, not enough attention, and vice versa. I felt guilty about not being ready for a second baby. I felt guilty about not recovering from birth as fast as I did with Jack.
I’m sure some of you are reading this and thinking that it all sounds a little crazy, and it is, but as a mom “mom guilt” is so real and can really cause a downward spiral like it did with me many times. But if it feels like you can’t seem to shake it off and your thoughts are getting worse and worse, you may be experiencing my next point.
3. You will probably experience baby blues or post-partum depression
Post-partum depression is so crazy because you usually don’t realize you have it until you are smack dab in the middle of it.
With Sofia, I was in so much denial about it, but it was definitely there. When she was born I remember feeling like I should be so happy, and there was a small part of me that really was, but the rest of me honestly felt like I was just in a strange dream and going through the motions without actually feeling anything.
I felt so guilty (there it is again) because I had this amazing, practically perfect little baby girl but I just wasn’t sure if I loved her. It’s still painful for me to write that even now because I now know that even then I loved her with my entire being, but that was post-partum. I would look at her and feel nothing, and sometimes I wasn’t sure if I wanted to hold her or cuddle her because I was so afraid that she would know and feel this emptiness inside of me.
And that was just one aspect of it. There can be so many ways it hits you, and it can even be delayed and it you when your baby is already three or six months old. And even with all the accounts, I read about it and all the friends and family I had who experienced it I was still in denial about it.
But why I’m writing about this, and all my other points, is that if this sounds familiar to you or you are in the middle of it right now that it’s ok and you have it and you aren’t malfunctioning and you need help and that’s ok too.
4. Please, please, PLEASE ask for help
This is one area of motherhood that I still struggle with today but I want all moms or future moms who are reading this to understand, it’s essential for your sanity as a human being to ask for help as a mom.
Whether that’s asking your husband to feed the baby at night or to take the kids out so you can have solo time, or asking a friend to watch the kids while you run errands, or asking your mom to help you cook while you spend time with the kids, whatever help you need don’t hesitate to ask.
I say this also because there are many times, even every day, where motherhood can feel so lonely. I know that’s something that I still struggle with. Most days I am stuck in the house all day with kids, and there only adult interaction is with my husband when he is in between work and school. And I know that if I just took more time to reach out and ask for help it would probably alleviate some of those feelings.
5. Don’t compare
This is something that can be said for not only motherhood but everything else in life, but I want to especially emphasise it for all you mommas out there.
Your motherhood experience your life as a mom is not going to be like anybody else’s, so don’t try to make it like anybody else’s. I know it can be hard with Instagram and Facebook and so many moms who make everything look so easy, but just try to understand that they probably have things as moms that aren’t easy for them too.
If you are great at cooking every day for your kids but the house is a little messy, GREAT! If you do a lot of fun activities with your kids but tend to do take-out most of the time, that’s great too! There is no such thing as a perfect mom, but you can be the perfect mom for your family.
I would, and still are, so hard on myself for not cooking enough or not cleaning enough or not doing enough fun activities with Jack. But the truth is I was doing so much more than I even knew. As long as I’m giving my kids and my husband my love and my time that’s all that matters.
I really could share so much more and maybe I will in a different post, but for now, I just want to say to all you mom’s out there that you are AMAZING. Mom’s are seriously the true wonder women’s of the world and the mom’s that I’ve had the privilege of knowing, including my own mom, make me want to be the best mom I can be.
I also have to say I feel so blessed to be a mom and that raising my children has and continues to be the biggest privilege that God has bestowed upon me and I strive to be worthy of it every day. And most days it’s pretty imperfectly, but that’s perfectly ok too.
Happy Mother’s day to you all!