Tag Archives: lessons

5 Things Motherhood Has Taught Me

30 Dec

I went into motherhood thinking a book, or perhaps the internet, could teach me all I needed to know. To an extent I guess it can. I’m an advocate of research and preparation. But what I’ve learned in my son’s 8 months of life is that nothing can fully prepare you for motherhood. Nothing. It’s hard and time consuming. You’ll cry, you’ll feel like a failure. But you will also laugh more than you ever have, smile for no reason, and be completely and utterly in love. Being a mommy is the biggest blessing God has ever bestowed upon me but it has also introduced me to some of the biggest obstacles I’ve ever faced. I’ve learned so much already and I know the lessons are far from over.

1. Motherhood has taught me that I am NOT housewife of the year. I haven’t always been the obsessive compulsive clean freak that I currently am. I remember a time right around 16 when my bedroom was a mosaic of dirty clothes and used dishes. My how times have changed. I’ve slowly morphed into my mother and cleaning has become a hobby. Before I had my son, I cleaned the house constantly. It was spotless yet I still felt as though it was a disaster. Little did I know it would soon be cluttered with toys and bottles and remnants of yesterday’s dinner. The first week home with Silas I told myself “everything can wait” and I let the cleaning, for the most part, go. Best decision ever! They aren’t newborns long. After that, I jumped in head first and falsely assumed I would be able to keep my house as clean as I used to. Listen to me when I say “Once you have kids, your house will only ever be spotless for minutes at a time.” I can only speak for my own home and maybe we are just slobs but most of the time there’s a trail of drool from the living room to the nursery, several spoiled bottles of formula lost under the bed, a pool of spit up here or there, and a whole buffet of brightly colored toys randomly tossed unto the rug. But Guess what? That’s ok. Cleaning can wait. Babies need attention and play. They need fed and bathed and tickled. Your home will not expect anything from you nor give anything in return. Obviously, dishes still need to be done, clothes still need washed, and the floors won’t clean themselves but don’t beat yourself up when a day goes by where nothing really gets accomplished. You will have tomorrow. Enjoy your little one first. Everything else can find a new place in line.

Motherhood has taught me that I am NOT the most squeamish person alive. I’ve always considered myself to have a super weak stomach. I can’t even watch action films for fear of fake blood for crying out loud. But somehow I now manage to clean up poop, wipe away vomit, and pick boogers without flinching. Having a baby obviously makes you immune to ickiness, right? In fact, I first fell in love with my son when he was naked and covered in blood and mucous 😉 And he was absolutely beautiful.

Motherhood has taught me how to multitask. Before my mommy days I could barely walk and chew gum at the same time. These days I manage to cook dinner, fold laundry, wash dishes and get in a daily dance sesh all at once AND while carrying my son on my back. In fact, there’s not very many instances of my day that I am not multitasking. It’s a completely necessary talent for survival. Without multitasking, I may never get to eat :/

Motherhood has taught me to appreciate sleep. I remember a time when sleeping in meant crawling out of bed at noon or 1pm. Now I can’t remember the last time I slept past 9am and that’s a rarity. 9am is now “sleeping the day away”. I also can’t remember the last time I wasn’t awoken at least once in the middle of the night. Oh how I love my sweety pie but this never sleeping thing is for the birds. Take advantage of what time you have to catch some z’s. There’s nothing wrong with napping with baby or going to bed at the same time as the elderly. I know this yet I still find myself up at 11 when the baby’s been asleep since 8. Have I really learned anything?

Motherhood has taught me how to forgive myself. I ever so meticulously planned and put every ounce of my energy into a natural birth and breastfeeding. I was dead set and also one hundred percent prepared for both. I did my research, took my classes, worked my butt off but I still failed at these two things. After 8 hours of back labor stuck in triage (because L&D was full) I lost my focus and got an epi. And after 2 weeks of pushing myself through the excruciating pain  exclusively breastfeeding I made the decision to switch to formula. For the longest time I hated myself for giving up in either of these circumstances. I lived with constant regret and remorse. I was living my life in the past and missing the beautiful present that was going on all around me. Forgiveness, for me at least, is the single most important lesson motherhood has taught me. It’s also the hardest lesson to accept.

Stop blaming yourselves. A perfect mother does not exist. But you are an amazing mother, and your children won’t remember the way they entered the world, they don’t care if they were breastfed or formula fed, they don’t even have the slightest clue how many times you’ve messed up. All those little eyes see is the one who holds them, the one who comforts and loves them, the one who is always there to kiss boo boos and wipe tears and make a yummy snack. To them, you are perfect. I still struggle with choices I’ve made as a mother but I’m slowly learning how to let go of the regret and forgive myself.

Motherhood is a learning experience. From the beginning and always. You live, you make mistakes, you learn from those mistakes, and you base future decisions on what you’ve learned. A cycle that goes on and on. If you love your babies, if you give them your best, then you are doing an amazing job. Never forget that. 

What has motherhood taught you?

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