Today is my first official Mother’s Day. A day I now get to celebrate the rest of my life. I love being a mom. I know it sounds like something you are supposed to say and feel but I honestly, and wholeheartedly love it. Do not get me wrong; I have my moments. Motherhood isn’t all smiles, giggles, and hugs. Sometimes there are days when crying is nonstop, messes are made, household chores are backed up, and life seems chaotic without an end in sight. Still, on those days I try to keep the perspective that these days are fleeting. I am already reminded of how quickly time moves just by looking at my son Q. He is almost eight months old, and I do not know where the time has gone. It seems like yesterday we were bringing him home from the hospital and I was a nervous mess. I cried at the drop of a hat, and I had no idea what I was doing. Although I do not have it all figured out, I feel much more sure of myself. I am navigating the parental waters with much more confidence and developing my parenting style.
I wanted to write a special Mother’s Day post with what I have observed and learned throughout my days in the last seven and a half months.
- I use to roll my eyes at the overly cheesy things moms would post on social media about how their kids are their hearts and stuff like that, I didn’t get it before having a baby, but I get it now. My son is a tangible piece of my heart now moving around outside my body. It is a beautiful, terrifying, and vulnerable thing.
- Since having Q, memories from my childhood that were tucked away have resurfaced. I now sing songs my mom and grandmother would sing to me like “You are my sunshine” and “I love you a bushel and a peck.” I also recall how much I loved when my mom would read me books, which I am now passing along to my son.
- While my husband Bernard and I share the same values, our approaches are vastly different. Parenthood is the same way. We are not going to be the same parents or have the same relationship with our son, and that is okay, neither is superior to the other, we are just different. It will help our son become a well-rounded individual.
- I am learning that I am never going to be like other moms. I watched this seminar given by a mom who was super perky and had all these spunky mannerisms and ideas on how she interacted with her children. I realized that I am never going to mold myself into being a mom like that, not that there is anything wrong with that mom; it just isn’t me. I can read and research what other moms are doing, but I won’t ever fit those moms’ molds. Putting that pressure on myself will drive me nuts. All I can be is the best version of myself, the best mom I can be, and that will be enough. I believe that we become moms to our kids for a reason.
- I find in the most difficult of times that praying to God is the best relief. I prayed for my son before getting pregnant, I prayed throughout my pregnancy, and now I pray every day, more often than not to thank God for all the blessings he has brought into my life.
- Now that I have had a child, I find I am much more concerned with what we as a family consume, whether it is food, television, music, literature. I also find myself reading labels and leaning into more natural products. It is funny how once you have a child the things you care about completely change.
- An unexpected, exciting aspect of parenthood is the experimentation that occurs. Right now, Q is eating purées, and I love giving him new flavors to try and seeing what he likes and what he doesn’t. The other day, I mixed sweet potato, spinach, and ground cloves and he loved it! Parenthood is a big experiment if one thing doesn’t work, try something else and see how it goes.
- Q is a little human, so he feels and thinks all on his own. If he doesn’t like something or is over something, he will let me know in his way. For example, I tried to give him peas the other day, and after trying it and being disgusted by it, he pushed the spoon I was holding away.
- I love routine. I like the predictability of it. I never realized how much babies want and need routine too. We recently took a trip to Wilmington, North Carolina and while Q adapted to this break from routine, the second night there, we were able to do his normal bedtime routine, and it was amazing how much that seemed to center him.
- I know I am learning a lot about him, but I sometimes forget he is learning a lot about me too. He will often lightly touch the features of my face with his tiny little hands like he is trying to commit it to memory. It is probably my favorite thing he does other than giggling.
Harriet Beecher Stowe said, “Most mothers are instinctive philosophers.” I couldn’t agree more!
Hope all the new moms, old moms, and soon-to-be moms have a wonderful Mother’s Day.