I did it. I’ve been a mom for a little over a year and as we celebrated our son turning one, my husband and I celebrated having made the transition to parenthood pretty well.
I’m currently rocking and nursing my son to sleep for his nap as I type this on my iPhone. Which by the way, what did nursing moms do before the iPhone?! Read a book? Stare off into space? Pray? All good things that I feel I should probably do more of, but I digress.
Yes, for a year I have done many things again and again and again. Nurse. Rock. Feed. Play. Diapers. Bathe. Stare at my son in disbelief….disbelief that he is mine and I LOVE him so much…and disbelief that he just pooped on the bathmat.
At times motherhood is pure joy. At times I have felt like I’m loosing it. At times I’ve felt confident in my mothering. Other times I’ve doubted myself. Sometimes I’ve felt great peace and other times great anxiety. Sometimes my hubby and I work amazingly as a team in this whole parenting gig and other times we have head butted hard. Some days I feel so very present with my son and the moments we share, and other days I feel distracted with my to do list or other stressors.
And I imagine that all mom’s are with me in these things. As one of my favorite podcast Mom’s says, “don’t mom alone”. – God Centered Mom Podcast
So, I want to share some reflections, confessions, and random observations from this first year of motherhood. Perhaps some of you will relate and realize how very not alone you are in your experiences as a mom and some of you may silently judge me 😉
- In the early weeks with a nursing-around-the-clock newborn, I ran into the startling reality that this gig is literally 24/7. Thankfully, sleep depravation does get better.
- Two Words: Dry Shampoo
- One of my favorite things about my Thursday night choir rehearsals is that I get to sit in one spot for over two hours and don’t have to get up unless I need to pee. And even then, I may just hold it.
- I never anticipated how many hypothesis I would come up with as to why he slept poorly one night and like a champ the next night….it must be because the drapes were pulled 3/4 closed rather than 3/5 thus letting in the appropriate amount of moonlight for his circadian rhythms to align with….blah blah blah…and no, that was never one of my actual hypothesis, but your mind goes all over the place trying to recreate the exact conditions that led to that amazing sleep!
- Loving my son as much as I do places me in one of the most vulnerable places I’ve ever been. Brene Brown says it well in her book Daring Greatly – “Waking up every day and loving someone who may or may not love us back, whose safety we can’t ensure, who may stay in our lives or may leave without a moment’s notice, who may be loyal to the day they die or betray us tomorrow —that’s vulnerability. Love is uncertain. It’s incredibly risky. And loving someone leaves us emotionally exposed. Yes, it’s scary and yes, we’re open to being hurt, but can you imagine your life without loving or being loved?”
- Why are there so many things that can go wrong with breastfeeding?!! Can I get an amen?! Mastitis, plugged duct, thrush, milk bleb, tongue tie, lip tie, poor latch, high palate…we went through a few of these.
- Mothering sometimes feels like 525,600 decisions. Cloth or disposable, Co-sleep/room share/crib in own room, nurse on demand or schedule, BLW or purée, sleep train or not, go back to work or stay home, this or that car seat, vaccinate on schedule or alternative vaccine route, nurse to sleep or never nurse to sleep, etc. So many decisions.
- I have let my son eat off the floor more than once.
- He has peed on the bathmat a few times and I have let said bathmat stay put for a bit longer than may be considered appropriate.
- I haven’t had more than 5 consecutive hours of sleep in over a year and honestly 5 hours is rare. How do I manage this? Co-sleeping. Some of you are already judging me and that’s fine as long as you keep it to yourself. Before I was a mom, I too silently judged others who bed shared, but now I know everyone has to do what works best for their family. And for what it’s worth, I love co-sleeping for many reasons and the book “Sweet Sleep” from Le Leche League International has a lot of great info on baby sleep and co-sleeping safely.
- When he has bit me while nursing, I curse more than I’d like to admit. I’m workin’ on it.
- I want to control so much as a mom and sometimes I feel as though it is all of my responsibility to ensure that he is healthy and secure and okay…and then I have to remember that I’m not God and I can’t see and protect and be my son’s strong tower at all times, but God can.
- Many days I feel as though I’m ‘On’ ALL day. Mothering can be constant motion, and sure I could put my feet up while he sleeps, but many days don’t afford this as I have chores or work to do. We as mothers work HARD.
- Seeing my husband become a father was priceless. Seeing him father our son has been irreplaceable. There’s nothing like it.
- I have shaved less this year than ever before.
- I don’t have a ton of Mom friends. Sometimes I think that maybe this is a negative thing, but I’m not sure if that is just a social pressure I feel. I have single friends and non-mom married friends and each bring something valuable and good to my community as I hope I do for them. Mom world is new and different so there is definitely a need to connect with other moms. Ultimately I am thankful for all my friends and want to nurture and go deeper with all. I’m also super thankful for the online Mommas group I am part of – they have given me timely advice on numerous things many times!
- I’ve bathed with my son a few times and he has turned around every time and found the milk. I didn’t plan to nurse in the tub, but when he knows it’s available…
- Being a mom and making decisions for you little one can feel intimidating. Especially as a first time mom. If a mom senses the slightest judgement from another, it can hit so hard. Be kind to all moms and don’t criticize them. Love them, support them, and help them.
- I desire to know and hear and understand the voice of God more and more, because it is His wisdom that will be the perfect parenting guide for me.
- To all moms: You do You.