If you’re a mom (or even if you aren’t) you’ve had the perfect little picture in your mind of what motherhood would look like. You’d birth a beautiful bundle of joy, and would leave the hospital to enjoy breastfeeding, rest and heal your body, and the calmness of a peacefully sleeping baby. Then reality hits. Hard.
Time flies, and then the toddler you imagined learning the alphabet and eating all of the meals you prepared is now coloring on walls and flinging food like a Frisbee. Gasp! Needless to say, motherhood is nothing like I imagined. For the first three years of Kalyn’s life, I’ve been EXTREMELY hard on myself. The perfectionist side of me wanted to keep all control, but the human side of me finally understands it’s ok to relinquish some power, and learn to enjoy every moment, laugh, tear, and tantrum that comes with being a mommy.
Here are some of my biggest AH-HAs in my journey thus far. I’m debunking mommy myths I told myself, and realizing that as long as my babygirl is happy, healthy, and loved…I’m doing much better than I think!
“I’ll never give my child formula!”
-Well, that was hopeful of me. After PAINFULLY clogged milk ducts, pumping for an hour to see a few drops of liquid gold, a crying baby who refused to latch on, and four lactation specialists, I was DONE. I had a lot of guilt about not breastfeeding. I still agree that it’s what’s best for babies. But I don’t regret not doing it anymore. As a first time mommy, the best decision I made the best decision for my little ones needs at the time. And guess what? She lived! Lol
“I’ll set a routine, and stick to it!”
-I couldn’t help but laugh, here. Now, I’m the queen of structure. So I did set a routine, and I sorta kinda stick to it..but after a long week, I sneak in a few extra hours before bedtime to cuddle and play and hope she sleeps in until 8:30 (yeah right) the next morning. And nap time, forget it. This one has been hard for me, but each moment I spend with Princess Kay is worth the bit of insanity.
“I’ll never let my kid eat THAT!”
-I imagined that once my child was old enough for table food, I’d have tons of fun exploring Pinterest and creating lots of healthy meals for her to try. Ha. If your toddler is anything like mine, they can smell healthy from a mile away, and take off running before you can put a plate in front of them. Some nights are going to be chicken nuggets or pizza, and I’m ok with that. I find my ways to sneak in what I need, and set my boundaries. I know that she’s healthy and developing well. It. Is. O.K.
“I’ll never spoil my child.”
-If you’ve met Kay, don’t jump in my comments. Lol. How can you not show some extra love to a cute little face who smiles and says “Pweaaaaseee!” Boundaries are everything. I make sure she’s very familiar with the word “no”, and that she doesn’t become accustomed to ungratefulness for what she already has. But I truly find it a blessing to be able to give her all she needs and wants within reason. Call it spoiled or not, it works for us!
“I’ll never compare my child to others.”
-Social media is the devil when it comes to comparison. As perfect as Kay is, I have found myself wondering if she isn’t comparable in size, in intelligence, or in behavior of other children. Then I talk to mommies who tell me they WISH their child was like mine. I’ve learned that every little quirk makes my babygirl so uniquely amazing. I’m truly grateful for everything about her, and know that she is made in God’s incredible image.
“I’ll never let my child sit and watch TV/Ipad for an extended time.”
-Momma.Is.Tired. As an educator at heart, I value play and learning through exploration, so on a general basis, you’ll find me in the playroom cooking pretend dinner or being jumped on like I’m a human bounce house. Then there are days when I literally cannot. Kalyn learns through music. So I help her find songs and videos that teach her something. Other times, I let her just watch things that entertain her while I catch my breath/do her hair/prep dinner….and it’s ok. I limit her time, and ensure that she is active in other ways.
“Motherhood will be a breeze.”
-Oh the things we don’t know before we know them. Motherhood is the most enjoyable part of my life. It is also the HARDEST part of my life. I have a whole human being to care for. I have to worry about her health, her happiness, and her future. There are times when I haven’t enjoyed being a mom. Times when I felt like a failure. Times when I’ve felt isolated. Times when I’ve been resentful for the lack of help. It’s not easy. But each day that she smiles and grows I know I’ve done my best work in life. The reward is immeasurable, and it’s a job I wouldn’t trade for the whole world!