Motherhood: Mom, a parent, a caregiver, a boo-boo kisser, a butt wiper, disciplinarian, a multi-tasker, a chef, part-time maid, full-time toilet washer, a mechanical bouncer, poo target, a teacher, a leader, a role model, a source of nourishment, a source of life.
I can almost say that I've made it through the first year (insert big fat tears) as a new parent. Sure, we had some rough times and we had some times where I wondered if I would ever contemplate doing this again but in the end, I look back and I actually can not wait to do it again (not soon, ok, so don't let your thoughts think that!)
I look back and of course think, 'oh, i could have done that differently,' but really parenting is a learn as you go kinda of thing. Books, other moms, doctors...they are all there to give you a little help but your own instincts? Those are what will always lead us in the right direction.
I knew that being a mom would change me and I knew that I'd love my child but you never understand how much till you have that child in your arms or you see them reach out for you. It's a feeling that words cannot express. There is not a word in the English dictionary that can come close to encompassing that feeling. Trust me, I've looked!
The rough parts are rough. I've been upfront and honest about that. We cried our way through those first four months, lived in puke for months 4-6, and those sleepless months 6-8 when he decided he needed to grow 6 teeth and wake up hourly.
As a wise momma friend tells me when things get tough, 'this too shall pass.' She's right, it did. Let that be your mantra. It's just a phase this too shall pass.
When people ask me for advice about being a new mom, I really don't know what to say. Like I said before, a word to describe motherhood doesn't exist. You can tell them that you'll miss sleep, or you won't be able to remember what you did 5 minutes ago or even that teething is comparable to hell on earth but I don't. Did I even listen those horror stories myself? I was too busy freaking out about birthing a giant hairy child. I nodded and smiled like the polite uncomfortable pregnant woman but the truth is you have to learn as you go.
Then, there is the whole 'no two babies are the same' mindset I've come to terms with. Yes, come to terms with!! When Brady was 4 months old and still waking up numerous times at night and I heard of other moms with babies his same age that have been sleeping through the night since they were in the womb, it like rubbing salt in the wound. I had to come to terms with the fact that he wasn't Jane Smith's baby. He was MY child. He'll sleep when HE is ready. That is a hard thing to accept at 3 am when you have to be up in a few hours to drive an hour to work and then put in 8 hours at the office.
Guess what? He slept when HE was ready! (Even though it did take him 10 1/2 months to do so!)
We all have our own fingerprints. We come from different wombs. Different families and backgrounds.
So, then why do we compare our children to other's? My child rolled from back to stomach first. The books said he'd roll from tummy to back first. Those books written by expertss and the world wide web of information that only exists to freak mommies out are just a loose guide. They also don't tell you what to do when your newborn sleeps for a whopping 30 minutes a day or when there is projectile poo flying in the air.
So, mommies out there, remember your child writes their own book. Babies will interpret is the way they want to. We all go at our own pace in life. Crawling at 10 months or running at 9 months is perfect for that child. Perfect. Don't ever doubt that and remember those instincts I mentioned? Trust them. They know.
Mine told me that something wasn't right. A baby shouldn't arch his back in sheer discomfort or scream for hours at end and when I was told that it was just 'colic', my mommy instincts kicked in hard!
Gosh darn. Guess what?
<-----this mommy was right!
Parenthood is funny in the way there is no right way to do it and no wrong way to be a parent. Do not get caught up in the whole war on mommy thing. It can eat you alive if you let it. Run fast from any negativity.
I think that might be the biggest downfall to motherhood. We do what we feel is best for our child. Believe in your choices and trust them. Trust yourself as a mom. I know that is one of the hardest things to do when sometimes you feel at the opposite end of right and you can't get your child to stop crying.
The best thing I found during hard times other than wine is mommies who have been there. At least they can remind you when times are tough that you are doing the right thing because it's hard to loose track sometimes. To teach you a few things or you cry with you. Find a mommy or two, or 8 that you trust. If you need one, come find me, I'm pretty nice :) and thanks to the world wide webs, mommies are very accessible these days.
So, after all of this, just trust yourself. You are more valuable than anything else out there. Parenting is the most difficult, lowest-paying and at times, disgusting job but also the most amazing one out there full of indescribable emotions, perfect moments, heart-bursting scenes and tiniest creature that can make you want to move mountains.