As I watch all of the beautiful and sentimental updates from my friends who have entered the adventure of motherhood I am reminded of the words that I wish someone had uttered to me during those stages – and that I had the clarity to absorb them.
Being a mother is one of the most challenging and difficult jobs you will ever have (and you’ve had some REALLY crazy jobs!). But, like most things in life you TRULY get back what you’ve put into it:) The learning curve seems steep at first – more the learning how to find balance than the learning how to mother (your needs vs. the needs of others and trying to fit those needs into the impossible 24 hour day). Just know that you are not responsible for balancing the WORLD.
We each do the best with what we’ve got in front of us, and trudge on with the occasional lean-on provided by friends and family.
Ask for help when you need it. Say no, a LOT.
DON’T let anyone tell you that your concerns are not valid, they are probably led by your intuition.
Your intuition is probably right.
Don’t judge yourself by other people’s parenting skills and don’t judge others by yours. What we see on the surface is often so blurred by our own experiences and perspectives that the vision is jaded.
Take care of yourself. Eat healthily, get as much sleep as possible – seriously, when they sleep you MUST sleep. Exercise. Take time for yourself even if it means begging someone to sit with baby while you sit in silence staring at the wall.
Get off the internet, hang up the phone and turn off the TV. As much as possible. These first years are so incredibly fleeting that you don’t want to miss a thing, trust me.
If you have to work, know that when you are done with your work day and you are speeding home to see your bundle of joy – that you are NO LESS OF A MOMMY than one with the ability to care for their child at home.
If you are caring for your child at home, know that you have a very important JOB and you also need a reprieve here and there. Don’t judge yourself based on this decision, either one. Again, we’re all doing the best that we can for our given situation.
No parent is perfect. If you mess up, make a mistake, forget something important, chances are that life will go on. As a mother you’re going to worry. A LOT. Try to keep yourself in check by letting go of the things that you have no control of and leaving behind those things that have passed. Learn from them and move on with that knowledge.
However, know this… Now that you have taken on this adventure your truths in life have changed. There is no greater experience. No more important and profound legacy that you could possibly leave to this beautiful world. Enjoy every single moment of struggle, anticipation, joy and most importantly… When you feel defeated by exhaustion and the neediness of others – after all, you are now “mother” and you will (frequently) cry over these tumultuous emotions and then laugh maniacally as your newborn/infant/toddler looks at you with horrified confusion- Remember that you just CREATED LIFE and that makes you a mother flippin’ goddess.
NO MATTER WHAT life throws your way – You got this.