For me, being a mom didn't come naturally, but I do absolutely love it, it just took me a bit to accept the change and get in the grove.
I like to share all of my motherhood journey…the good and the hard parts. But, I'm always a bit hesitant to share the hard parts because I think it can come off a bit complainy and I don't want it to. I am SO grateful to be a mom and have my two girls. I'm just trying to show people that if you are struggling or having a rough time with motherhood, it's ok and you're not alone. Motherhood is a BEAUTIFUL thing, but it's also a very difficult thing. I have another blog acknowledging how being a mom is hard. So, if you're in need of that, here it is.
I don't know that I could have written this any sooner because a lot of the things I'm going to say are lessons learned from the hard times. They say don't speak from open wounds, speak from scars. Basically, don't talk about it when you're going through it, talk about it afterwards when you have some takeaways and emotions aren't running so high. So, here I am, more than 2 years after becoming a mom, sharing the reasons I truly love being a mom.
I know this is a controversial topic but co-sleeping makes my heart SO happy! People have their opinions…I don't care. If co-sleeping isn't the right choice for you, make the choice that is best for you. But for us, it's been great. She goes to sleep in her own bed and then around midnight, she crawls in with us and we just snuggle and it's the absolute best. Sometimes I seriously lay there just smiling and soaking in the fact that I get to be her warm, safe space.
Prioritizing what's important
First, you have to figure out what's important.
Like I said, I had a very hard time transitioning into motherhood because I went from traveling full time and getting to do whatever I want to a completely new life. And, my husband is fantastic and told me I could just hop on a plane and get away, but I told him I didn't think that was what I needed and I didn't want to leave my baby. What I loved about travel was having new experiences, meeting new people, etc. and that was something I had completely lost. So, I knew learning, meeting new people, and having new experiences were important to me. So, I started a podcast where I get to do all of that again, in a new way. AND I LOVEEEE IT!
In motherhood, you have so much less free time, you need to be a lot more intentional with your time. Instead of doing 50/50 with my daughter, kind of playing with her toys and also kind of sending emails (aka being 50% present with her while having 50% of my mind on work, things I need to get done, etc.), I make a point to be 100% focused on my babes and doing something fun with them and then later, dedicate 30 minutes for them to watch TV while I can be fully focused on responding to emails.
Learning to better prioritize things and making a conscious effort to do it everyday is something I love about being a mom.
Motherhood stretches you
Motherhood stretches you in ways you didn't know you could be stretched.
This is one that in the thick of it, I was like “I don't want to be stretched anymore!!!”. I was exhausted. I needed to keep my baby fed, the house clean, myself fed, my relationship healthy, keep my business up and running, and really, I was just overwhelmed (as new moms often are). Being stretched was the last thing I wanted.
But, once you do that uncomfortable stretching, you're like super woman. That's so cheesy, but truly how I feel. There are SO many things I never would have thought I was capable of, but now, I know I am.
Seeing them learn new things
It amazes me every time I see my babes learn something new.
Every time my toddler hands me something, I say thank you. So now, every time I hand her something, she has started saying thank you.
Or, when she goes “oh cool” every time she thinks something is cool.
And she just loves to try new things. I try not to tell her “oh you're so pretty” or things like that and instead, when she's trying something new use phrases like “you're so brave”.
We also do lovevery which is a subscription box (I usually hate subscriptions, but this one is great) that sends developmental toys every couple of months based on where they're at developmentally. Typically, when we get the toys, she can't do half of the stuff and then starts to figure them out and has them all figured out by the time the next box comes and watching the wheels turn and watching it eventually click is just so so cool to me. My heart routinely wants to explode and I just feel so proud.
It's just honestly the best to watch them learn.
Being their comfort
If you would have said this to me back when I was breastfeeding my first, I would have been like “yeah okay sure, it's great”. But now, looking back, being the space where she felt comforted and nourished and loved, that's pretty incredible.
I did feel used sometimes, like you don't love me, you just love my boob. Looking back, I'm like yeah that was beautiful and special and I will cherish that time more with my second.
I got to learn so many things about parenting and myself and life.
I learned about elimination communication, cloth diapering, RIE parenting, attachment parenting, montessori, co-sleeping.
But you also learn about yourself, what your priorities are, what your new identity is, etc.
Watching their personalities grow
Watching. their. freaking. personalities. grow.
I am obsessed. Could not love this one more.
I'm so curious to see the second baby's personality because our first is so me. She is fearless and social. My husband and I have very different personalities so getting to see which one our second will resemble will be so cool and fun. And, it might be interesting because my husband is a lot more in tune with emotions, so if our second is like him in that way, I will learn how to parent a child with a lot of emotions which will be a very different experience. Honestly, if the second baby is the complete opposite of me, I'm kind of excited to just kind of manage that and have my husband help walk me through that.
Either way, watching their personalities unfold and then grow and develop could not be more fascinating or fun.
Grace + resilience
As a mom, you learn ALL about grace and resilience. As parents, we are going to make mistakes. That is a fact. We're all doing it the best we can and doing what we think is right in the moment, but there will be times we make mistakes. Is it going to destroy our children? No. So you learn to give yourself (and your partner) the grace you deserve.
And resiliency. You truly learn that you'll get through it all. The 4 month sleep regression? It will end. Potty training will end. You keep getting through the hurdles and just when you're starting to wonder when will this ever enddd, it does. And then after 5 or 6 or 7 of those hurdles, you learn that you will always get through it and you start to take things on with an attitude of resilience, knowing you'll get through it.
You live more intentionally
Through parenthood, you learn to live more intentionally. Like I said, you're much more conscious of your time. And you learn to be more intentional with your “yeses”. You say yes to some things and you say no to the things that aren't worth your time or don't fit in right now. Or you're more intentional in other ways and the choices you make. For example, I've been a lot more eco-conscious since having a baby than I was before.
Sharing your pre-baby passions
Sharing pre-baby passions with my kids is another thing I love. My husband loves snowboarding. He's so pumped to get the girls out there. Exposing them and having them potentially love it too so you can do those things together is so special. And it can be super basic. Like cooking (if that's something you enjoy).
The best adventure
And my closing one…motherhood has truly been my best adventure this far. I got to do a lot of things back when I was traveling full time. I've lived in a van in multiple countries, met so many cool people, and have had euphoric like experiences. But of all of the things that I've done, this has been the thing that has challenged me the most and changed me for the better the most. And for that, I am so so so grateful and so happy to be a mom. And it makes me so excited to continue the journey.
There's way more than 11 things that make motherhood great. But these are things I have been loving so much. I hope this has brought new perspective or just a deeper appreciation for being a mom.