I know that I’ve been a mother, technically, since the moment of inception but this post isn’t about that. It’s about my first year as a mother to a living, breathing, human-being.
To say that it has changed me and my world is a total and complete understatement. Of course it has, if it didn’t I would completely judge myself. Creating, growing and nurturing a human being is a life changing experience. It is always on my mind.
Am I doing this right?
Am I doing that right?
Why isn’t she sleeping through the night?
Do all her teeth have to come in at once?
Why don’t I understand all her cries and whines? Shouldn’t I know these things by now? Why do they keep changing?
Question after question. I completely overwhelm myself. It’s who I am. I have always been someone that questions the unknown and searches for answers. I defeat the feelings and thoughts that overwhelm me by learning and observing. Knowledge and understanding calm me like nothing else.
So this is what I’ve learned in the year that I’ve been a mom.
Shit is HARD! But at the same time once I get over the hard spot it’s easy to say it wasn’t so bad because the newest dilemma has arisen and it’s that much harder because it’s new and uncharted.
It is hard to be a mother, wife, and person every day. All day long. There is never enough time to make everyone happy. I’m always leaving someone feeling invisible, left out or ignored. I wonder if I’ll ever learn to juggle it all or if there is some kind of acceptance that will eventually take hold. I can only do my best each day and start again fresh. I am human, I do not hold myself to an unrealistic expectation….at least I don’t think I do.
I tend to think that there are times when I let too much negativity take hold. That I question my instincts with my own child. It never lasts long, I’m lucky to have my husband and mother to knock sense into me. With such easy access to the internet and the world it is so very easy to be judged and to judge your parenting styles based on what you see others doing. STOP IT! I do my very best each day and I love my child more than I love the air that keeps me alive. I give her love, affection and unconditional acceptance. I provide her with the foundation and values to grow.
We constantly tell these little people that we’re raising that everyone is different and that it’s completely ok but we don’t listen or hear that message ourselves. Everyone is going to do everything different. Of course there will be similarities, generally speaking. We all feed, water and clothe our kids. We all love them beyond reason. After that whatever techniques, beliefs or whatever we use is totally ok….within reason. Anything that can cause mental, physical or emotional harm is never ok but also can’t always be prevented either. That’s another blog post.
My kid is awesome! She’s brave, bold and fearless. She is adventurous, observant and funny. The faces she makes crack me up. I see myself, I see my husband, I see my mom. I’m in complete awe. I’m held captive by the intelligent and open soul that inhabits my daughter’s body. I had no idea when she was born who she would be, I still don’t’ but I’m enjoying the hell out of watching her figure it out.
What I’m getting at is that for the first few months of my daughter’s life I was obsessed with reading the books, joining the groups and finding the answers. What I’ve learned is there are no right answers. I’ve done things already I’m sure that other parents won’t or will never do and that’s ok. I am not judging them but they are more than welcome to judge me. I can’t control that. I will continue to focus on this amazing little person that brings such joy and peace to me.
I will shake my head when she sucks dirt off her fingers, laugh when she falls backwards on the bed and says “AHHHHHH” and cry when she’s in pain and I can’t make it go away (IE: Teething, skinned knees, fat lips, etc) That is one of the perks in being her Mom.
So while it is hard and sometimes….more often than not exhausting being a parent, there is nothing I would trade for this experience. Before she was born or even conceived I want content. I was ok with the fact that I would most likely never be a mother. Procreating wasn’t going to define me as a person or woman. I still believe that but I also believe my daughter was sent to me at the perfect time. I had learned all that I needed in this life to be able to be her mother. She is my gift, my reward for learning, growing and evolving.
Mommy loves you Emerson. Thank you so much for being my daughter.