“The best hood to be in, is motherhood.” But a journey as mom, does have its challenges and struggles. For one, I honestly didn’t feel that instant bond that most moms feel when they have a child. I was told so many great things about being a mom, that no one really shared the reality of motherhood. Honestly, I WISH they did.
I wish they told me that every pregnancy is different and to not compare.
I wish they told me that when “baby sleeps, you sleep” doesn’t always work.
I wish they told me that going to the bathroom was going to be the hardest and most painful experiences after birth.
I wish they told me that recovery freaking sucks.
I wish they told me that it’s okay to have time for you.
I wish they told me breastfeeding for the first time is freaking hard, and that it’s OKAY to formula feed. I wish they told me that it’s okay if you don’t initially have that instant bond with baby.
I wish they told me that everything I said I wouldn’t do, I’d do. (lol)
...my list can go on and on.
Before having my first born, Landon, I was really scared. I graduated from SJSU while I was five months pregnant. I became a mom so quickly that I couldn’t even think about what I wanted as a career because I needed to try to prepare to be a mom. I developed this fear and questions that haunted my soul:
What is motherhood like?
Will it completely change my relationship with Brian?
Will he completely love me? How do I breastfeed?
How can I work after baby?
Will I have time for myself?
Do we have enough money for a child? What if I am not capable of a mom?
Will I be a good enough mother?
Will I find what I am meant to do and live in my dream job?
One thing is for sure, that we are never prepared for this journey. You don’t gain this experience until you go through it. We can hear so many stories and advice but we will create our own journey through every decision, plan or routine that works for you. That is one thing I love to share with new moms, that whatever you go through, some have been through it too. You are never alone and you will find your own tune to motherhood.
The moment you decided you want to be a parent to ANY child, you make that sacrifice to be the lover, protector, and mother** to them. You can still grow as an individual even with children, so it’s okay to know that can have time for yourself. You find the balance for every part of life, a child does not drain you from every part of your soul. For instance, you have a husband, you have you and you have your children. Just like when you were single you either had a job, were in school and made time to hang out with friends. You find balance and prioritize to things in your life. I worked at a hotel job right after college and it was a job I saw myself growing in and hopefully making it into the events department, but since I was pregnant I made the sacrifice to be at home with my son. For me, I wanted to experience being a stay at home mom. Then, I had no idea why this journey would lead me to leave a very valuable job, but what I came to realize was that God intended this path to happen for me. He made me realize... a job is always there, but your child’s first years of life is something that comes around once. I wanted to be there for every part of it.
As we must know, with every big decision comes some kind of challenge. But every challenge comes a beauty and growth. I fell into my post-partum blues. I went through a stage in my post pregnancy where I would stare off into space and felt completely overwhelmed. I would get so sensitive over the dumbest things. I literally kept some of my inner feelings inside when the doctors would ask during our monthly appointments, “what is your rate for how you feel.” I would quickly respond as “10” for great, when most of the time I wasn’t. From what I remembered, I didn’t gain that instant bond with Landon like I hoped for. Breastfeeding was a bit hard for me and the process of feeding, then pumping and cleaning was so overwhelming. And my recovery, well that is a personal story I can share later.... but I was tired. I felt alone. I felt like I was completely useless and would just constantly have thoughts that I wasn’t helping. Landon although did bring a joy to my life but I just couldn't take being at home any longer. I completely went a bit crazy inside. Landon was seven months when I had to get back into the work world, part time. I couldn’t stay at home. I needed some break to work and just be away for just a bit. It may seem short but days at home with a child its so much slower. No matter how much I loved Landon, I just felt completely stuck. The truth was that I disliked my weight...my stretch marks...my whole appearance in how I looked in the mirror. I lost my confidence, I sacrificed my friendships, I sacrificed my job, I sacrificed my goals. I felt a failure in myself as a person because I had to battle my mental, emotional and physical being. I was tired, drained and made too many excuses. But what made me find beauty to what seemed like a nightmare then, was that I started my side business at home. I grew to finally gain that bond with Landon, when I got to witness many of his firsts, looking at him and knowing he was mine. He is a half of me and a half of my husband. Days went by and I got to see the real beauty of motherhood, the growth of my child. I found my own groove to this chapter in my life. When I look back and if I kept my hotel job, I would probably not feel as fulfilled as I do now. I am so grateful that I decided to stay home, because my son Landon actually gave me the drive to discover another part of who I am. That is having the title of being a mom... the understanding what sacrifice really means, being able to take bigger risks, to figure out a plan that can work for me and my family and living a fulfilled life in what I love to do. Who I am now, makes me feel I am a stronger woman, wife and mother. It makes me believe any mother can live whatever dreams one still has, it is possible to still do with a family. No one said it’s easy but it’s a journey that you can endure with courage.
My husband though, the most supportive beautiful man of God, who told me I was perfect with all the flaws I saw. He kept me uplifted spiritually, emotionally and mentally. He made things easier for me; no matter how much I complained. He always was on top of cleaning, changing diapers, making sure I was okay, making meals to every detail of making sure I was just as important as our child(ren). He wanted me to live in my dream and helped me through it, as he allowed me to explore what my business was about. He supported me fully by still being a mother and completely letting me live to be me. I like to encourage anyone to just be there for a mom, she may naturally just take the role to do everything to care for their child but what they also need are great words of encouragement. The journey is so beautiful but also a challenge, that we have to remind them/ourselves to stay positive, find support, and know deeply; you are not alone.
Motherhood has allowed me to find love I never felt. I eventually had my daughter, Bailey, and being a witness to two has filled my heart even more. The bond they have as siblings is just so beautiful. I as a mother am a protector to two children and have a full heart of a warrior to go through the tough times and be most grateful for the great times. My children, have given me a whole new self discovery that I appreciate. The overwhelming adventure is sometimes worth it when I know they are coming to me in loving arms, sharing me their knowledge, giving me sweet kisses, and laughing. I can’t even express how amazing this journey is, until you experience on your own or if you are experiencing it, you already know.
Just remember to let yourself know to...
Love your child wholeheartedly.
Never give up and always trust yourself and in God.
It’s never too late to live dreams.
Other moms have gone through your journey, you are not alone.
The chatter does not matter.
You are not the only one feeling overwhelmed or scared.
What you are going through, is normal.
There will be challenges, but your baby still loves you.
It’s okay to not love every moment.
It’s okay to not feel that first instant bond.
It's okay to not breastfeed.
Don't try to live in other people's experiences, create your own.
Your weakness is not determined by how many times you ask for help.
You are not a terrible mother, even if you may feel like it.
Enjoy and laugh at every given moment.
My motherhood was figuring out what it was to find me again while still finding balance to be in their lives. When you decide to be a mother, your heart is filled with more love; that you can be the change for them. To show them love. To give them wisdom. To be the fruit in their lives. Be present in their lives and know the challenges are temporary and everything will just fall into place. Believing in your motherhood truth, will be one of your most powerful stories to share.
What's your motherhood truth?