The first five years of being a mom are some of the toughest, loneliest, most rewarding, and exhausting in your life. One thing that can help navigate these years is to do it alongside someone who can relate to you...either someone in the middle of it, or someone who has survived it.
"I wish I would have known how new babies make all feelings MORE (and this from a girl who was already fairly high on melodrama): more thrill, more love, more anguish, more adoration, more fear, more gratitude, more doubt, more crazy. You may have been an emotionally sturdy professional just a minute ago, but a newborn takes your heart and mind, squishes them into pulp in her fat little baby hands, and turns you into a woman face down in despair over a Subaru commercial. Who is this sloppy woman in the mirror? Good lord, put on some clean pants and get your crap together!"
Jen Hatmaker does an incredible job describing all the big feelings being a mom brings. Some good, some not so good. Please...grab a tissue, and go read.
Did you read it?? I sure hope so! But for those of you who didn't, I need to leave one more little bit here for you...
"The new mom brain can be a real enemy, saying you are not enough and falling apart and a hot mess. But look at your children. Their shoes are on the correct feet, at least one has combed hair, those round bellies are clearly well-fed, and peek in their little eyes: lot of light in there, Mom. Those are the eyes of loved, cherished, cared-for babies. You’re doing it. You are raising whole humans, healthy and happy and safe."
Now that I'm a mom "on the other side," I hear myself saying the same things that those older mamas told me ten years ago. "Enjoy these moments, it goes so fast!" There is nothing that anyone could have told me that would have made me believe them...but here I am, realizing that they were right. And even though you couldn't pay me to go back to the toddler years, there is a part of my mom heart that aches to feel those little chubby hands on my cheeks and to see those big eyes looking into mine with such love.
Cherish this time. When you need a break, take one. Be real. Share your struggles. None of us are perfect...and it's much easier if you stop trying to prove (mostly to yourself) that you may be the exception. Learn from other moms, but don't judge them or yourself for not being the same. Live each day with the freedom to be exactly YOU with so much grace...for yourself and all the moms around you.
And, when all else fails, come see us soon at Mezanmi!