About 7 months ago, I became a new mama of 2 little ones, a now 3 year old and new baby. The journey through motherhood over the last few years has been one of faith, frustration, unimaginable love, and lots of learning. And although there have been ups and downs in my role as mama, it's one that I would never want to change or take for granted. The idea that being a mother is such a huge blessing from God is not lost on me, and something I remind myself of daily.
The first thing I learned, is that I have a lot to learn. Motherhood has taught me so much about myself and life in general, and becoming a mama of two little ones has only taught me more. And when I say that I’ve learned a lot, that doesn’t mean I have all the answers. This isn’t one of those glass half full, see the silver lining kind of posts. It’s the real, rough, and honest things that motherhood has been teaching me lately. Not because there isn’t a silver lining, but because I believe we just need to know that we aren’t alone in the tough moments. That it’s ok to feel these things as we learn what being a mama is all about. I’m not writing this as a how-to guide for motherhood. In fact, I don’t think anyone could. There is no manual on how to be a parent because it isn’t a one size fits all kind of solution. But I do know that no matter how much it seems like everyone else has it figured out - they probably don’t. And I’m here to tell you that I don’t. I’m learning as I go and I want to share that with you because you may be in the same season too.
I've learned that my kids attitudes are directly related to mine. When I'm in a bad mood, they will be in a bad mood and it shows. If I am happy and positive, it changes things dramatically.
I've learned that I care less, in a good way. I don't care as much about the house being as neat and tidy as it can be or making sure that we stick to a certain schedule every day. I've learned to let it go and live in the moment more. I know that in the end, it won't matter what the house looked like, but it will matter that we stopped what we were doing to bake cookies or went to the park instead of doing laundry.
I've learned that being a mama really does come naturally, no matter how many kids you have. Natural just looks different for everyone and we all still have a lot to learn in the process. Despite the learning curve, we were made to be mama's and God has given us all we need to be good mothers to our little ones.
I've learned that time flies by, even faster. I know you've heard it before and it is the cliche statement everyone makes about having kids. I noticed it with my first son, but even more so now that I have two. It seems like I can blink and she's a month older and those newborn days seem like such a blur. This in particular is one of the reasons I've decided to slow down and savor moments more. Instead of trying to do too much, I am doing just enough so that I am left with time to spare and fill with more memories of them while they are little.
I've learned that I feel mama guilt X 2. Now when I have to work or do something that takes me away from them when they want me, I feel even more guilty that I can't be with them all the time. I know that I need to do some things to help keep our family going, but as a mama you always want to make your kids happy first.
I've learned that patience is a virtue and one that doesn't come naturally to me. I can easily lose my patience when things are crazy or someone's throwing a fit. I've seen myself get angry and lose patience more than I'd like to admit in the past few months. I know it comes from exhaustion but that doesn't give me an excuse. I've realized this and know to stop myself before I get angry about the little things.
I've learned that It's ok to feel this way. It's ok to feel frustrated and tired and broken and lost. It's ok to feel like you don't know what you're doing. It's ok to want to spend time with your kids and be alone at the same time. It's ok to want to do something you enjoy over playing with the same toys for the 10th time that day. It's ok to feel this way. It doesn't make you a bad mother, it makes you human.
I've learned that we are all doing the best we can and God knows that. I won't ever be perfect but God didn't make me to be. Instead of trying to live up to some ideal perfection of motherhood, and feeling like a failure, I'm choosing to keep it real. I'm not trying to be perfect, I'm just doing the best that I can and loving my kids as hard as I can.
I've learned that I'll never really feel like I know what I'm doing because as soon as I figure it out, things change and seasons change. But in realizing that I've also learned to be flexible, open, and relaxed about things too. I've learned that this is a lifelong, daily process and that it's not my job to change my children instantly when they do something wrong, but slowly over time instead.
I've learned that I have to make time for myself and my husband. Having down time away from kids is essential for keeping my sanity, and that's ok. I used to feel guilty for sending my kids to a sitter or taking time for myself to rest, but now I know that it is needed in order for me to take better care of my kids. It keeps me happy and healthy and in turn puts me in a better position to care for my kids.
One of the most valuable lessons I've learned is that I'm a mama first and a business owner second. That is something I already knew but was gently reminded of the past few months. It caused me to take a step back and evaluate how much time and effort were going towards my business versus my kids. And because of this, I learned that I need to cut back on business, at least for right now. Having two kids at home with me all day is even more hands on than I thought. I can't do both and do it well so I am focusing on one over the other and in this season of life thatmeans motherhood. That doesn't mean I have to give up on my own dreams and passions. It just means that in this season, I am meant to focus on my little ones first, and I need to remember that.
Motherhood is real and rough, and I know so many of us feel this way. This is for the sleep deprived mama who is standing in a dark room in the middle of the night holding a baby that just won’t sleep. The mama who is juggling all the balls and afraid to let one drop. The one who breaks down at the end of a rough day through tears, chocolate, and wine (probably on the bathroom floor because that’s the only place you can be alone). The mama who is exhausted and struggling and defeated - we’ve all felt this way. I’m right there with you holding your hand.
Being a mama is one of the hardest things I have ever done. It is also, without a doubt, the most rewarding and amazing things too. I can’t imagine my life without my kids. But it has taught me that we all have these hard days and rough moments. I use to think I was a failure when I felt like this. Like I was the only one. Like I was a bad mother. And if I’m being honest, I still do. It is a hard thing to avoid. But in the end, all that matters is those sweet faces, adorable giggles, and endless love you can only get from your kids.