Becoming A Mom - Five Things I've Learned on the Journey
I have been a mom for almost two years. It truly has been one of the greatest joys of my life. I never grew up dreaming of being a wife and/or mother, but that was a part of
God’s divine will for my life — and I’m so glad about it. There are a few things I’ve learned since becoming a Mama, and I wanted to share them with you so that you might find them helpful if you’re a new mama, soon-to-be mama, wanna-be mama or just need the reminders.
Some of these are even applicable to the many facets of life of those who don’t desire motherhood. So here they are, in no particular order.
One thing I’ve learned is that you can reintroduce your toddler to the same thing even if they’ve rejected it before. Just like us as adults, we may have tried, say, brussel sprouts once and didn’t love them and then tried them the next month or year later and said, hey, these aren’t so bad.
The same can be true with toddlers, but it doesn’t take as long to change their minds. For instance, I tried to offer him some peaches, to which he shook his head and waved his hands in a “No Mama” kind of way. I attempted a couple more choo choo trains and airplanes with no success.
However, I rarely throw anything away on the first try, so I wrapped it up and stuck it in the fridge (warning make sure to read up on the shelf life of baby/toddler food once it’s been opened). Usually, most say to use between 24-48 hours after opening and placing in the fridge.
Anywho, the next morning I pulled it out again and served the peaches to him chilled, and he happily put the entire bowl of pureed peaches and cereal away! Success!! That was a Mama win in my book. I had instantly expanded my son’s palate and managed not to waste the whole jar of peaches.
A toddler’s environment, disposition, and even food temperature can make a difference. So don’t give up when your bowl of brussels, scrambled eggs or pureed peaches is rejected. As the saying goes, if at first, you don’t succeed, try and try again.
Another thing I learned on this mummying journey is that it’s okay for you to take that day trip or weekend getaway with your girls or spouse. If you are leaving your child in the care of loving caregivers, you can rest assured that baby boy or girl won’t love you any less if you take a few days to rest, recharge and enjoy life without a toddler holding on to you or begging for your snacks.
Now don’t get me wrong, you will miss the little bugger, but you will be all the more grateful and hopefully more rested when they are back in your loving arms.
Thirdly, on my list of things I learned since becoming a mama is not to neglect or forsake your spouse in the process. I’m not just talking about physical intimacy, either. While your spouse has to wait for you to heal before you can become intimate again after giving birth, there are other ways you two can be intimate and make time for one another. You can still have date nights, or maybe date mornings just the two of you when the baby is still sleeping. Learn your spouse’s love languages, and be sure to speak them. Leave their favorite candy on their nightstand or surprise them with something they’ve been dropping subtle hints that they want or need.
Fourthly, Do your research! You can literally find any and everything on the internet in this day and age — from sleep and potty training to food prep and discipline. It’s okay to do your research, but remember that every child is different, and every parent is as well. You have to find what works well for your child, and it might not be what all the “Mommy Blogs” are saying to do. Listen to that maternal instinct, and don’t be afraid to go with your gut.
Lastly, remember it’s okay not to be okay. Do not feel that you have to move to the beat of everyone else’s drum. You can do things at your pace when they feel right to you. And if you aren’t OK, it’s more than okay to admit that. In fact, it’s critically important to take stock of your feelings and wellbeing and share that with your partner. Perhaps even find the help you need to get to a better place.
What would you add to this list? Please drop it in a comment below, as it may help someone else along the way.