When you become a new mom, as many may know, you become part of another world. This world has always existed and completely transparent to all. However, until it becomes your own world it’s hard to know what you are getting yourself into.
My experiences with child rearing are not limited to my newly achieved mom status. My teenage years were training grounds for me as I babysat and lent a helping hand in the care of my niece and nephew. So I was about 75% prepared for motherhood. The other 25% was and continues to be on the job learning. First off, childbirth. You read things and hear things. Until you expel a human life from your groin, there’s really no comparison to comprehend such an experience.
Anyways, motherhood. I have always been surrounded by opinion heavy atmospheres. Therefore, I thought I was ready to handle the incessantly aggressive suggestions that continue to be merely pressed upon me by others, both by people that I know and strangers.
It drives me crazy when I get the eye rolls or blank stares from “experienced” parents and people who haven’t joined parenthood quite yet. I think the last time I was judged this much by others was when I was a fat kid in grade school noshing on brownies. So many decisions you have to make and depending on who you are talking to, your decision is always wrong.
It doesn’t matter if I breastfeed or formula feed, stay home or work. There is a handful of pointer fingers directed at me with a fistfuls of negativity. Constantly I have been struggling with comparing myself to other moms. Moms who work. Moms who don’t. Moms who have the opportunity to breast feed. Moms who either are unable to or decide not to breast feed. Moms who are still working on losing their baby weight 2 years later. Moms who have their baby and in 2 weeks are back to their pre-pregnancy body.
Sometimes it seems like some moms have it all. They keep up with life and are able to look fabulous doing it. Here I am with “only one” child mostly maintaining the home and it’s a good day if I shower before 11 and decide to put on jeans. Since when does it take almost 2 hours to do a 30 minute task?
Despite the reoccurring frustrations of staccato like schedules and emotional angst from the loneliness experienced during the day, in my moment of weakness when all I am thinking “woe is me”, my son looks at me with the biggest most loving smile I have ever seen. He reminds me of the reason God has blessed me with this amazing gift and journey of life. That was something that I could never have been prepared to understand. The love from my own child is one of the greatest loves I have the privilege to know. Daily I praise God with abundant thanks and a humbled heart. Motherhood is now my journey and I am opportunely along for the ride.