What Being a Mother Has Taught Me This Year.
When they say being a mother is the most rewarding job you could ever have, it’s true. Being Charles’s mother has taught me so much and caught me off guard many times. So, in celebration of Charles officially turning one, here is my list of lessons I’ve learned this year as a mother.
1. It’s ok to set boundaries with people.
One thing I’ve always done, but not to the extent that I have as a mother was set boundaries with people. I remember having this overwhelming feeling while I was pregnant that I needed to protect my baby, even though we knew he was surrounded by people who loved him. I would be so worried he was going to get sick from someone kissing him, touching his face or dropping his accidentally. So we had a strict rule of no kissing the baby and no picking up the baby without washing your hands!
I was also very adamant on it just being Kevin and I in the delivery room. I needed Charles to be born in a very stress free environment and I personally didn’t want to be overwhelmed with people. So, we asked for no visitors until we were ready and although some family really wanted to be there, they understood!
2. The feeling when you hear and see your baby for the first time is going to be the best moment of your life.
People always told me that this moment was going to hit me right in the feels. They weren’t wrong! I remember the contentment and happiness after pushing for almost an hour and hearing the nurses around me say “here he comes!!” and in that moment see my tiny boy be placed on top of me. It’s a feeling that both Kevin and I cannot explain, it was beautiful and so overwhelming that Kevin actually had to sit down beside me (haha!). He was the most perfect 8lb 11oz baby boy I’ve ever saw!
3. The newborn pictures are worth it.
When I look at Charles’s newborn photos I always can’t believe he was that tiny and new. Now, I wasn’t sure I would invest into the newborn photos when I first became pregnant because I didn’t get maternity photos, but now that I look back, I’m so happy we did! How tiny was this guy????
5. You’re going to fall in love with your spouse all over again.
Thinking back to my pregnancy and delivery Kevin was there 110%, between driving me (usually in snow storms) to appontments or to McDonalds because the craving was real.
On the night I was in labour with Charles, he drove back and fourth in the middle of the night twice (in a snow storm) to the hospital because I was sent home (we lived 45 mins away from the hospital and they didn’t believe that I was in labour...)
Besides the ridiculous driving, this man chose me and still does choose me everyday. The way he parents Charles is so admirable. The way he smiles and looks at him is precious and the bond they have makes me proud. The way he looked at Charles the moment he laid eyes on him made me fall inlove with him all over again!!! I could go on and on but I’ll keep this one short ;)
6. Breastfeeding is hard.
I knew breastfeeding wasn’t going to be a breeze, but I didn’t think it was going to be so hard! For me, I struggled since day one. The guilt that overcame me when my milk didn’t seem like enough was really challenging for me to get over. We ended up using a nipple shield for a long time, but man oh man... something wasn’t quite right and unfortunately in Newfoundland we didn’t quite have as many resources as we do on the we(s)t coast, so we cut our breastfeeding journey a bit early at 5.5 months, and at that point I was very okay with my decision!
7. It’s okay to formula feed.
I don’t think this one needs a lot of explaining. Formula feeding is just as great as breastfeeding. A fed baby is best, hands down.
8. You’re going to feel like a failure often.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt like a complete letdown as a mother. Between missing appointments, to your baby accidentally rolling off the couch for the first time, all the way to losing contact with some of your close friends. Being a mom is hard. If someone tells you being a mother is super easy, they obviously have 16 eyes placed around their body, 6 arms and can be in 48 places all at once.
9. You’re also going to feel like a superhero A LOT !
You’re going to get that baby to sleep, you’re going to feel ontop if the world. You’re going to eventually get the shopping done and you’ll feel like you could take over the universe. You’ll make dinner one night AND clean up and you’ll feel like Martha Stewart. You’re also going to make it to the gym one day and you’re going to feel like a freaking super model walking back to your car.
Truth be told, even if you don’t accomplish these things, you’re still a super hero because you’re keeping your tiny, demanding, (probably) non sleeping infant alive and that makes you a freaking super hero alone.
10. You’re going to cry... a lot.
Especially in the early days when your hormones are going CRAZY!! You’re going to cry. You’re going to hear a song on the radio that’s going to set you off. You’re going to cry while watching Huggies commercials because it’ll remind you of how beautiful it was when you first met your baby. You’re going to cry because you don’t think you can do it. You’re going to cry because you’re tired. You’re going to cry because you miss your husband! You’re going to cry more than you’ve ever cried in your life.
11. It’s okay to cry.
No matter what the situation. It’s ok to cry and it’s going to be ok.
12. You’re going to feel a love you’ve never felt before.
Its going to be very unexplainable. You’re going to love this tiny person so much that it’s not going to make any sense. You’re going to do EVERYTHING to make them happy. They’re going to rely on you and be their safe place. They’re going to miss you when they leave. They’re going to want to sleep in your arms some nights and despite your sleep coaches wishes, you’re going to do it anyway because they’ll never be this little again and it’s your baby. They’re going to call you mom and that is truly the best title I’ve ever had in my life, no questions asked.
People ask me ALL the time how I like motherhood and I tell them, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I wouldn’t trade it for all the sleep and freedom in the world. Being a mother has taught me so much about myself, especially my patience! It’s shown me what it feels like to watch your heart beat outside of your chest. I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to be a mother, because I know a lot of people struggle with conceiving and that breaks my heart.
I wouldn’t change a thing, it’s worth all the sleepless nights and poopy diapers.