half a decade.
i cant believe that maggie pearl will be 5, but more than that, i cant believe that i have been a mom for that long. this week has been gloomy and hard. the weather has been grey and cloudy and my heart has been heavy. i made the mistake of listening to taylor swift yesterday and that sent me into a cry fest. I've been sitting back and just watching maggie, and thinking about motherhood, and i get all these feelings that just sit inside of me and fester. good feelings, sad feelings, happy and joyful feelings, anger and fear, basically a little bit of everything.
last week we watched inside out again.
if i really allowed myself to tune into the whole movie, i would (as sadness says) "cry until i cant breathe"
i sometimes forget how this little person that i have been given, how she is made up of things that uniquely define her. that as a mom, i have helped her develop and become who God created her to be. often times i am completely overwhelmed by the task of raising children.
i have been a mom for 5 years.
i dont feel like i know anything. i still feel as clueless as i did on that first day of motherhood.
i still feel as scared and alone.
i still feel like im not grown up enough for this job, and i see all these other moms who seemingly have it all together, and i think " how in the world did they get like that?"
i wish i was the mom who had tons of parenting tips and tons of cool kids art and lunches and discipline routines. but i am not. im the mom who still googles everything, who asks for advice on facebook and who cries in the shower because sometimes it all seems to hard. im the mom who forgets lunchtime and library books. the mom who cant communicate with her 5 year old without yelling sometimes, the mom who slams the car door when the kids were screeching through target, even though i bribed the big kid with youtube and goldfish crackers.
and every single night before i go to bed i wonder if i am good enough, if i am doing a good job.
if i could go back 5 years to that hospital room, and see that 22 year old girl, so pale and incredibly puffy from a really hard birth (which i would find out years later, was a lot harder than it needed to be) that mom, who was just a girl herself still, and look her in the face while she held that tiny tiny girl, there is so much i would tell her.
i would look at her straight in the eyes and tell her about the struggles of postpartum depression. i would tell her that these dark heavy lonely feelings she has when she looks at her baby, were not how it would always be. i would tell her that that little girl who wasn't gaining weight, just needed to eat on more of a schedule and that the amount of breast milk you were making wasn't enough and that it would be ok to give her formula. i would tell her about how she was walking into the hardest season of her life and that asking for help would be a must. i would tell her to enjoy that little baby more - dont rush her into growing up. because someday she will turn 5 and you wont have those baby cheeks to hold. i would tell her to hold that baby closer and snuggle her tightly because someday soon she wont feel like a soft baby in your arms - in fact, she wont fit in your arms very well. She wont always wake up in the middle of the night to snuggle you. she will grow so quickly on her own, there is no need to push her into it. i would hold that 22 year old me, and tell her its going to be hard and lonely, but its going to be so so worth it, because one day that tiny baby will grow up and say things like " mama, i want to be just like you when i grow up" and you'll think "oh please dont be. please be just like YOU" one day that tiny baby in your arms will make her first soccer goal and look for you on the sidelines and a tear will roll down her face because shes so proud of herself. one day that tiny baby will be a big sister and your heart will grow and swell again. that baby girl in your arms is going to change your world. shes going to slam doors in your face and embarrass the heck out of you in public - and there is NOTHING you can do to change that.
Motherhood has been a strange journey for me. its a role that i thought i would take to so naturally, seeing it was the only thing i ever wanted to be in the whole world. but it hasnt been like that. i still cant figure out where i fit. i used to think that motherhood looked like easy and peaceful, with perfectly curled hair and a clean house, with smiling kids and joy dripping out of every pore in my body, and then i realized, that is actually just an instagram filter. real motherhood is hard. its painful and beautiful and full of frizzy hair, mismatched things, and sometimes the opposite of joy coming out of my heart. its not black and white and dreamy. its sharp and out of focus and then suddenly out of no where there is a day that feels exactly like i imagined, but that is for sure not normal.
and it makes sense, the journey into motherhood isnt an easy road either. its laborious and hard. its painful and i think is pretty accurate portrayal of what being a mom is like. in the moment it seems like its taking so long, but if you take a step back you see its actually happening so incredibly quick. suddenly you have been called "mama" for 5 and then 10 and then 30 years. its the hardest most beautiful and rewarding thing i have ever done. i dont take any of it for granted. even on the days that i want to jump off a building if one more person disobeys or asks for a snack, or screams at the top of their lungs just for fun. (which happens every single day.)
i cant believe ive been a mom for 5 years. this year my prayer is to be comfortable in my motherhood. to wear my jeans proudly, and not spend all day trying to suck in my saggy belly. to wear the dried food and the messy mom bun with joy because i know someday i'll have time to blow dry my hair every day and i'll miss these days. my prayer is to learn to be a more loving and patient mama, one who doesnt jump straight to frustration, but first to understanding and love. a mama who is comfortable in her own skin - comfortable with her family's way of parenting. a mama who encourages and loves on other moms, a mama who is supportive of other moms, one who encourages ladies to do what they do and be contented in that. i want to grow into motherhood just like my babies are growing. i dont ever want to stay this scared, fearful, unsure mom. i need to (We all need to) remember that we were created for this. God gave us this job because He knew that with him, we would do great things. He is for me, and cheering me on in the trenches of this calling.
five years ago i had no idea that i would be sitting at this computer, still so unsure, so exhilarated and so overwhelmed in the best (and worst) ways with motherhood, but im grateful for it all. for all the work and the selflessness. grateful to always have these babies by my side, and i am excited to see what is coming. excited to keep learning and growing into motherhood.
5 years in, and i am not a pro. i dont have answers, i dont have tips and tricks. just a lot of words and heart and feelings. if you are a new mama, and you are just starting motherhood, dont give up, dont stop snuggling and holding that baby. dont expect to have it all together or to be put together. just enjoy the ride, memorize every line on your babies face, soak it up, its so good now, and it keeps getting better and better. i promise.