Jack turns two tomorrow. TWO.
How have I been a mom for two years now? I truly don’t understand how it is even possible. I’ve spent the past couple weeks going through photos from these first two years and it is truly mind-blowing to me how quickly he has changed and grown. Before kids you kind of roll your eyes when you hear parents say “don’t blink”, “it goes by so fast”, but seriously it DOES. I’m convinced that time speeds up once you become a parent.
I’ve learned so much in two years. Even though I still feel like a child myself at times I know being a mom has helped me grow. It hasn’t always been easy, or even fun for that matter, but it has been the best time of my life so far and it just keeps getting better.
I miscarried when Jack was about to turn one, just a little over a year ago. And while it was one of the most heartbreaking things I have ever experienced, it also helped me appreciate motherhood a little bit more. Not to say I wasn’t already LOVING motherhood, because I was, but it made me really slow down and soak it all up. I didn’t want to miss a single thing with Jack and I still feel that way to this day. Especially now with another baby due in June, this pregnancy has been a reminder to stop and enjoy my time alone with Jack before our family grows.
I’ve done quite a bit of reflecting on these past two years and wanted to share some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned.
Physical messiness drives me crazy. I’m talking sticky fingers, stained clothes, sandy toes- I can’t handle it. I knew that would be one of the toughest parts of motherhood for me. But I know how important sensory play is for kids and that often involves messes. In the beginning I would try to avoid anything that would lead to these messes, but now I plan for and encourage it. I want Jack to know that its ok to explore, to get your hands dirty and to make messes (as long as we clean them up ;)…). We finger paint, we dig in the dirt, and we cook together getting those little hands quite messy, but we both enjoy it. The smile on his face is worth all the mess in the world.
This one took me a long time to figure out. Honestly I’m just now really trying to simplify everything in our lives from our household organization, meal times, expectations, etc. I was so intent on doing things the way I had always done them before having kids but for me it just wasn’t possible. It was too tiring and if I tried to have it all, something (at least one thing) always fell apart or got lost in the shuffle. My goal this year has been to simplify and let go of the idea that everything needs to be great all the time (thank you, Emily Ley). While we are only 6 weeks into the year, I already feel like I’m able to be a more focused and energized mother when I embrace simplicity.
Hold Them, Hold Them, Hold Them
I know this is something that many people disagree with, and if you do that’s ok. But I will never turn down the chance to hold or snuggle with Jack. He has always been so active that he never had much interest in rocking or cuddling so on the rare occasion that he does want to be held, I am more than happy to do it. The baby snuggle stage is brief, so enjoy it while it lasts and hold them as much as you can. I truly don’t think you can spoil a baby. What they need MOST is love and comfort and, excuse me but, I’ll be damned if anyone tells me I give my baby too much love.
I don’t like accepting help and I certainly don’t like asking for it. But I know that I can’t do motherhood alone. I can’t balance it all. Accepting help or even asking for it doesn’t mean you are failing. It just means that at the moment you need a break, you need to shift your priorities around let someone else pick up the slack or make things easier and that is perfectly ok. I still struggle with this, it is a constant battle but I know that when I do have help I can be a better me, a better mom. Whether that means I get to take a break alone, or someone helps with housework (or keeps Jack busy so I can freely do housework) it is necessary and important for my family.
Motherhood has taught me so much in the past years, far more than I have included in this post. I have done more growing and self-discovering in the past 2 years than in my nearly 28 years combined. Being a mom is the hardest job but also the greatest blessing for me. I’m thankful everyday for Jack and our baby on the way. I know I will continue to learn each and every year from my kids and for that I am truly excited.
What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned from motherhood?