Monday, April 8, 2013

On Being the Mama SAM Needs (Repost/Update)

Friends, Sam and I have a it-snows-one-day-and-is-70-degrees-the-next seasonal cold.  That, combined with the end-of-spring-break-blues, makes me rather "blah" today.  BUT, fear not... I have something to share:

Below is a combination re-post/update from my "31 Lessons I Learned in My First Year of Motherhood" series from October 2012.  I was honored to share it on Blog-o-holl*ic back at the end of March as part of Hollie's amazing Month 4 Moms, and I wanted to post it here today.  It is always so good for me to look back and remember how far I have come since those first months of motherhood and be reminded that the whole thing is a journey, not a destination.  Hope you will enjoy!

Ok, confession time (because that's kind-of my specialty): Before I became a mom, I judged other women for not keeping up with their friends after having a baby,  not controlling their crying baby in public, not having their baby on a schedule, or simply not being able to keep their kid from being covered in snot and spit-up all the time.  *I promise, I wasn't a total jerk.  I was just naive and stupid.

Then, I became one of those moms.  Yep, it happens to the best of us.

The truth is, I thought I knew what kind of mom I would be.  Shoot, I'd been babysitting since I was 11, stalking mom blogs for years, and reading parenting books like it was my job for at least nine months.  I subconsciously labeled the mom in front of my at Chick-fila as "good" or "bad" in the ten seconds it took me to observe her lunch order, kids' behavior, and her own personal hygiene.  

Ask me about my birth plan, and I had NO idea.  But, ask me my philosophy on feeding or sleeping or discipline and I was all over it. I could almost see my new life with my wonderful husband, perfectly decorated nursery, and my very own bundle of joy (who would always smell like baby powder, wear all Baby Gap, and eat only organic food).

Instead, my sweet bundle of joy had colic and absolutely NO respect for a schedule - or any of my other plans for that matter. I never slept (much less showered), I drank way too much caffeine for a breastfeeding mom, I let my infant in my bed, he wore (gasp) white Gerber onesies 90% of the time, and my current "best friend" was the pacifier.   After almost having a nervous breakdown at about three weeks in, I realized I could either drive myself CRAZY trying to be the mom I wanted to be thought I was going to be; or, I could just love the baby I was given and become the mama he needed. Thankfully, for all parties involved, I chose the latter (sometimes grudgingly).

At one week.
At nine months.
Now, 20 months into this mothering gig, I am NOTHING like the mom I thought would be. I am messier, and tireder, and a lot less organized. But, I am also more fun, more relaxed, and a lot less judgmental than I was

Eighteen Months

As Sam quickly approaches his second birthday this summer(how is that even possible?), I am so aware of how much I have changed.  Probably the most important (and hardest) lesson I've learned on this journey is to  focus on being the mom your baby needs, NOT the mom you thought you'd be.   The last 21 months have been a process of letting go of some of the hopes, expectations, and "fantasies" I had about being a mom, but it has been so good.  SO good..

I know now that Sam deserves a mom who believes she is good at being his mom. I am not the perfect mom, and I sure as heck won't be writing any manuals anytime soon; but, I am exactly what my boy needs.  Today, I like the mom (and the person) I am SO much more than the mom I thought I was going to be. Today, things are just as they are supposed to be.  Today, Sam is happy and loved, and he has a mom that isn't afraid to dole out healthy doses of grace - to a rebellious little guy, the mom beside her on the park bench, and even to herself.

How are you different from the mom you thought you would be?  Please share below!
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  1. Great pictures.
    I hope you much fun moment with your little male.

    Greets Stefanie.

  2. Wow! Truer words were never spoken!

  3. You go girl! What an amazing post. Very frank and honest — I loved it and appreciated it. xo


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