We are so excited to share that Jelly Bean Journals, Prairie Wife in Heels, and The Tall Mom are teaming up to bring you some special September posts on our blogs. We will all be writing for each other, as well as ourselves, on a topic relevant to our regular content. Here’s what you can find during the month of September:
- Jelly Bean Journals – What Does Being A Mom Mean To You?
- Prairie Wife in Heels – When Did You Feel Strong As A Woman?
- The Tall Mom – What Makes A Woman Be(You)tiful?
As I was lying in the hospital bed, preparing to deliver my first son, I still wondered what kind of mom I’d be and if I was really cut out to be a parent. Although my pregnancy was planned and it was way too late to realistically have these thoughts, I was still unsure. Not having ever been around birth and hardly a newborn, I wondered what it would be like to hold this tiny (turned out to be not so tiny – 9lb 2oz!) human that would soon be placed on my chest. I questioned whether I’d know how to care for him and how I’d know what he needed. I prayed I’d connect with him and be enough for him.
Minutes later, the instant he was born and I held him, I felt at peace. Something came over me and I knew we would be okay. Nothing had really changed: I might not know how to do everything, there would be trial and error, and I’d likely fail at times. But, we’d learn together, we’d forgive, and we’d be perfect for each other.
Sure, there are times I don’t feel like the perfect mom; moments when I have to say, “I’ll try harder tomorrow” or “I sure learned a lesson from that.” But, there are also times that it is so clear that I am the perfect mother for my son and he is the perfect son for me. This becomes clearer to me as he grows and I am learning as much from him as I am hopefully teaching him.
Please don’t mistake my words to mean we are perfect people or always make the perfect choices. I only mean to say, we are offering and teaching each other exactly what the other needs to know in a particular moment.
For instance, I have already learned how fast this time goes. N forces me to slow down, throw out my to do list, and be present. I rarely feel as alive as I do in the moments when I am connecting with him, like when I play with him on the floor. It’s almost like he creates a new opening in my heart for joy.
As an already incredibly analytical toddler, he regularly asks me how the world or the things in it work. I never get tired of these questions or sharing these moments with him and I work hard to explain so he can understand. In a moment I least expect it, I hear him reference these conversations, and I know he is picking up bits and pieces and creating his own thoughts and opinions.
The rush of peace I felt when N was born helped propel me into motherhood. However, it wasn’t until at least a year in that I really felt like a mom and that I settled into motherhood. Through the challenges of N’s tongue tie and nursing challenges, midnight meltdowns, several emergency room visits, and other trials and tribulations that come with a newborn and life, I hung onto the notion that we would okay and were what each other needed. But, it was especially through all of these tough moments and challenges that I really began to feel confident as a mother. With my incredible partner, we were navigating this parenting journey together, surviving and thriving.
During this time I also had to accept that I would never be same person I was before N. I liked and was comfortable with who I was and I had no idea how much motherhood would change me. Among other things, it changed my values and priorities and who I was as a wife and friend. Although this new life created so much happiness in my world and I’d never want to go back, it also presented new challenges and weaknesses for me to work through personally. For one, I had to remember my husband also needed me and although we might not do everything the exact same, we were a team and it was the one I wanted to be on.
As I continue to move through motherhood, there are dozens of small and large moments that offer so much meaning to me as a mom:
- Learning to accept the many times when someone else’s needs are bigger than mine.
- A little hand that, physically shouldn’t but fits perfect with mine.
- Watching my son make kind and good choices on his own as he becomes more and more independent.
- The peace, calm, and reflection that comes with watching my baby sleep.
- The sound of down deep, uncontrollable toddler laughter.
- Living a vulnerability that in one second my world could be devastated if anything were to happen to one of my children.
- Learning to give myself grace and being okay with trying harder tomorrow.
- Choosing what’s right for my son regardless of what is right for me.
- Being ecstatic for bedtime but missing him so much I cannot wait to wake him up in the morning.
For me, one of the many things motherhood has been about is acceptance. Accepting that the stars aligned and placed this incredible human in my care and that through all of the ups and downs of life, we are perfect for each other. Accepting that I will continue to grow and evolve just as much as my son, if not more. Accepting that although I don’t have all of the answers, we will be okay and we will figure it out.
Professional Photos by Fernbird Photography.
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