I have the best mom.
She has taught me so many things over the years, and still continues to be a role model for me to this day.
Growing up circumstance weren’t always perfect, but my mom tried to make things perfect for us.
She always picked us up with a smile and was intentional about making every moment with her count.
She taught us that even if things are not ideal to go at it with laughter and grace. When we played, she taught us to use our imagination whether we were making confetti eggs or making up songs in the car. She showed us what it meant to be positive ad humble.
It was like no matter what happened, she always had a smile on her face and pushed us to be positive people. She gave her all for us every moment even if it meant putting herself last.
She is a beacon in my life for sure, and I hope that I am half the mom that she has been to me and my brother.
A couple weeks ago, a fellow blogger (whose baby is only a week younger than George) shared her personal experience about motherhood. She shared how she felt that being a mom was not as hard as she thought.
She was (always is) looking at the positives of her situation and how she loved being a mom. She was being thankful for what she had been given.
And people just wrecked her for it. Some comments posted to her page were spiteful and only meant to put her down and make her feel guilty about her situation and how she has chosen to live her life.
It made me think of two things.
One, I agree with her. Being a mom is much easier than I had originally thought.
Hold up before you get your panties in a bunch.
Being a mom is hard, and I won’t deny that. There are a lot of pressures of “Am I doing this right? or Am I messing my kid up by doing such and such thing?” There are moments when I feel like I am not good enough because he just wont stop crying. George is not always a happy baby, and those moments aren’t always easy. I also wonder when I am watching him sleep or watching him take the world in, if I am doing enough to help him grow.
However, it still is not as hard as I thought. People for years say that you will never get sleep again. People say that your life is over once you have kids. People like to poke fun and make you feel like it is such a burden being a parent.
Have there been nights that I haven’t gotten as much sleep as I want? Yes. But there have also been nights that I had to wake up George because he was sleeping so soundly, and we all were able to get a beautiful 8-9 hours rest. (I also remember nights of little sleep in my early 20s too. Just saying it isn’t the first time I have seen 3am)
Is my life over now that I have a kid? Yes and no. My life as I knew it is over, but I chose to make this change. I love embracing this NEW life, and I am completely content saying goodbye to the life that was. However, I haven’t lost who I am as a person just because I am a mom. I still have 29 years of Stephanie that are still all mine. I just have a new part of my identity to explore and develop. I don’t lose me just because I birthed another human being. I have to say it has made me better. So is my life over? Well I am still here telling my tale so that would be a no.
Am I saying that there won’t be moments that I feel lost as a parent or that his needs will trump mine? I am not oblivious to the responsibility of raising a human being. I know I will feel hopeless without any direction at times. I know that there will be many challenging things ahead. Again, I do understand that being a parent is a big deal.
It’s not as hard as I thought because I love George so immensely that it makes being his parent easy: Because I have the investment to be a good parent. Because I want to makes the whole process easier. The love that I have for George is so empowering it pushes me to be the best for him. And when you are invested, generally it is a not as hard.
The second thing her post (and subsequent backlash) made me think of is how we as moms treat each other . There is so much support out there for moms, but there is also a lot of negativity, comparison, and mom-shaming. I know I haven’t been a mom long, but I don’t understand why there needs to be so much judgement towards other moms. There is enough to worry about raising my own kid, I don’t also need to worry about raising yours. Are there things that other moms do that I may not do, absolutely. But who am I to judge their circumstances? I have no idea what led them to make those choices. As long as we do the best that we can for our kids and they are happy and healthy, that is really all that we can ask for in this world. We should be supporting and praising each other on this journey of parenting. It shouldn’t be a competition of who has the best schedule or is the crunchiest mom. It shouldn’t be jealously and envy spitting out hate when things aren’t perfect for your situation.
And what is perfect anyway?
This blog does a pretty good job of mocking the pristine images we see of parenting and making it normal that our lives do not look like a magazine or our favorite pins on Pinterest. I get giggles out of it every time.
Any way there should be more support for each other instead of all the side-eyes. We all know we have had those moments where our shirt is on inside out once we get to work. (I did this last week, and not only was it inside out but it was also backwards…) Can I get an amen on the mom bun?
Luke 6: 37 Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
We get to be parents. I think that is pretty awesome, and we should celebrate that together and give each other some much needed grace. I mean we have babies! Seriously what is better than a baby?
A baby and a dog, that’s what.
All of this brings me back to my mom. I want to be a positive mom like she was and still is for me.
I want George to grow up enjoying things and embracing moments because there is always something positive to look at. I want to be happy so he sees and understands happy.
I want to be thankful for each day I get to spend with my little guy. I want to make his day better.
I can’t enjoy that time or make it enjoyable for him if I feel like it is a burden to have him.
I want to be a positive mom.
So in those late night struggles, I want to embrace the extra snuggles and cherish that George finds comfort in our arms.
When I get tears from breastfeeding not going well, I want to congratulate myself for making it as long as we have.
When I see another parent struggling, I want to tell them they are awesome because being a parent can be hard at times and sometime we just need to know we aren’t alone.
When I feel like I am not being a perfect parent, I want to remember that God knew what he was doing when he made me George’s mom and to trust Him in my imperfection.
When I look at other kids sitting nicely at a restaurant when George is inevitably trying to concoct some way to make a spaceship out of a straw, a pickle, and the pepper shaker with as much noise as humanly (and embarrassingly) possible, I want to thank God for that kid’s vast imagination and ability to keep himself entertained.
When things just seem impossible, I want to remind myself we found out we were pregnant at the fertility doctor and that George continued to make the impossible possible when he was born 3 weeks early.
When he just makes me frustrated down the road and I feel that I have no patience left, I want to remember these moments.
But he won’t make me frustrated because he is perfect.