My son, G, will be turning one this March.
I know I will sigh with a sense of relief when my not-so-little anymore, blue-eyed baby is shoving his ceremonial cake in his mouth…
We made it.
I knew motherhood would change my life, but I didn’t realize how much it would change me.
I’m not who I once was.
If someone had told me what this past year would bring, I would have been terrified that I wouldn’t be strong enough.
But I’ve learned a few empowering things that will serve as incredible armor for me as I battle this thing called motherhood.
Parenting is not predictable or perfect… but that’s ok
I had pretty high expectations of myself and the type of mom I wanted to be.
I tackled pregnancy like I had all other aspects of my life – I tried to control it and do everything “perfectly”.
Then last March, I left work for my 36 week check up, telling my co-workers ‘I would be back in an hour’ and instead became a mother that afternoon.
I had to deliver my beautiful son, Gavin, via an emergency c-section because I had developed a syndrome called HELLP; the only cure to prevent death is immediate removal of the baby.
You’re not a failure if you ask for help
While the whole birth story wasn’t a part of how I envisioned things going, the postpartum depression and post traumatic stress that followed really threw a wrench in my ‘perfect’ plans.
My postpartum depression hit me three months following my son’s birth.
I had a laundry list of symptoms including insomnia, loss of appetite and feeling detached.
Then I felt like I just couldn’t do it anymore, and it would be easier to not be living.
Something was going on… and I needed help.
I just have to be good enough
I received some incredible advice during my healing process: I just have to be ‘good enough’.
I don’t have to be the perfect mom I envisioned in my mind.
This advice saved me during my darkest days where I felt like all I could do was feed and change my son.
That was the best I could do and, well, that was good enough.
Savor the little victories
Often times the little victories are all we have as mothers at the end of the day.
Getting a fussy baby to nap… victory.
Diffusing your toddler’s tantrum… victory.
Hugging your child even when he’s being difficult… victory.
We need to give ourselves kudos for all that we conquer in a day… these are little victories that add up to greatness.
Mothers are warriors
At every age and stage of our kids, there are things that get easier and things that get harder.
And well, moms are warriors for facing various battles each day.
Becoming a mom has made me appreciate my mom in more ways than I would have imagined.
She didn’t do everything perfectly.
In fact, she once told my sister and me that she didn’t want to be a mom.
Despite her little meltdown, my sister and I turned out just fine. And it’s something we laugh hysterically about now, especially both being mothers ourselves.
I won’t do everything perfectly… and neither will you… but we are warriors for just trying to be good enough for our kids.
And to me, that’s the most freeing thing I have learned this year.