A glimpse of my life and journey through motherhood
Becoming a Mom to Ellie Grace has been a huge blessing. Motherhood if I could sum it up is definitely the most rewarding and challenging experience a woman will journey through. I bravely share with you what I’ve learned through the first 100 days of becoming a Mommy. Happy reading to my first blog entry!
Alone time as a family for the first month - As much good intent it is in the beginning for others to come over to visit and see the baby I wish someone told me how important it was to at least have a week where you’re alone as a new family. From experience, as a mommy who just gave birth I was exhausted and if I'm being honest didn't have energy to entertain. In addition, I struggled with baby blues 2-3 weeks after giving birth. So you can imagine I didn’t feel myself and needed to just spend time with my new family sorting things out.
Time - After becoming a parent I realized how much valuable time is. And I use to waste a lot of it before becoming a Mom! I've learned in the past three months to be intentional with my time from the moment I wake up. As it makes for a better day for myself and my family. Five minutes is definitely not taken for granted nowadays. The first couple weeks was a challenge to find time between a crying baby, dirty diapers, breastfeeding, and recovering!
Patience - There were times in the first couple of weeks Ellie was born where I questioned if I was doing the right thing and would get frustrated with myself. As I mentioned earlier, I struggled with baby blues the first few weeks after Ellie’s birth and I was fairly hard on myself. I had to remind myself to be patient and that I was getting to know our new life and it required patience. Not only during the time that Ellie is a baby, but it's key in navigating through parenthood.
Be prepared for the unexpected - Ellie was a considered a "Colic" like baby the first 3 months. It didn’t start until two weeks after bringing her home from the hospital. So, when it came to our home we were blown away how much she could cry regardless of being fed, clean diaper, carrying her - should would cry and be upset up to three hours for the day. You want the best for your new baby and when something doesn’t quite seem like what you expected you roll with the punches! This was tough, but we managed to get through it somehow. And now her colickness no longer exists, which makes me think if I can handle that I gained a stripe of two. It sets the expectation to be prepared for the unexpected.
Process - The first couple months of being a parent you have to give yourself and your partner slack! The process of learning how to manage those diaper changes, cries, feedings, and learning how to take them out in public places as a vulnerable newborn. There is not a manual of how those processes will work for your family. Though the process it is daunting at first, but practice, practice, practice! And believe it or not you manage how to make it easier each time.
People have opinions/advice - Everyone has it and gives it whether you like it or not. And honestly it can be overwhelming and sometimes it made me doubt my abilities of being a mother. I find myself asking if I was doing the right thing. Then, I had a change in perspective when God reminded that Ellie is unique to us and no one loves Ellie as much as we do. With that said when I have rough days I come back around to the thought I am doing the best I can for our daughter whether others think so or not. My love for her is unconditional!
Taking help that’s given - I grew up to be independent at a young age. Therefore, I do a lot of things out of my own initiative without asking for much help. Now that saying, “it takes a village to raise a child,” became true for me! I let my guards down because simply I needed to. My mom, dad, mother in law, siblings and even friends would come over and just relieve me for a bit and the difference it made was indescribable. It gave us the ability to nap, do laundry, dishes, or just even allowing them to do it. It made our life so much more manageable during the first few months of adjusting to parenthood. We had my brother and mother in law providing us meals! And even when we just need someone to watch her for a few hours family allowed us to drop Ellie or even our dog Hudson off with no hesitation. My community at work gathered together funds to a meal delivery program that we used for dinner for several weeks. We were blessed with so much support we are so grateful for! With this experience I can be mindful with new parents th I know what things were the most helpful I will do the same for them.
You’re not alone - Talking to other parents and working on building that community is key! As hard as it is in the beginning, since you’re going through the days on 2-3 hours of sleep. Getting out and connecting with others will not be on the top of your list. However, the days where I’ve made the effort and connected with other moms whether it was over the phone or in person I instantly felt refreshed. Didn't feel alone. Being able to talk and relate with other moms/parents is a good way to reset and gain wisdom.
Alone time for yourself/partner - This is one I’m still working on... It’s hard to get away and not feel like having “mom guilt”... I’ve gone out myself a few times and it’s a trip to Target, nail shop, and grocery shopping! The first time I went out - I was so uneasy at Target, which is never the case. And even now while I’m out to my "deserved" time away I’m trying to get back to her quickly. And as far as alone time with Hubby bear we’ve had that once since she was born. And it was to go out for the night. It was nice, but I missed her dearly. I suspect when I’m back to work full-time this will be an easier since I have practice being away. In the meantime, I know me off work for this period of time is temporary and I want as much time with her. However, the alone time is important for myself and our marriage. It’s a juggle!
Realizing your new life - And that might mean going to bed at 8:00pm and missing a night out with friends. And not to fear of missing out. It’s a new journey you as a mom that you are taking. I definitely had my fair share of young days and spent those times being a carefree. Now I have a daughter that I need to nurture and place as a priority. And it's ok that you may not be able to easily be part of certain events. In my opinion, it's one thing you should realize/learn to accept before becoming a parent.
"First" memories and documenting them - Having a new baby comes with a lot of firsts! And I’ve learned to be intentional with ensuring I’m documenting them in a photo, video, and even on my social media. And I’m so thankful I’ve done that since Day 1. I was introduced to an app TinyBeans where I’m able to capture daily moments and upload then onto a online platform. Then, I have the ability to share them privately with close family and friends. It’s refreshing! Being able to electronically store memories to share that’s outside of the normal Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat avenues. A more personal library for my loved ones!
Newly found appreciation for my parents - Not that I never appreciated my parents, however, I’ve found I’ve appreciated my parents more than ever.
Allowing others to learn through your experience - You can’t possibly do it all! So as much as you’d like to do everything - you’ll eventually burn yourself out. And honestly, with as much as Ellie likes being held my arms need a break every now and then. So, allowing others to calm Ellie down it was good for me, for her, and their learning experience. Especially the younger generation to show/teach them a little glimpse of parenthood.
Embrace it all - The good, the bad… Practicing grace, gratitude, and prayer through the journey of parenthood. As all things will pass! It is the biggest miracle and blessing to raise a precious child!
Until next time...