This has been a fun month for me. I had grand plans, I'm sure later I will still share my favorite things I have found to help with motherhood. But for now it's time to end this series.
When I was a new mom nine years ago I was so overwhelmed. Taking care of a child was not hard-no that's the easy part. I wasn't prepared for how exhausted my body would be after delivering a child. Or how absolutely bone tired I would be after nursing every other hour all night long for 5 nights in a row-but still have to be alert and attentive so my baby didn't get hurt.I didn't know that I could actually be touched too much in one day. I wasn't prepared for my heart to grow and be so mesmerized by a sleeping baby. Then she started to grow and things got a bit easier-we both adjusted to each other and then we wanted another baby-because they are just so fun.
Then my little guy came along. The pregnancy was great, everything and everyone was healthy-but the placenta was in the wrong place-so a c-section was ordered. All went well, but again I wasn't prepared to handle two small children. I felt guilty because I couldn't hold my second all day long like I did my first. I didn't bond immediately with my newborn-it worried me. My second baby was SO loud and high pitched compared to my first. He was hungry ALL the time! He wouldn't take a bottle and only wanted mom. It was a long first year. We didn't want more children. We felt our hands and hearts were full.
Once my little guy could talk and was potty trained I felt a huge burden lifted and actually wanted another child. To our surprise it took us 5 months to get pregnant-something that didn't happen with the first two. Then our little girl decided to come a month early. She was a tiny little thing and ended up in the NICU for 6 days. By 4 months she was had actually grown so much she was off the charts in height and continues to shock us with her growth.
|Love those chubby fingers and hands.|
She was a good baby-and then we discovered she had curly hair! She is our little spitfire-and guess what? I'm not so stressed about parenting now. While I was in the hospital with her I knew that there was one more waiting to join our family. Just 22 months after our third we welcomed a perfect little girl. Thinking I had this newborn thing down we weren't prepared when we found out she wasn't getting enough food. She didn't gain any weight her first month-After lots of doctor appointments, a round of mastitis, and samples of formula our baby started gaining weight. It was so scary. She's still a little on the small side compared to her siblings, but it's nice to have a little baby after having really big ones.
|Enjoy the beauty your child create.|
Here are 10 truths I have found while parenting:
1. I know that temper tantrums are usually just phases. Most things your child is going through are really just phases. You don't know it until you look back at pictures and realize your child hasn't played with his beloved Thomas for months.
2. Sleepless nights are not the end of the world-and most people really don't care that you only had 2 hours of sleep.
3. Enjoy those little years-everyone says they go fast. But when you are in the thick of it you think those people are crazy. Trust me-once your first starts school you will wish those first five years back.
4. Life does get easier with each child-if you have built a good foundation. Brushing teeth and bedtime used to be such a hassle with our oldest two-but the now the youngest two think it is so fun and just jump right in line to get their teeth brushed.
5. Most children take about three days to adjust to something new. Like: crying it out, potty training, any new schedule. If you can stick it out and be strict about something new-give it a few days and suddenly your child will adjust.
6. Listen to your gut. You're the mom-not your friends, or your mom, or the internet, or well meaning strangers-Listen-if you think something is wrong with your child do something about it. If your doctor thinks your crazy get a second opinion. When my kids are sick and I can tell that something just isn't right and I take them to the doctor--7 out of 10 times they have an infection and need meds. If your at a playdate and your gut is telling you this isn't right for your kid-make up some excuse and get out of there. My oldest loved playdates-my second just clung to me the entire time. We stopped going to playdates for a while, he was happier and I was happier.
7. Get outside with your kids. We've worked hard to make our backyard beautiful and safe for our family. Most of the time I send my kids out back to play-I try to get out there as much as possible. I'm not a hovering type of parent. So when I go out and they are playing I will weed the flowerbeds or tend to the yard. During the summer months and any time it's warm enough during the rest of the year we try to take evening walks. We have a special spot we walk to as a family. It's a time that is free from distractions and allows us to be together and enjoy nature.
8. Change your perception of reality and perfection. I remember being a grumpy person when I didn't get enough sleep, my children were fighting, my house that I had just cleaned was in ruins, and my husband wanted more attention. I was mad that life wasn't fair. As I was working out one morning I had the realization hit me-If I don't change my attitude about my life I will always be grumpy. So I changed- suddenly having children was not a burden. Changing endless diapers and wiping faces and hands was not a burden. Yes, my house was never perfectly tidy-but it will be someday when my kids are older.
I needed hooks in our drop zone-it's not pinterest perfection...I love it! The kids put their backpacks up and it has helped control the mess.
9. Keep your expectation high for your children. Children are amazing and resilient. They can also meet high expectations. Yes they are children they can't sit still for hours on end-but they are smart and amazing. If you expect your children to be loud, messy, and picky they will be. If you expect them to be obedient, tidy, and well mannered they will be. There is a caveat: know your child-don't expect so much that they are crushed with perfectionism.
10. My mother often says this: this is their first time being a child and your first time being a parent. Learn together and be open with your feelings, frustrations, and your love. Sometimes a long hug will cure all.
I'm not a perfect mother, but I try to be the best mother for my children.
This picture is from mother's day-it's one of my favorite of my children.