Motherhood isn’t like you see in the Movies…
Motherhood isn’t like you see in the movies and it’s not for the faint of heart. Last night I tucked my boys into bed and realized how fast they’d grown up and it was going to be my 10th Mother’s Day. I wished someone had sent me a letter with motherly wisdom on the day of my son’s birth. If I was to write that letter today to someone who just had a baby, knowing what I know now, what advice would I give them? It would go like this:
There are a few things you might want to know on day 1. First don’t panic about how to be a great mom. You’re not going to get everything right, so don’t make yourself insane trying. You’ll make mistakes. Lots of them. No one is the perfect mother, and everyone messes up, so accept it now and you’ll save yourself a lot of heartache later.
You’re going to be tired. So tired, that between snuggles and feeds and trying to keep up with life in general, you’ll catch yourself scooping formula in the coffee maker instead of coffee. Try to avoid putting formula through a coffee maker. It’s not a good outcome. And sleep whenever possible. No one ever died from laundry not being folded.
Me & E 2 months old
On the subject of formula…don’t judge and don’t let yourself be judged. Nursing is beautiful and one of the most amazing experiences to share with your baby. But if you can’t do it, your baby needs to eat. Don’t beat yourself up or let anyone make you feel badly about your choices. They’re your choices for your child and your well-being.
You’re going to do some really icky things, like picking your baby’s nose when they have a cold and can’t breathe, dealing with bodily fluids from both ends, and cleaning baby food from high chairs, strollers, car seats, and other places you never thought it could go. Take a deep breath and soldier on!
On line mom groups can be a great source of information, but if your child gets a weird rash, don’t post a photo with “do you know what this could be?” It’s best to go to the doctor.
Some incredibly bizarre phrases are going to come out of your mouth when your child becomes a toddler, things you never thought you’d say while sane and sober. Phrases like “please don’t lick the bathtub” and “earth worms shouldn’t live in shoes.” Keep a small journal to write down these moments, because your kids will love to hear about them when they’re older.
You’re going to cave in. Those insipid kids shows you smugly swore your kids will never watch…. Barney, Caillou or Bob the Builder will be your very best friends if they allow you 22 minutes freedom.
Lastly, there will come a moment when some well-meaning middle aged women will come over to you and the baby as you walk down the street or through the mall, and she’ll look longingly at your child and say, “My son is now 19 and off to university. It goes by in the blink of an eye.” You’ll do everything in your power not to burst into tears because you’ve been up all night trying to sooth your teething baby back to sleep and every minute seemed to last a year. But trust me on this one. Before you know it, the years will fly by, you’ll see your baby go from toddler to child to teenager to adult, and it truly happens in the blink of an eye.
So cherish every moment because each stage is precious (except the terrible two’s, good luck there!).
You are enough. You have enough. You do enough. And your child knows that you are the Best Mom.
Happy Mother’s Day from Movies for Mommies!