All those cliches, those things you hear about having a baby and motherhood – all of them are true. And all of them are the most beautiful things you will ever experience.
– Penelope Cruz
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Being a mother is an amazing experience. From the day your child is born there is an ocean of love that is swept over you and it’s unlike anything you’ve ever felt before. From that moment you are forever changed but in the oddest way, you feel like your life has always been like this. You can’t imagine not knowing this person, this helpless little person who depends on you to survive. It can be an intimidating and scary feeling at times. There will be things you won’t know how to do and have to ask for help and support. But, for the most part, the duty is instinctual.
You will think to yourself, “how could I have ever not known this beautiful little soul?” as you watch them sleep. They sort of look like you and as they grow you start to see yourself in them. Every day something changes and something new happens and you are in awe and you want to share it with the world! But, that’s how time goes by so fast! They amaze you daily. Of course, motherhood is full of challenges and things to overcome, it is the hardest thing you will ever do and no one understands it fully until they are there.
Motherhood is awe inspiring but, motherhood is full of contrasting thoughts and ideals. It feels like one big juxtaposition of thoughts running rapidly into each other and every new milestone brings its own set of challenges. You are so excited when your baby does new things like sitting or crawling but you also mourn the fact that they are growing up. You want them to grow and you are excited to see who they are growing into but, you also want them to stay little forever. The mobile baby is a whole new world for you and for them. An exciting, terrifying and exhausting world all rolled into one.
When your baby sleeps in his crib for the first time, you are so excited you can finally have some space to yourself and your partner but, it tears you up inside because you miss the warm baby snuggles and you end up waking yourself up hourly anyway only to pull them back into bed.
You struggle because you want your time alone but then you miss your baby. Date night is never the same (if you even get a date night in the first year).
Should you let your baby cry a little bit (at a certain age) or, rush to them every time? Even if you have a specific idea in your head you may always question if you are doing the right thing. But, generally speaking there are many right things. It’s a confusing world us parents are thrown into.
Sometimes they cry, and cry and cry because they are colicky or teething or just plain cranky and fighting sleep. You may be ready to blow your top but, then they do something so sweet and you forget any ill feelings towards these little beings.
When your child starts eating food, you worry about what is the right way to approach this. You want to make everything, and make sure they are eating wholesomely. But, some days there isn’t enough time and you do your best but you give them some store bought baby food. It makes you feel guilty but you also only have so much time for things in each day.
It comes time for you to make decisions about your career or staying home. We are blessed to live in Canada where we are allowed a full-year of maternity leave. Many of us want our career but it is so hard to leave those little babies for an eight hour day! Your world has likely revolved around your infant for 365 days by this point and the concept of even leaving them for a minute can be scary but, you tell yourself it is important to have your own life and goals as well.
The conflicts in your mind become normal. You work through them. There are endless conflicts! As mothers we are riddled with guilt and worry about every little move we make. We would do anything for our offspring. It is in this worrying that we find that we are our best selves and while there is no such thing as a perfect mom, the fact that we have these conflicts means that we are doing the right thing.