Something amazing has been happening lately. A ton of my friends are having babies. Like, a TON of them. It’s all baby showers, newborn snuggles, jolly jumper snapchats, and shopping for fun gifts, because being an aunt is kind of the best. And besides all the cuteness that now surrounds me (and takes over my phone storage), it has been incredible witnessing so many of my friends become mothers. Their strength and resilience leaves me in awe and more often than not, I am left wondering how the heck they do it!
Since it’s Mother’s Day, I thought I’d do a post that was a little different. I asked a couple of my closest friends (very last minute too, you ladies are the best) to share their stories instead. To get things rolling, I posed the question, “How has Motherhood been different than you’d expected?”
What I didn’t expect in return, was to get so emotional. I am beyond proud of each of these ladies (and all my mom friends, I wish I’d had enough time to ask every single one of them) for navigating this tough and life changing journey with grace and full hearts.
Today, Adam and I are having a little Mother’s Day brunch for our own moms (because nothing says thank you for sacrificing everything like scrambled eggs). But, I also wanted to say a big Happy Mother’s Day to all of YOU! New moms, and grandmas, adoptive mothers, those moms who have lost, the mamas to be, step moms, mothers-in-law, those longing to be moms, and even my fellow fur mamas out there! Motherhood is simply beautiful and I’m so glad we can all celebrate that today.
xoxo Auntie Alicia
It’s Out Of My Control
I don’t think anyone is ever truly ready for motherhood. Sure you read the books, buy the things, and paint the nursery, but then the baby comes and it’s a whole different ballgame. When you’re expecting and people tell you that being a parent is hard, I don’t think I ever really knew what that meant. Obviously I knew raising tiny humans wasn’t going to be a walk in the park, but what about it exactly is difficult? For me it has been those moments where I have “lost control”. I have experienced this at every step of the parenting journey so far. I suffered a miscarriage my fist pregnancy. Out of my control. Had an emergency c-section with my oldest daughter Madelyn. Out of my control. Went though heavy monitoring with my twins as it was considered a high risk pregnancy. Out of my control. Going through restless nights, temper tantrums, the terrible twos, colic, and colds. Out of my control.
You can do everything right and still things can go sideways. You can’t prevent your child from ever getting sick or throwing a fit in the middle of the mall. Even though I have had less then charming moments as a mother, I try to not allow myself to feel out of control even when I can’t control everything. Now with a three year old and 5 month old twins, I have to adopt this mentality for survival. Balancing the demands of all my children can be tough, but knowing all the good, yummy stuff is sprinkled in through the day, makes it all worth it. I continue to surprise myself with my own strength. Love will do that to you.
– Jennifer Pistor, mother of 3.5 y/o Maddie and twins Sabrina and Lily, 5 months | prairiegirlinthecity.com
The day we brought Thomas home I put him down in his bassinet to sleep. I looked down at my precious baby boy screaming bloody murder and realized I better adjust every expectation I had about motherhood very quickly. (A little secret between us, the bassinet was never used again).
Before having Thomas I was very fortunate to have had some very open conversations with some mom friends of mine so luckily my experience as a mother so far is pretty close to what I expected. At the same time, Thomas’ little personality isn’t something I could have ever predicted. I wasn’t prepared for a baby who would only sleep on me but I know this will be temporary. I’m just going to enjoy my time with him (even the time that happens to be in the middle of the night) before he finds me “gross” and is embarrassed to be seen with me. I also didn’t realize I could ever reach the level of love that I feel for my baby boy or that his laugh could make me so out of this world happy. Oh, and the drool… I wasn’t ready for all of the drool. I’m not even sure if I can still call it drool at this point. I think a more accurate word would be “spitting”.
-Melissa Cartier, mother of Thomas, 10 months | Melissa-Cartier.com
My Biggest Accomplishment
I didn’t grow up longing to be a mom and spent most of my adult life on the fence about kids. I promised my husband after two years of marriage, I would be open to starting a family. But when two years turned into five, and my career started advancing in new and exciting ways, I wondered if we would ever have kids. Considering that I’m writing about motherhood, clearly I had a change of heart!
The cliche is true that parenthood is equally the hardest thing you’ll ever do and the best thing at the same time. Before I had my baby I secretly wanted to roll my eyes when parents said this but it’s true. This is my first Mother’s Day and my son, Liam, is just six weeks old and so far it’s been a wild ride, right from his dramatic entrance into the world. He’s by far my biggest accomplishment and I didn’t understand how much I would love him until he arrived. I’m mostly surprised by my newfound patience in caring for Liam, especially on limited sleep! The new normal is different and I’m slowly embracing the fact that a victory for us is a trip to the grocery store or arriving anywhere on time.
I know this newborn phase of sleepless nights and small victories won’t last forever and as much as it’s hard, it’s also ah-freaking-mazing and I’m soaking up every “first” and every baby snuggle. As a normally impatient person with a mile long to-do list, this motherhood thing sure is changing me and I would say, for the better.
– Jessica Gares, mother of Liam, 6 weeks | @jessicagares
Patience and Gratitude
When I was pregnant with Paige I envisioned an idyllic journey into motherhood filled with tender moments like sleeping in together as a family and endless blurry eyed newborn cuddles. Expectations changed on the day little P arrived. As soon as she arrived I lost myself into motherhood, into a new reality where there was a tiny dictator who would set the tempo.
Our particular tempo was waiting for Paige to heal and grow stronger everyday. We briefly lived in a head space that it would just be a couple more nights at the NICU, and then we would be home, soaking in the cuddles. When days turned into weeks, it became apparent that there was no known timeline, and no doctor could tell us when we would be going home, the team just said, “Paige will let us know when she is ready”.
It was in those times when I learnt to relinquish control and live for the moment and in the moment. There is no rushing children, especially babies, in any aspect of their lives. I’ve learned patience and gratitude, I’ve learned to celebrate the small victories, and I’ve learned that those tender moments I was looking forward to so much, happen regardless of what your plan was, you just have to relax and enjoy the ride.
– Tessa Jolly, mother of Paige, 10 months