The word this week for Tuesday at 10 is CHANGE. I decided to write on how motherhood changed me. I had to reset my thinking because so much of my writing this month has been a military focus. I hope you enjoy this post.
Motherhood has changed me probably in more ways than I actually know, but there are some changes are big enough for me to see. I think the biggest way I have changed is the awareness of how hard it is to be a Mom. I had planned on staying home after my son’s arrival and was so worried I would be bored and unchallenged by the life of a stay at home mom. Even though, I wanted to be one, and had dreams of laissez-farie days of staying at home, I had no idea what the job entailed. The words encompassing my journey of motherhood have yet to include the word bored.
Challenged and frustrated, more often than I care to admit.
Becoming a Mom opened my eyes up to a world that one can only understand by being in it. Even once you have passed the infant stage you start to lose the understanding of the struggle of early parenting. You remember the good, blur together the bad and when a friend tells you she is expecting your face lights up because of the joy you remember.
I know that after my son was born and I was at home and it was so much harder than I expected. My mind kept wandering back to conversations with friends when they talked of the joy of being parents and I wondered why no one warned me. Everyone was so excited about a new baby and no one pulled me aside with a heart to heart on how rough it would be. Looking back, people did “warn me,” but their words were a foreign language to a future mom who had never faced a task she didn’t know how to complete. One friend kept saying, “You are going to be alright.” And my Mom said a similar phrase on her first visit after my son was born. I did not understand what was coming and how completely my life would change.
After the newness of the baby and the realization that life would never be the same, I was lost and struggling to adapt. In the midst of those months that I struggled, I realized I had lost part of who I was by leaving behind a great job with lots of titles and accolades. I had traded it in for what? A baby, who cried all the time and could not speak. I wanted him to say “Great Job” and “I need you” and maybe he did, but I was so overwhelmed I could not hear it. I could only hear the voice telling me I was not doing good enough. I could hear the advice from the books I read and they were telling me I was doing it wrong.
I’m no longer lost in the fog of being a new Mom. It still is hard and some days I get frustrated and do not feel like I am doing enough, but somehow my attitude has shifted. The parenting “experts” do not matter to me. I have found the best parenting advice to be to do what your gut tells you and to remember you are not alone. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a friend with your honest fears and struggles. She likely will surprise you and say “Me too.” Becoming a Mom has changed me for the better and like most things that are hard; it is worth it.