A post I wish I read before I had children. Before you read, know that these are my own thoughts and this may not apply to everyone.
PC: Cecilia Harvard www.dearestlou.com
With that being said, being a Mother is the greatest blessing I have received. Growing up, motherhood looked a lot different from what I imagined when I was young. Motherhood doesn't look like those perfect pinterest boards, full of creativity, DIY projects, perfect party favors that take way too long to make. Those moments are there, but those things do not make a mother.
While those things are beautiful, they don't really matter in the long run.
Do you know what matters?
I've been blessed with fairly easy pregnancies. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen to everyone. I had a friend telling me " being pregnant looks nothing like on tv". I thought that was such an interesting comment. She was sick up until she had her baby, her ankles were swollen, she gained 50 lbs and hated the way she looked.
Whenever someone would use the excuse of not being prepared yet, I would often come back and say "you can never fully prepare". Which to an extent I think is true, but on the other hand, you can totally prepare... Mentally! I know many people that have gotten depressed post-baby because they weren't mentally prepared for the changes. Changes as in; your body changing, your mood, being sick, etc. I think these are SO important to know before you consider anything, so it doesn't come as a surprise. We as women already struggle with body image, while we are creating something beautiful, it can be hard for some to accept those kind of changes.
When having Noah, a lot of things were foreign to me. Although I had nanny'd and babysat a lot, he was my first child. I was responsible for him, ME!! We now live in a society where if we aren't doing what others are doing, we feel like we are failing. We compare ourselves, and our children (even if its unintentional) which creates a lot of self doubt.
"Comparison is the thief of joy"
Our doctors tell us what our kids are suppose to do. Are they hitting the right milestones? Sleeping through the night? Sitting up? Crawling? Walking? Talking? Potty trained? I hated when people would ask me if Noah was sleeping through the night, unless it came from close friends/family. I felt many times that if I said no, they'd give me a weird look (as if Noah was behind). This often resulted to me feeling down, and questioning my parenting skills. This I know has happened to many of my close friends, and this also results in a mother lying because they don't want to feel guilt or get that weird look.
I think it is so important to know that when a fellow mom comes to you for advice, they aren't looking for you to brag about your kid. Because, let's be honest, we all think that our own kids are the best ;) Instead, try to uplift and encourage and if you don't have advice then laugh about the situation. Besides, everybody has a different view of sleeping through the night!
Have you ever felt like you were failing as a mother because your child wasn't doing what another child was doing? I know I have, multiple times. Here's the kicker, EVERY MOM HAS, at one point or another. We are not alone, we need each other to help one another. We are sisters, and we are all in this "hood" together. Next time you approach another mom, tell her she's awesome and she's doing an amazing job. If you are reading this, you are doing so much better than you think you are. Know that your little ones chose you for a reason. If you are currently pregnant, try to enjoy every moment, even the hard one. This too shall pass and I hear that 20 years from now you will miss it ;)