Sacrifice. Disappointment. Joy. Excitement. Frustration. Despair. Loneliness. Humor. Motherhood is not all cuddles and giggles. Read on for some refreshing truth bombs about how to survive life with a baby.
The following is written by Emily Grow, one of our clients, and is shared with permission. Thanks, Emily, for sharing your truth and making space for other moms to speak their truth about motherhood!
When I found out I was pregnant I had such a surge of mixed emotions.
I was almost done with my yoga teacher training. I was in the best physical fitness I have ever been in. I had also just been laid off from my job. I saw that as a sign I was going to be focusing on my goals and accomplishments. While it was painful to move on from my job because I was going to miss the family I'd become a part of so much, I was embracing my new focus. My redirected pursuits seemed to come to a crashing halt when I saw the words "pregnant 2-3 weeks" on the clear blue test. In that moment my heart jumped and dropped all at once. After years of sacrificing my dreams to focus on caring for my son, I was stepping into a new world of my own, only to once again embrace the all consuming experience of bringing new life into this world.
My focus had to shift to not just something else, but someone else. It's the most humbling and selfless act of my life, to Mother children. I packed away my favorite skinniest me clothes and watched my body expand for 10 months. As someone who experiences hard pregnancies, it was hard not to be bitter. It was so necessary to go through those changes, though. It was like Watching my hard work slough away with every pound I gained turned my focus inward to the growing life inside of me. My focus had to change from me to someone else.
All of this to say, I've learned a lot in seven short years of mothering.
1. You are going to change. Your feelings are going to change, your
mind is going to change, and the way you experience life is going to change. Embrace your authentic self, and the changes will feel more natural.
2. Apologies are unnecessary, but are a kind gesture. As a parent to a new person, you are not entitled, inclined or tempted to, you are Obligated to focus first on your child, then those around you. Your child is helpless and you are their lifeline. Care for them before others without guilt and with pride.
3. Love yourself like a newborn. Care tenderly for yourself and allow others to do the same for you. You are vulnerable and compromised and need nurturing to nurture. Be kind and loving to yourself in all areas of your life, not only for your sake but the sake of your new little baby.
4. Learn to recognize when you are lonely and do something about it. Call a friend or a family member. Meet someone for a walk or coffee. Invite someone over. Do anything you can to reach out to others. Lonely parents are sad parents. Growing children need to learn what it takes to be happy from you. So show them!
5. Don't make it any harder than it has to be, and don't judge yourself for giving yourself a break.
6. There's lots of books with lots of parenting advice and that's nice, but even Baskin Robbins has 31 flavors. Be a coldstone and mix in what works for you and leave out what doesn't.
7. Be honest. Don't lie when people ask if you are doing okay and you are not. Just come out and say "well, Betty, if I can be frank, I'm fuckin falling apart over here." It doesn't do us or other people any favors if we hold back the truth about our state of mind and body.
8. Know that some people, no matter what it's about, are going to judge the shit out of you. It's not your problem. It's their problem. They can keep it, so just mind your own business and don't worry about what they think. Because it's none of your business anyways.
9. It's okay if you eat the same meal 3 times in one day. Whatever. Just roll with it. Maybe there will be variety tomorrow. At least you have something to look forward to.
10. Don't stress the small stuff. It will all pan out to pure gold one day. And you'll be back in your skinny girl jeans before you know it.
So learn to love your fat ass and be happy in your skin. It's beautiful and life giving and you are a badass because raising babies is fucking hard work.
Which of these truth bombs is your favorite?
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