With 10 months of motherhood under my belt, I have certainly learned a lot about myself and what I am capable of. I have also learned a lot about how I want to improve myself in the future and what kind of future I want to help build for our family.
Comparatively speaking, I think that the last 10 months have gone pretty smoothly as I have learned how to be a mom. There are so many mommy blogs out there that share about how no one slept for the first few months, the baby never stopped crying, colic, reflux, nap protesters, difficulty breastfeeding, difficulty formula feeding, and the list goes on. In our house, we slept from the beginning and we still sleep. Of course it hasn’t always been straight through the night and of course not without interruptions along the way, but I have never felt so sleep deprived that I was a zombie. In the first weeks, I would get a 2 hour stretch from when I went to bed around 10. After that continued for a week or so, I just went to bed earlier. The old “sleep when your baby sleeps” advice never applied to me during the day because unfortunately, the house did not clean itself and yes, I do care about dishes, laundry, and general clutter piling up, sorry. However, when I would put our son down to go to bed around 8, I went to bed as well. That meant that when he woke up at 11, I had gotten at least 3 hours of consecutive, uninterrupted sleep. No it wasn’t ideal and yes, I missed out on quality time to myself and with my husband for the first couple months, but it worked out for us. The next day, I always felt pretty good! Now, his bedtime is 7 and my husband and I have the evening to ourselves. Fortunately, our son did not suffer from colic or reflux and he was never a nocturnal night owl either. Like I said, comparatively speaking, I feel like things have gone pretty smoothly for us all.
Before I had a child, one of my biggest inner struggles was about my purpose. I know I am worthy, I believe that I am a redeemed, forgiven, child of God, and I also trust in the plan for the my life, though I can’t see what the future holds. I trust in God’s timing too. However, like many others, I struggled with what my purpose is and even now, I can be impatient and want to control the future. A lesson I have learned since becoming a mom, is that my value and purpose is so much more than what I always thought it was.
In high school I believed that if you got good grades and went to college, you would automatically start a great career and could be whatever you wanted to be. Well, when I graduated from college, with good grades, that magic door to a career didn’t open. I applied to jobs in all areas of my desired field and nothing ever came. So, I was a waitress… again. I was a waitress while I was in college and I was still a waitress when I was done with college and that was not the way it was supposed to go in my mind. After working several other jobs here and there and ultimately being unhappy, I decided that maybe I needed to go back to school. That would certainly mean a better career opportunity, right? Well, not exactly. I got my Master’s degree and those magic doors still failed to open. I worked in administration and office management and felt like I was stuck. Maybe I didn’t go about it right, or maybe it wasn’t meant to be. Regardless, it made me feel like I didn’t have any direction and like I didn’t know what I was supposed to be “when I grew up.” That bothered me for years and was a huge insecurity. Comparison really does steal joy.
When my husband was finally ready to start a family (because I was ready long before him) I was so excited. When we got pregnant I was beside myself with joy. And when our son was born, all of my insecurities about my purpose vanished. I still have plenty of dreams and goals that I want to achieve beyond being a mother, but the guilt and embarrassment I carried around pointlessly for years, was gone. My purpose is my child. Whether I am blessed with more children in the future or not, my purpose is being a mother. See, here is the thing, even if I got the greatest career opportunity in the world tomorrow, it would always take the backseat to being a mother. My son is my first and most important priority, not any job, ever.
I am excited to build a positive future for my son. My husband and I will lead by example and show him that you can achieve your dreams, even if you don’t fit the standard “mold” society has created. Remember, comparison steals joy. I have so so much more to be grateful and thankful for in my life than worrying about whether I am living up to standards set by an imaginary panel of judges. Do you. Find your path.