Photography Credit: Lauren Junker Photography
It seems like just yesterday I lived in San Diego, Pacific Beach to be exact, and riding my beach cruiser to Tower 23 to meet my husband for the first time. Little did I know that mystery date would lead me to the man of my dreams, marriage, and this amazing journey of motherhood.
We spent countless hours at the beach and the pool, just the two of us with no care in the world. We pretty much had our routine which consisted of good concerts, good people, good booze and good food. We thought “life couldn’t get any better than this”. Then we got married, had a baby and our whole world changed.
Let me tell you, it all changed for the better after becoming a mother.
We go to less concerts, don’t see our friends as often, and rarely make it out the door to dinner, but when we do.. it is so much more special and meaningful. We have a new routine now, and it is one I wouldn’t change for anything.
Before becoming a mom, I read so many blog posts, books, talked to other moms, you name it. Here’s the truth though, nothing will prepare you for what’s about to come (or at least it didn’t in my case). Of course, the moment you tell people you’re expecting, everyone starts giving you advice and I will be the first to admit… I am guilty of this too. But the reality is, as many people say, every child is different so, sometimes, the advice you get may not work for your baby and that is okay. You have to keep doing some trial and error sometimes because there is no manual for motherhood.
Here are some things I have learned that (in my opinion) do hold true to every mom.
1. Becoming a mother changes everything- Even though you may not go to good concerts all the time anymore and you probably see your friends way less, you will find your new norm. Embrace it. Do things with your child that make you happy. For example, I LOVE to get crafty so I have been doing arts and crafts with Brady more, not only is it stimulating for him, but it makes me relive my childhood years.. you know the time you were so excited to have craft time at summer church camp. 🙂
2. Take time for you and your spouse- It may not be all about you two anymore, but it is very important to still make time for the two of you. Date nights are very important. People told me this before I had a baby and I didn’t really listen at first. This is probably due to the fact that any chance I could get I slept, but we are doing this now and it makes a huge difference on how you parent. Even if it’s just staying in after the baby is in bed, turn on a good movie (or dateline in our case) order a pizza and make yourselves a drink, because you both deserve it!
3. Emotionally exhausted takes on a whole new meaning- there I said it. It’s true you guys. It doesn’t matter if you are a working mom, a stay at home mom, or a working mom who stays at home with their child too. I know this because I have done all 3. It is exhausting no matter which way you do it.. You constantly feel like you are not being a good mom, always catching up on everything at work or at home, being judged by family or other moms, not being a good spouse, the list goes on. Something that has helped me lately is reminding myself “you are a damn good mom” and this period of life is only temporary. I know when he is 3, 5, 12, or 18, I will be looking back going “I miss when he was so little.” So that brings me to my next thing.
4. Embrace each stage- It still blows my mind how fast they grow, yes, again, everyone says it, but you never really comprehend that until it is your own child and you are with them on a daily basis. We are currently at the age where he is doing or saying something new everyday. Embrace the good, the bad and the ugly because it all goes way too quick and remember when it’s bad… it’s only temporary. It’s just like gaining weight. You may think you are big at a period of time in your life and 5 years down the road you look back at the pictures and think to yourself “and I thought I was big then”. Same goes for motherhood. Embrace the now and love each moment, even the times where you’re crying because you stepped on a lego.
5. Mommy guilt is SO real– I have the worst of this, especially lately. You will question everything you do as a parent. When you get them off their sleep schedule for a day, give them an iPad, let them have sweets, not spending enough time with them, too much milk, not enough milk, you name it, you will have it. What has helped me during this is just the constant reminder that no mother is perfect and you are a great mom! Keep telling yourself that because here is the truth: If you have mom guilt, you are doing something right!
I could really go on and on about this you guys. As i’m sure most moms could, but these are just 5 things that I know have to hold true to each of us. When I started this blog, I wanted to be sure I shared stories or things that I knew other mamas could relate to and maybe you need to hear them, maybe you don’t, but my hope is to share my experiences along the way in hopes that it brings some inspiration to you too.
Thanks for reading.
Xoxo – Julie