Motherhood

Motherhood consists of equal parts pain and equal parts joy, sometimes simultaneously. 

During the early phases of my postpartum journey after giving birth to Marri, I was frequently asked, “how are you enjoying motherhood?” I would try to smile and politely say that being a mom is “sweet.” However, I would sarcastically answer in my head, “there isn’t much to enjoy when you feel like your drowning in an ocean of inadequacy and, oh yeah! No longer taking daily showers is great.” New parents often have to learn how to navigate the sudden and drastic physical and mental changes experienced during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum. Every family faces its own set of challenges during the birth of a new baby, which commonly require a solid support system and for parents to display supernatural strength.

My immediate family and friends knew that I struggled to adjust and adapt to being responsible for another life. I frequently felt inadequate, anxious, frustrated and it did not help that a constant state of exhaustion magnified my emotions. Because of my husband’s career, we spent the last six weeks of our pregnancy and first four weeks of our son’s life living in separate cities. We also experienced an eventful yet slightly traumatic 36 hours of childbirth. During the early weeks of my son’s life as the dog days of being a new parent crept along, I quickly fell into a state of depression. I now attribute many of my initial responses to motherhood to postpartum depression. After being diagnosed from the very common group of symptoms within five weeks of my baby’s life, I quickly realized that I had an uphill battle that would require me to exercise patience, prayer, and grace toward myself.

Parenting is hard and it forces you to dig deep within yourself and discover strength and energy that probably did not exist prior to your baby’s birth. Upon bringing my baby home from the hospital, I had supermom expectations for myself and I wanted to display these instantly. However, there was a learning curve that I had to conquer in the beginning. Once I displayed grace and patience with myself, I was shocked to honestly admit that I occasionally “struggled” to take care of my baby. The humbling moments of learning to care for Marri correctly made me grow as a Christian and as a woman. In sharing my journey, I decided that honesty would set me free from the fear of criticism or judgment from those “perfect parents.” I would openly share my challenges and struggles without apprehension.

I have no supermom mask, but I do have patience, grace and determination. My Marriman, as we affectionately call our six month old, 16 lbs mush of perfection has grown into this dynamic tiny human. He has forced my husband and I to become closer to each other each day and brings endless hours of joy into our lives. But, I would be dishonest to say that my baby is the only one who has changed drastically in this short time frame. His mother has grown as well. I am learning to love me through the chaos that arises from being a new mom by genuinely embracing the woes and triumphs of parenting. That is what “Motherhood” means to me.

Motherhood is knowing that you won’t sleep for days and accepting the constant state of fatigue as your new normal.

Motherhood is when three hours of sleep starts feeling like eight hours and 15-minute naps while the baby “sleeps” become the highlight of your day.

Beautiful Photo by  Lavish Moments Photography

Beautiful Photo by Lavish Moments Photography

Motherhood is wearing spit up, baby drool and dried up pee (especially if you have a little boy) on your two-day old dirty yoga pants in exchange for designer perfume, lipstick, and cute earrings.

Motherhood is endless diapers many of which the contents travel up your babies back during the MOST inconvenient of times. Welcome to the world of blowouts.

Motherhood is watching your baby get immunized for the first time and wanting to karate kick the nurse that stabbed your baby “for their good.”

Motherhood is knowing that you won’t sleep for days and accepting the constant state of fatigue as your new normal.

Motherhood is hourly play sessions that consist of repeatedly lifting your baby up and down just to hear their cute giggle non-stop despite your biceps being on fire.

Motherhood is looking into your baby’s eyes and seeing the best of your partner and yourself compiled into a living, breathing, human form of your heart that resides outside your body.

Beautiful Photo by  Lavish Moments Photography

Beautiful Photo by Lavish Moments Photography

Motherhood is late nights or early mornings of searching through blogs on google about moms that feel overwhelmed and exhausted: “surely it’s not just me,” you think, “or is it?” 

Motherhood is saying goodbye to your social life for at least three to six months because although you need a "break" from your baby, you are too paranoid to leave them with anyone for longer than two hours.

Motherhood is watching your baby smile for the first time and feeling full of joy and excitement that this little person, in all of your flaws, thinks that you are terrific. 

Motherhood is fully understanding and learning the meaning of unconditional love. 

Motherhood is dressing your baby up for countless photo shoots in every outfit and teddy bear they own, to repeatedly capture the same expression across sixteen pictures of the same pose. Thank God for Icloud storage. 

Motherhood is looking into your babies eyes and seeing the best of your partner and yourself compiled into a living, breathing, human form of your heart that resides outside your body. 

Motherhood is endless snuggles, hugs, and kisses from a perfect tiny human. Motherhood is my life in its state of completion and it is the hardest but, most beautiful job I will ever have. The title of “mommy” forced me to become my most powerful self by inspiring an insatiable desire to DO better, BE better and LIVE better for my son. I struggle with parenting daily but, I am grateful to God for giving me the title of mommy and for giving me my perfect baby boy named Marri.

Beautiful Photo by  Lavish Moments Photography

Beautiful Photo by Lavish Moments Photography

Beautiful Photo by  Lavish Moments Photography

Beautiful Photo by Lavish Moments Photography

FIVE GOLDEN RULES FOR NEW MAMAS

  • Schedule visitors. Isolation can lead to loneliness & depression. Ask for help with food prep and small daily tasks while they are visiting.

  • Take in a regular dose of sunlight. Whether it be a walk or keeping your shades and curtains open whenever possible.

  • Eat a balanced diet & get rest. If you aren’t hungry, eat small snacks throughout the day. Shakes and doctor approved supplements are helpful for maintaining energy. Fatigue increases depression so rest and sleep as much as possible.

  • Join a support group. Bond with others to build community. It may be a playgroup, infant massage class, or a stroller club- ask your doctor if you need recommendations.

  • Pray daily. Listen to podcasts of your favorite sermons, write in a gratitude journal, play upbeat music during the day and relaxing music at night.

  • As a parent you have to cherish every moment because while the days are long...the years are short.

  • May your coffee be stronger than your toddler!