I get it now. I won’t say I necessarily get it all just yet, I know there are billions of things I’ll continue to learn along the way but holy cow. Being a mother has opened my eyes to all the love, care, tears, anxiety, hopefulness, hopelessness, excitement, sadness, joy, stress, drive, encouragement, desires, fear, and energy that goes into being a mother. As a human being, I’ve never questioned myself more than I do on a daily basis when it comes to raising my daughter. Everything I do revolves around her and is centered upon whether or not I’m making the right decision and doing the right thing for her. Which isn’t a bad thing, I think it’s just something that happens when you become a parent. Your focus shifts and life isn’t about you anymore. I certainly never really understood that aspect of parenthood before becoming a parent myself.
I’m only 4 months in and I’ve already gained a much deeper respect for my own mom. I understand that being a mom takes everything out of you and can be draining at times, which is why it’s honestly SO amazing- because no matter what, the train doesn’t stop. It doesn’t matter how many times I’d gotten up that night, if the baby cries and needs me, I’ll be up again and again and again. I’ve recently really found humor in that whole workout thing “no days off” because I think it should really be more of a parent slogan than a workout one (I mean, lets be real- you have the choice to take the day off of a workout if you really wanted too). When it comes to being a parent, there is not a single day off option, I mean sure you can leave the house for a couple hours for some “me time” but are you really spending that time not thinking about your kid? I doubt it.
Being a mother is such a tricky thing. It’s wanting to experience so much with your child and wanting time to pass quicker so that they can see things and experience things the way we do (me wanting Avery to be old enough to experience Disneyland and share all that joy and excitement with me) and at the same time, it’s not wanting time to pass at all and wanting her to be small enough to sleep in my arms forever. It’s staring at photos of the week we brought her home and crying at how much she’s changed and grown already but also laughing and enjoying all the new levels of cuteness we’re experiencing as she learns to babble and smile that big, beautiful smile (and then crying again because soon that smile is going to have teeth and change yet again!)It’s such a beautiful rollercoaster of uncontrollable emotions!
I think of myself and see everything I’m doing for my daughter and have a whole new appreciation for my own mother, who raised both my sister and I with less resources and technology than we have now (she didn’t have the luxury of an automatic bouncer back then!) I understand the complexity of being a mother and the toll that can take on your own mental health. I drove myself crazy the first few weeks stressing out about if Avery was breathing, eating enough, sleeping enough, etc, etc. I’ve had days where I’ve questioned my ability to be a mother and my confidence has hit all time lows. But I’ve also experienced the greatest joys in the world and can honestly tell you that there isn’t anything better than being with my baby girl.
I’ve got a built in best friend and little mini me and that is such a special relationship that I will never take for granted. I will forever nourish and cherish the relationship I have with my daughter and am very grateful to have that same relationship with my own mother.
I know I can go to her with anything and that she’ll always be there for me no matter what. I know if I’m having a hard day she’ll probably send me some ridiculous American Greetings virtual card that will no doubt be stupid as hell but hilarious. (Sorry mom, you know it’s true!) I know if I send her some cute shoes I like, they’ll most likely show up at my door that same week. I also know that if I find a tv show that I think she’ll really love, she’ll tell me she’s going to watch it but never will (Mom- seriously, watch The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel already). My Instagram DMS are almost always 80% her sharing things with me that she thinks I’ll like or thinks I need to read/watch (I won’t lie, I don’t always watch them all, sorry mom ).
There isn’t a thing in the world I couldn’t talk to my mom about and I’m hoping that as Avery gets older, that she’ll feel the same way. I was raised by a woman who would go to the ends of the world for her children (and does), someone who has the biggest and most open heart, someone strong and smart who lets me live in my fantasy world but will also gladly give me some reality checks (when/if needed). I was raised by a hippie- dippy, nag- champa burning, Sister Hazel loving woman and I absolutely love everything about my mom. One of my favorite childhood memories is all thanks to her and at the despise (I’m not sure if that’s the right word) of my dad. Sorry dad! But it made for one hell of an adventure*!
***When I was a freshman in high school, my mom and her best friend took my sister and I out of school for 3 weeks to follow (at the time their// now our) favorite country artist up and down the California coast! We went to Keith Urban concert after concert and followed him from San Diego up to San Francisco! We’d stay in hotels and my mom even had limos pick us up from the hotel to take us to the concert. It was the absolute best of times and a memory I’ll forever cherish! When we first started, I hadn’t even heard of Keith Urban before and since then, I’ve never missed a tour of his! And I already know Grandma is ready to rock when it’s Avery’s turn for a good ‘ol Kiki concert!
Most of my favorite summer memories of my childhood all revolve around my mom taking my sister and I back to Indiana with her to stay with my grandparents. It was always so fun and exciting for us but now I can only imagine how stressful traveling with 2 young kids might have been. If it stressed her out- we didn’t know it one bit. I think I grew up not necessarily knowing the word “no” which some might say is not the best way to raise a kid, but do I think I’ll ever tell Avery no to anything she wants? Not a chance. And I know Grandma won’t either (neither of her Grandma’s actually, lol).
I can’t believe I’ll be celebrating my first Mother’s Day this weekend. Being a mother has been the most challenging, rewarding, hardest, and BEST job I’ve ever had. Everything my baby girl is, is because of my husband and I and being the ones responsible for raising her and teaching her everything that she’ll ever know is a truly amazing gift. I prayed for years that one day my husband and I would have a healthy baby girl (yes, girl– I feel like I can finally get that off my chest, I really, really wanted a baby girl and didn’t know how I was going to react if I found out we were having a boy) and now she’s finally here and I feel so grateful and blessed to have such a special baby girl. She’s brought so much joy into my life and I’m constantly in awe of her. We literally stare at her all day and just think holy cow, she’s perfect.
I look back on my pregnancy and am in complete shock of everything I went through to bring her into this world. Women are freaking AH-MAZING and those first 9 months aren’t even the real deal. Once your baby is here, you’re immediately a lifeline for this tiny human, and what’s nuts is- theres no real rule book or handbook. You run (or at least I did) on your instincts and maybe like 1/3 of what you’d read in all those baby books months prior.
I just want to say, Happy Mother’s Day to all the momma’s out there, everyone caring for children, all the Grandma’s and Great-Grandmas, and Godmother’s (or in my case, fairy Godmothers!) Raising little beings is no easy feat but is without a doubt the greatest, most special gift in the whole world. I’m so grateful for all the mother’s in my life that have and continue to be the best examples of what a mother should be.
To my momma: I love you with all my heart and soul. Thank you for everything you did and continue to do for our family. Watching you be a Grandma to Avery is the absolute best thing EVER. Everything I am is because of you, thank you.
To my mother-in-law: Thank you for raising the man of my dreams. He’s been the absolute best husband and father and I know that is because of YOU. I know that everything he is is because it’s how you raised him to be. My heart cannot thank you enough. Avery is so so so lucky to have you, as am I. We love you.
To Avery’s fairy Godmother: Thank you for supporting me throughout this journey to motherhood and for continuing to be the best support I could ever ask for. I’m so lucky to have you. Thank you for everything you do for my baby girl.
Happy Mother’s Day!!