For some of you, motherhood came beautifully.
You gave birth and enjoyed it. Bonded with that tiny bundle of joy through the amazing experience of nursing. And you snuggled, baby wore, and co-slept with no hiccups.
You truly found your calling.
Then there are the “other moms”. I like to call them “motherhood misfits”. Which, I might add, is the category I personally fall into.
You see, my experience with becoming a mama was a hard opposite from the above-mentioned scenario.
Giving birth was the worst, nursing ran a close second, and as for co-sleeping and babywearing…… let’s just say I REALLY love the idea of it, but it was not my jam.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m obsessed with my kids. Just not in the traditional way that moms typically are.
If by now you are a little shocked, I get it. It’s not something moms talk about often. I was in denial about falling into the “motherhood misfit” category for a very long time.
But I just couldn’t stomach the feeling of acting like I was dancing through motherhood and loving every second of it when I was barely hanging on for dear life.
I was straight up drowning in motherhood.
So for the perfect “born to be a mama” reader, this post may not be for you. And that’s ok. But for the mamas who deeply resonate with the first couple paragraphs of this post, read on.
I hope to offer some helpful insight and encouragement to you.
Get Really Used To The Idea That Things Aren’t Going To Be What You Expected Them To Be
Nothing, I repeat, NOTHING goes according to plan in motherhood. You see, in a perfect world, you could plan everything out and know exactly what to expect.
You can read all the things to prepare for motherhood, but at the end of the day, how would you have ever known that you were going to have a colicky baby who doesn’t sleep through the night for twelve months.
…..and you would be pushed to the brink of a nervous breakdown over chronic sleep exhaustion.
And you know what else? Sometimes those adorable little babies are just plain jerks. No one dare say it, but trust me, every mama thinks it.
They want their way, they want it now, and they do not care who’s face they scream off to get it. They also do not care if you’re having the worst period of your life, have a cold, and didn’t sleep the night before.
The sooner you make peace with the fact that nothing is going to play out as you expect, the happier you will be.
Find Joy In The Things You Really Love About Being A Mom And Do Them
As a new mom, there are going to be a bunch of things that just aren’t your jam. And that’s totally ok. Rather beat yourself up about them, find the things you really love about motherhood and do those things.
Contrary to popular belief, motherhood isn’t a one size fits all. There are so many different ways to do mom life and do it well. But it’s different for everyone.
Less Truly Is More
The demands of motherhood are never-ending for the modern-day mom. We are told that we need things to make us and our kids happy.
Which leads to feeling like no matter what we have it is never enough.
Become very clear on what you want for your life and your family, and don’t feel pressured by everyone else to do or be more.
Do Not, I Repeat, Do Not Compare Yourself To The “Born To Be A Mama” Mom
This is the quickest way to hit a downward spiral into mom guilts-ville. And that is a terrible place to be.
Motherhood comes in a million different shades. We are all so very different and complex in personality that we can’t help but mom in different ways.
Identify what color you are and wear it unapologetically. The sooner you realize and accept that you’re not like that “perfect mom”, the sooner you can grow into the mama you were born to be and who your kids actually need.
Identify Your Natural Short Comings And Take Action To Better Them
Motherhood is a very difficult dance between accepting what kind of mama you are and still having enough self-awareness to identify your shortcomings.
I’m not a patient person, but I had to learn that my kids need a mom who is patient. Even though it takes every single ounce in my body to drag it out of me, I do it for them. I have to work on it every single day.
It is ok to naturally have shortcomings, but it’s not ok to use your personality to excuse toxic behavior.
Your kids deserve better and you will be a stronger person when you recognize and harness your flaws.
Don’t Live In Shame Over What Kind Of Mom You Think You’re “Supposed” To Be
Mom-shaming is an epidemic. Everyone has their opinion about what you are supposed to be and do in every single situation. Refuse to feel pressured to be a certain mom to please other people.
Define what a good mom looks like for your family and be that. Ignore the peanut gallery. They haven’t walked a day in your shoes.
Embrace The Things That You Are Not Cut Out For
Being a crunchy mom, for instance, looks great on paper, but for some people, it just doesn’t work. Two of the things I was most excited about having babies were babywearing and co-sleeping.
Turns out I’m actually claustrophobic and enjoy sleeping without catching a heel in my spine.
I kept forcing babywearing and every single time I finally got that thing on and the baby settled, she would fall asleep and I would feel stuck. I couldn’t sit, couldn’t pee, and felt like the walls were closing in (a slight exaggeration).
By the time baby number three came along, I was perfectly ok with the fact that babywearing just didn’t work for me and guess what? My baby was still loved, we still bonded, and I still had a great experience with him in his infant years.
Don’t force things that aren’t working. It may just not be for you.
Stay Positive At All Costs
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he Prov 23:7
I know it seems silly, but you become your thoughts. When you dwell on the fact that motherhood isn’t going as planned and wallow in the hard times it will cause resentment, ungratefulness, and depression.
Make a habit of dwelling on positive thoughts and the things you are grateful for.
Find Someone You Can Trust To Verbalize Your Feelings With
In contrast to the last point, you need to find someone you can confide in about the dark side of motherhood. This shouldn’t be a venting session but should be spoken out of humility and transparency.
Bottling up all the feelings of “not enough” isn’t healthy. And will fester into something much bigger.
Motherhood isn’t always fulfilling and that’s ok.
The important thing is how you act upon those feelings.
By accepting that you can’t control mom life, finding joy in the things you DO like, learning that less is more, Identifying what kind of mom you are, working on your short-comings, refusing to feel shame for not fitting in a box, staying positive, and finding someone to confide in, you will be on your way to slowly but surely being a healthier happier mama.
May Your Coffee Be Stronger Than Your Toddler
I need your help!!
If you liked this post, would you send it to three mom friends in your life that you think would find value and encouragement in it?
It would mean the world to me!!<3