Within days my baby boy is turning one and the whole concept is quite crazy to me. My minds seems to be racing with how to summarize the past year and the wheels just keep spinning. The fact I was pregnant, the fact I had a child, the fact this completely dependent human being is mine and the fact that I am a mom. I want to express my love for my Carter and what he means to be, but honestly he has taught me more about myself this past year than I ever thought possible. Being a mom is the deepest, scariest and most rewarding love.
I had always grown up babysitting and was even an au pair for a family so I knew I was good with kids, but they weren’t mine. Going into this new adventure was different. How was I going to handle my child? For whatever reason, as I’ve mentioned here, the whole “becoming a mom” felt very natural for me. I felt comfortable with my decisions, how to go about day to day and the transition wasn’t that difficult. Of course I had some nights I cried because I was tired and didn’t want to whip out the boob at 2am to become a human cow. There’s always challenging times, but our lives continued. We went out to breakfasts. We went on dates. We explored. Being a mom taught me to have our child adjust to us.
What I wasn’t prepared for what the loss of control that really came into my life. As most people with OCD and Type A, I’m organized and like to be in control. I keep to-do lists in my phone that are of course alphabetized and my cash in my wallet all face the same way. Our house is always clean, laundry in the hamper and floors swept. So naturally imagine my worry, well really my husband’s, with a baby coming into the picture. Where was the time going to be for all this? Though challenging at times, this past year I’ve learned it’s ok to have dirty dishes in the sink for a night. It’s ok to having your bed not be made because you’re running after an explorative little soul. It’s ok to not want to do laundry and just sit on the couch and catch up on your reality shows for a moment of peace. Being a mom often takes you out of the driver’s seat and has you riding passenger to your child.
While on the topic of control, becoming a mom means you’re the last to get taken care of. Those times you might be excited to get your hair done but can’t go because your baby gets a cold for the first time and leaving would be unbearable. Or you’re ready to run into the store to get a cute top but there’s a meltdown happening so plans have to change. You spend you days taking care of this amazing wonder and makes sure he survives to see the next day. Then throw in possibly cooking dinner, doing laundry, feeding the dogs and add in paychecks and work that needs to be done. And when your husband walks through the door you have a big smile on your face and might be a bottle of wine deep. It’s hard to find the time for yourself and moments to just relax because it always seems like there’s something to do but when you lie in bed at night and think about that day it seems silly how “busy” you are. I’ve finally gotten to the point where I have help for a few hours two days a week so I can go to the gym, get my nails done, return work calls…all in peace. Took a while but it has been the best decision to be ok taking off the Super Woman cape every so often. Being a mom is selfless.
When people ask what has been one of the hardest thing this past year I’m honest with the fact it’s what happened to my body. Some people were meant to have kids, but I my friends am not one of them. I look at myself in the mirror and can hardly recognize who I see. It’s ok to be upset by it and not like what you see. I know I birthed someone amazing and am so grateful but I can also hate the tiger claw looking marks I obtained in my last month of pregnancy. Something about being 26years old and not wanting to be in a two piece is hard. Thank goodness for cute one piece suits now. Being a mom is full of unexpected sacrifices.
It’s amazing how the little things seem so big these days. From the first time Carter smiled to the first time he found his toes, it’s the most beautiful gift to watch your child take in new experiences daily. As he’s gotten older it’s the pure glee when he gives a high five or the giggle when he sneezes. In our fast paced lives it’s easy to take for granted the little things, but having my son helps me remember the beauty in the smallest moments. Being a mom gives your world daily miracles.
Is he warm enough? Is this safe? Should he do this? Can he do that? These questions are constantly spinning in my head and there’s so many times when I rely on my mom instinct to take over my mom doubt. The responsibility of growing with your child and trying to provide every possible opportunity is exciting yet daunting. Are they in enough classes? Do I read enough? This kid is clapping but mine is not, it this ok? Learning to accept that you’re doing the best you can and your happy child is all the proof you need is such an important lesson. Being a mom is full of self doubt.
Loving my child as much as I do hurts. It pains me to see him in pain and I’m worried he will never know how much I truly love him. His hugs, cuddles and kisses are what keep me going on the tough days and bring a smile to my face on the good ones. It scares me to know how vulnerable I have become through his love. Being a mom is to love and be loved like nothing else.
Between running a business and working from home, having a child, keeping a strong marriage and having both immediate families within miles, things can get a little crazy. Throw in trying to have a social life with friends and get in date nights here and there to the crazy equation. It’s a blessing but also a curse sometimes as there don’t seem to enough hours in a week to please everyone. You have to learn to keep your marriage and little family as the priority and do what is best for you. This is hard. Really hard. For me I struggle as I like to people please and not hurt anyones feelings, but sometimes (actually quite often) I just want to be “off”. And I’m learning that it is normal and healthy. Being a mom is learning to have balance.
What will they be like in the future? What will tomorrow bring? Am I prepared? I lie in bed at night with my mind spinning about what it to come. It goes back to making sure I am doing everything I possibly can to make sure my child is happy, educated and healthy. What’s to come is a scary thing, and obviously with my OCD personality because you can’t plan, it’s even scarier. Duh, I can self diagnose. Being a mom is having a daily fear of the unknown.
I look back on this past year and it’s hard to remember my life before Carter. He has brought me more joy than I ever knew possibly. He has made me want to be the best person I can for him. He has made me want to continue to grow with and love his father more than ever, as we are the foundation to his well-being. He has taught me lessons about myself I didn’t think I would go through. He has become my littlest love. Being a mom is when I truly started living.