Before my pregnancy I had dreams, ideas, and check lists in mind of what kind of mother I would be, and what I would do to manage life as a mom, wife, and a business woman. I was going to make it work. My vision was perfect.
During my pregnancy I revisited these ideas thinking I can actually plan out motherhood. One word to that: HA!!!! For all you perfectionists, planners & organizers, and control freaks out there (which I hate to admit I am – but I own it), I’m going to burst your bubble…. it’s not going to happen!!! Sorry.
Some things I quickly learned as a new mommy had nothing to do with planning at all. I will attest that there are 3 things that insured my survival as new mommy:
1. Start mornings off with quiet time
Weather you are religious or not you need, I repeat, you NEED a quiet time, away from your planner, noise, ‘To Do’ lists, baby, everything. Sit and rest in nature if you can. I try to take my quiet time early before my husband and baby wake up. I go outside with my coffee or tea, a devotional book and bible and sit on the patio swing. I sit for a moment to relax my brain (from the checklist I woke up thinking about) and listen to the morning sounds (birds chirping, soft wind blowing) while watching the sunrise peek over the fence. No matter how much there is to do in the day I find that if I recharge myself first I get most of it (if not all) done. They days I make excuses, that there is just too much to do, I sink.
Take a moment to stretch & breath, meditate, journal if it helps, and sit in gratitude. After all, today you woke up. That’s a blessing in itself.
2. Seek advice from other mommies
I am so grateful for this one. And I will be the first to admit it is not easy to do. Pride kicks in and an ‘I know what I’m doing’ attitude begins. If you can push past your pride and humbly ask advice it’s GOLD! Truth be told, no one knows what they’re doing. Every child is unique. Every situation is different. But when you are able to talk to other moms and get their input it not only builds a support team (it takes a village to raise a child) but you also figure out what works best for your child. I found myself reading so many books on sleeping schedules, medicines, what to expect the first year, and although all have been informative and helpful, the information I received through advice has been the best.
Now, there are so many opinions out there and it can at times get overwhelming with moms that are passionate about how they do things and will insist their way is the “right” way. Just smile and thank them for their input and take what they said into consideration. One thing I believe strongly is that God chose you to be your child’s mother. Meaning God knew you would be the perfect one to raise them to grow closer to who they were meant to be in this world. Through prayer, advice and conviction you will determine what is best for your child. Remember, you know your child better than any book or living person. In the end you know what they need. And if you don’t, that’s okay. Just ask for more advice.
3. Take everything a step at a time
Oh man. As a planner and go getter this one was so hard. “I have things to get done and you are awake and crying off schedule. This was suppose to be my …(fill in the blank). Kiddo, Come on. Help mamma out.”
Quickly into my baby’s fist weeks I told myself I was not going to ruin this. Not these moments that go by so fast you can miss it if you don’t take a step at a time. I told myself “I’m on his agenda, not mine” any time I felt a little frustration or inconvenienced to my own plans. Here is this precious child who is helpless, without words and needs mommy to help him feel safe in this world. His cry is not to annoy me or disrupt my life. He’s trying to tell me something is wrong. Whether he is tired, hungry, sick, needing a change, or in pain. He can’t speak. His cry is his way of speaking to me and asking for help. As his mommy, it is my job to listen and help him feel safe, nurture him so that he can later take chances without fear.
This one becomes hard for all us planners out there. “What? We’re on his schedule, not ours?” Trust me. If you believe it, breath in and take those precious moments, they will become the most precious moments you remember. You only get those months and years once.
When my little man turned four months old I kind of had a melt down. My poor husband looked at me helpless wondering if he did something to create it. I told him it was not him rather completely me (OWN IT! Wherever you are. Don’t pretend there’s nothing there. It will get worse).
I told my husband how if he wanted to go out with friends it was fine and easy to do. I could stay home with the baby and he could head out. But if I wanted to go out and leave the baby I had to plan ahead, and pull out all the “P’s” (plan, pump, pack, prep) and make sure he knew where everything was.
I have a good husband. He’s always willing to be with the baby and give me my time out with friends so it wasn’t a matter of “me: woman, job: stay home with baby” machismo (Spanish word for chauvinistic) thing.
I admitted to him that I was in a new chapter of life where I had to own up that I actually can’t be as spontaneous as I once was (there will be a time I can again though), and that I have a new role. It was sad because it was a loss of an era for me but I knew it was a good new chapter. One I just needed a moment to grasp.
I say this so you know it’s okay to be honest about where you are and have moments you’re sad with your new role as mom. You just had a loss of an era and new chapter to settle into. But it’s such a GREAT new chapter when you embrace it. I have a little person depending on me and he’s teaching me to be selfless and think of others more than I think of myself.
I’ve had people ask me how am I able to do all that I’ve been doing as a blogger, artist, entrepreneur while taking care of a household (caring for my grandparents as well. Grandpa has Alzheimer) and embracing my new role as mommy. Honestly, it’s these 3 things:
- Quiet time
- Seeking advice from other mommies
- Taking things a step at a time
Tomorrow is not promised to us so I make the most of the day I’m given. – Proverbs 27:1. I choose to meditate with verses that inspire me to relax and trust God’s peace to help me through the day – Philippians 4:6-7.
And in moments I prefer to look at what’s going wrong I take a moment to think of what is GOOD that day – Philippians 4:8.
There can always be GOOD things found. I say this from experience in living that last few months with a baby, grandfather with Alzheimer, grandmother, husband, oh… and a dog. Take a deep breath. One step at a time.
Good luck New Mommies.