During pregnancy I had some extra time to read articles, books and blogs on what to expect when our baby was born. I was also diligent about learning what to expect while I was pregnant .... and even so there were / are so many surprises that no one tells you about. Or, maybe it's just that everyone's experience is so vastly different .... yet, there are SO many similarities between moms, couples and new parents in general. The more I speak to other moms the more I feel connected and bonded in a unique - "yes, I understand you" way. The similarities I hear are lack of sleep, lack of time to do things like take a shower, put on make-up or be intimate with your significant other. It's comforting in some ways and yet, when you're at home alone with your baby, feeling spent and unsure if you have what it takes to show up for the day it can feel lonely and daunting. Lately, these feelings are far and few for me but they do still exist because as every mom (and dad) know, having a child or children is HARD work and persistent. There is no 'time off' for moms and dads.
I marvel at the things that people have possibly mentioned to me but that I (at the time) dismissed and now think ... "OHHHH I get it!" Things like your life is going to change forever once you have a child / children. And how true this is ... in the best and most complex ways. And then of course there are the ways my life has changed from a selfish perspective. It is no longer all about me (and my husband). Traveling is not just about exotic get-aways any longer but rather where we can go that will be children friendly. There is rarely a time I think to lounge and read a magazine - instead it's a race to get what I can done in the time I have allotted (usually an hour per nap).
Motherhood is truly one of the most priceless, amazing experiences I've ever known and one of my best teachers. On the days I think I can't do this I remember it's just a day at a time and I know from experience I can do ANYTHING for one day. On days when I feel a rush that I need to get 'my life' going again (i.e. my business, my house completely decorated, etc...) I remind myself there is NO RUSH and that I only have THIS opportunity ONCE to be with my 5 month old who is soon to be 6 months and growing rapidly by the day. I never want to look back and have regret because of my selfishness. Everyone I meet who has children longingly reminds me this time goes VERY fast - and you can NEVER get it back.
Thank you to all the moms out there who share their experience with me - it comforts me immensely and normalizes the sometimes challenging aspects of being a parent. We all know it's the hardest job I'll/we'll ever love.
Love you Carson Thomas!