I have been a mother for almost 10 years now which in itself is hard to believe, and when I look back to the time before kids, I think its safe to say I viewed motherhood as a destination rather than the journey it is. It’s one of my greatest blessings, it’s challenging, and it’s most definitely the hardest “job” I have, and has taught me so many lessons and things about myself that I never expected.
It was at my Mommy Connections class few months ago, that we as a group were asked, to list one lesson we had learned or discovered since becoming a mom? When it was my turn to share, I couldn’t stop myself, my 1 lesson turned into 3 which could of been more. That conversation was one that still sticks out in my mind. It was so interesting to listen and hear what other moms had to say. Which brought me to this post of sharing my Top 5 Lessons, in hopes it may resonate with another mama, like it did me. It was eye opening for myself as which lessons stuck out and was nice to know I wasn’t alone in my thoughts.
1. Being a SAHM(stay at home mom) Didn’t Totally Fulfill Me.
After having our two oldest kids I had always continued to work part time from home in some capacity. I never truly realized how much I thrived in doing so. Not until we moved away to another province and I was spending my days doing the”mom thing” day in and day out. My time was spent caring for our kids and running the house our time was free for the taking, which is exactly what I had always told myself and everyone else that I wanted. It was then, in the midst of free time and routine that I had my big revelation, I just wasn’t feeling fulfilled.
This lesson was one that caught me by total surprise and took me a long time to own it. Being a SAHM was something I dreamt about since I was a little girl. Sure I had dreams about having a career, but I always knew that once I had kids I would give that up in a heartbeat to stay home. I didn’t love my job enough to go back and couldn’t decide what else I would want to do. My mom was a SAHM and I loved that about my childhood. I loved the flexibility, the availability and the security I felt with her being at home. And I wanted that for my kids, when I met my husband and before we even married he knew that was important to me and would one day be our reality, he wanted that for our kids as much as I did. So it was hard to admit to myself and others that what I thought I always wanted and would complete me, simply didn’t.
I was content sure, I was enjoying our carefree days and was good at filling our time with errands and playdates. But I still found myself feeling restless, I found myself mourning my own identity. During nap-time or the evenings once the kids were in bed I would be asking myself often “is this it or me”? I wanted something just for me, something that I could be passionate about and gave me a break from routine, the sleepless nights, diapers and tantrums. I tried a few hobbies, knitting was a huge failure and sewing left me frustrated, haha. I couldn’t believe it, but I wanted to work. I wanted to have my own money to spend guiltlessly on whatever I wanted, and I really did have a desire to contribute to the household, however that may have looked.
I do still stay at home and now work from there, I have always been an entrepreneur at heart. Yup I am one of “those moms” that has a direct sales business. And trust me, I never grew up thinking “I wanna have a home based business!” But I love it and for so many reasons( a topic I will explore in another post). And there are days I simply do the “mom thing all day long” but there are also days like today when we are away on holidays, and I walked to the local library so I could work on my business and write which is something I like to do. Over the last 4 years I would say that I am a happier person, and a better mom for it. I look back and appreciate my mom even more, knowing now that she may of very well felt the way I do.
2. Patience is a Quality I Lack.
Patience, where do I start with this? Honestly never gave this much thought when it came to Motherhood. Pre kids I would argue I was a pretty patient person when it came to others and especially kids. I love kids, I was the girl that babysat until I was in my 20’s. But I learned quickly that I suck at patience and in many instances have very little. I found myself frustrated at the simplest things like them, getting dressed and out the door, or eating and throwing food. I have to remind myself that they are kids and this is what they do, as they are learning. I Mostly blame it on the fact I am a control freak and have some OCD tendencies, and now when I see those tendencies in my kids in various situations, I realize this is something I have to continue to work on. As much as we teach them they teach us, so “cheers to those of you like me, that are a work in progress”! lol
3. Kids Will Make Liars Out of You.
This one I chuckle at all the time, this is a lesson that pre kids you just can’t see it coming. We were later to join the parent train and watching our friends and family do it before us, had me making all kinds of vows to myself about how raising my kids would be. Lesson 3 is the one that will have you eating your words the moment you become a parent. That lesson your parents preached about “thinking before you speak”. Yup thats a great one to carry into parenthood. Those beautiful little humans you fall in love with at birth and would die for, yup they make “BIG OLE Liars” out of you. Do you recall saying ” My kid will or won’t..”? If no, well good for you but I am guilty as charged. I maybe wasn’t vocal about it in public judgment but I recall conversations with my hubby about certain topics.
If you think they will sleep they won’t. If you think they will be good eaters, they prolly won’t. If you think you will have your baby early and execute the perfect birth plan, you may wanna have a back up plan. If you think you will only feed them home made, organic baby food? Well you may or may not be lying. I lied…lol. Yup,” liar liar pants on fire” is something I utter to myself all the time.
4. Do What Works For You.
Lesson 4 is one I give as advice all the time to new moms to be and moms I can see struggling with what they want or feel is expected and what is actually working. This is the most freeing lesson, do it your way! There is no book on how to raise kids that works for the masses, and every adult, parent, couple, and child are different. What works for one simply won’t work for all. I had tons of advice, my own ideas on breastfeeding and routines, read all the books and have realized no two journeys are the same. Offering advice is perfectly normal as is asking for opinions and giving them, but honestly save yourself the stress and figure out what works best for you and your family and just do that.
5. Comparison is The Thief of Joy.
Which brings me to what I think is also one of life’s hardest lessons and once again one I didn’t expect to fall victim to as much as a I do as a Mother. Comparison is the thief of joy, true story. Nowadays more than ever the comparison trap is rampant and I can’t help but feel it is an inevitable place we find ourselves at one or more times in our lives. We live in an age of technology where people more than ever can live perfectly out loud on social media. I am quick to remind myself often that what I think I know, or see, is often not the real deal. Sometimes it is the real deal and then…well there is always wine!
Yes, there are people keeping it real and sharing both the ups and the downs, I know I try to. However the usual Facebook and Instagram pages that you are mindlessly scrolling at the end of your “wonderful or shitty day”, are typically the highlights reel. On my shitty days that I scroll I have found myself comparing my body, my kids and even my business to what I am seeing online. It’s not easy, but its crucial for your happiness and joy to NOT compare what you do or do not have to the next person. You cannot measure your successes, failures, hardships and even self worth by what you see on your scroll.
I am so thankful for each and every lesson I have learned so far. I love this journey, its ever changing and all the lessons are helping me grow and become the best version of myself and the best mother I can be. What has been a lesson you have learned or something you have realized about yourself since becoming a Mother?