What I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Motherhood

Mommy Matters Monday is back =)

Before I get started with my post, congratulations to Brittney B. for winning last week’s giveaway of a PDF copy of ‘Wives of the Bible’ by Jolene Engle!! Whoo hoo!! Check your email today, Brittney!

Today’s post is titled “What I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Motherhood” because I had a small revelation over the weekend. Aymen is 9.5 months old and we believe that God has truly blessed us on this journey through parenthood with a loving, sweet, happy baby. People ask me all the time, “Is she always this happy?!” and I can honestly say that 95% of the time, she is. BUT, as happy as she is, as much as we love her, being her mommy is the most challenging thing I’ve ever done in my life.

Aymen & I were at a baby shower on Sunday and on the table beside the gifts was a basket of newborn size diapers with a note that said “Leave Mommy a note to read during those late night diaper changes” or something along those lines. There were Sharpies laid out so we could write the notes ON THE DIAPERS! Such a great idea!

I waited until right before we left to write a note because I really wanted to leave something encouraging & meaningful…and because Aymen was crawling everything & pulling up on the chairs so I was trying to make sure nothing toppled over onto her head. 
It was only a few months ago that I was the one up late at night changing diapers & I know I would have loved to have some late night/early morning encouragement! Here was my thought process that helped me arrive at my revelation:
This is such a great idea. It will really help her get through the rough nights…
She might have to wait until she’s awake before she can read these…
I wonder if she’ll be able to comprehend anything if the baby is crying…
Will she be able to read them if she’s crying too…
I bet she won’t ever cry, she’s a Kindergarden teacher, she has a lot of patience…
Hmm, I wonder if she will ever cry in the middle of the night when her daughter is crying…
I did…
I cried a lot when Aymen was crying…
I wonder what that means…
Does that mean I wasn’t ready/couldn’t handle motherhood…
Does it mean I was doing a bad job…
WHAT?! NO!! ARE YOU SERIOUS, MOLLY?! GET YOURSELF TOGETHER!…
Babies cry, mommies cry too. IT’S.O.K!!…
Man, I really wish someone would have told me that before Aymen was born…
Now, read all that again in less than 60 seconds, internalize it while you’re trying to keep your daughter happy as she’s about to pull a folding chair down on her head and you’ve pretty much mastered my process of having a revelation =)
But seriously, I wish someone would have told me that it is perfectly ok for mommy to cry while baby is crying. I wish someone would have said “Molly, you’re going to feel inadequate, you’re going to wonder what you’re doing wrong, you’re going to think you’re in over your head. That’s normal! You’re not inadequate, you’re not doing anything wrong, and you’re a perfectly capable mother!”
You see, we live in a ‘Facebook status’ society where, for the most part, all we see of our online friends’ lives is what they choose to put out there. Most people don’t choose to put their worst times out there for all to see (I say ‘most people’ because we all have that ‘Debbie Downer Describes in DETAIL’ friend on Facebook but they are the exception). All we see & read about are the good times after the bad, the smiles in pictures after the tears, the joys after the heartaches. All too often I find myself on someone else’s Facebook page thinking “Man, they’ve got it together! They’re such a great mommy, I bet they never cry or lose their patience. I wish I could be like that.” It’s a natural reaction but I have to stop those thoughts, hold them captive, and speak truth to them. Truth like:
  • There is no ‘perfect’ person/family/mother out there. The only perfection this world has ever seen came over 2000 years ago and died for us so that we could be free from the guilt our imperfection can bring us.
  • It’s okay to cry. In fact, it’s probably better that you cry it out than hold it all in. Sometimes, we need that release. Crying means you care enough to get emotional about those awful feelings of inadequacy.
  • You are not inadequate. That feeling of inadequacy is false & comes from the one who wants to steal your joy. You are the ONE person in the ENTIRE world who is qualified to do your job, no one else can be YOU. God created you with purpose and he don’t make no accidents! He CHOSE you to be a mommy. Delight in that thought today.

So I leave you with the note that I left for the soon to be mommy at her shower. Please repeat it to yourself today if you find that you are struggling.

It’s okay for mommy to cry. It’s okay to feel like you don’t know what you are doing. God CHOSE you to be (insert your child’s name here) parents and if you draw your strength from Him, you can get through anything!”

So tell me, what is the one thing you wish someone had told you about motherhood before you became a mommy?

2 Comments

Kasie

Great post! My daughter is 9 months old and I was TOTALLY unprepared for the feelings of inadequecy I felt after her birth. I felt completely out of control and overwhelmed. A couple days before I had my daughter a stranger stopped me in the grocery store and asked me about my pregnancy. I told her I was days away from giving birth. She gave me the best advice: “Enjoy it”. Enjoy everything about being a mother and having a baby. Don’t stress about getting it right, just enjoy it. It took me months to finally listen to her advice! God bless that woman.

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Molly Bronson

Kasie! Thank you for your words of wisdom & encouragement. I think at first during the initial adjustment period, it’s so hard to just ‘enjoy’ our babies. Then, the mommy guilt can set in and I’ve been guilty of focusing on my guilt and not ‘enjoying’ my baby. So many things can distract us! Bless that dear woman for her kind words!

-Molly

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