“You’re a good mom” -how I need these words every day.
Everyone tells you parenting is the hardest thing you’ll ever do. True statement.
It’s also the most foreign thing I’ve ever done.
When approaching challenges in the past I have always told myself I’m a quick learner and a hard worker and I can figure it out. I’ve also reminded myself that if others could manage it, so could I.
Same with becoming my mom- I thought, I’ll figure it out- my sisters and friends have. I can trust my “women’s intuition” as they say, and learn along the way.
But coming home from the hospital with an infant felt anything but natural, and whatever intuition I was supposed to have seemed to be missing.
For every big decision- diapers, feeding, napping, scheduling- there are people- very opinionated people- on both sides. I question myself on everything, and the experts are no help because they can’t even agree.
Unfortunately, God didn’t send this little lady with a manual- Feed when cry sounds like this. Time feedings this many hours apart at week 3 and this many hours at week 6. She likes to have her tummy rubbed after she eats….
Due to these insecurities, I’ve found myself more sensitive to judgment. In the past, I haven’t been all too concerned about what people thought of me. But since I’ve become a mom I’ve noticed feeling anxiety before people visit.
What will they think of my parenting practices? Will they think I’m starving her? That she’s too small? That I’m a terrible mom? That I have no idea what I’m doing (which would be accurate, but I don’t want anyone to know that)?
Parenting just feels very vulnerable.
Fortunately, my support system has stepped in to meet me in my vulnerability. Instead of judgment- they have offered love. Instead of condescension- they have offered patience and encouragement.
When I got home from the hospital, Nick and my mom kept telling me, “you’re a good mom.” Somehow they knew this is what I needed to hear. They kept saying it to me over and over, and it felt like water to my dry, exhausted, mamma heart.
I have been amazed at how much I need to hear those four simple words, and how much they do to calm and quiet my freaked-out soul.
This Mother’s Day I’m thankful for all the moms- and non-moms- in my life who have given me space and encouraged me as I find my own way as a mom.
To my mom for cooking, cleaning, and empowering me to believe that I could do this mom thing.
To my sisters who have answered my gagillion questions about birth, and diapering, and oh my gosh how does this breast pump work?
To my breastfeeding advocate friend who keeps telling me she’s proud of me.
To my counselor friend who patiently told me “you’ve got this” as I cried overwhelmed tears on the phone.”
To my church friends and small group who have brought me meals to give me more time to be with my babe.
To the many friends and coworkers who have believed in me and told me they think I’ll be a great mom.
To so many amazing and supportive women in my life who play a mom role whether you’re a biological mom or not.
And I hope today you hear those words as well-
You’re a good mom.