5 things motherhood has taught me

April has come so quickly and it's hard to believe we're nearly a week in. Next month Olivia turns 3 and some days I still can't believe I've been a Mama for 3 years. Motherhood is the greatest joy and something I dreamed of since I was just a little girl. It's life's greatest learning curve and it seems no matter how long you've been a Mom or how many children you have, there is always something new to learn! I'm certainly not an expert but here are a few things being a Mama has taught me.

1. Every day is a little different 
I'm a creature of habit...I love my routines, plans and everything to be the exact same day in and day out. Predictable. I'm definitely not a risk-taker and I don't care much for change. But over the past 3 years, and especially since adding baby #2 into the mix, I've learned that every day as a Mom is a little different. And knowing that helps me a lot. Have you heard the phrase "The only thing predictable about life is its unpredictability" ? That's where we're at right now. I'll have a day where everything is just easy...they'll both sleep in until 9am (meaning I get to sleep in...aka one of life's greatest pleasures), Olivia listens well to everything I say, Poppy goes down for her morning nap no problem, lunchtime is a breeze, their afternoon naps sync up so I get a solid break, etc. Everything just flows and on those days I feel like Super Mom. Then a day or two later, I'll have a day that is completely opposite: They're up way earlier than usual or Poppy was up in the night so I wake up exhausted, nothing goes as planned, their naps don't overlap or they don't nap at all, everything seems so hard and I lose my confidence as a Mom. 

But I've learned that Motherhood is a mix of the hard and the good, the easy and the challenging. And knowing that every day I wake up our day may look a little different than the day before helps a lot. It's okay to have those hard days, and it's actually a really good thing to embrace them, because they are inevitable. Ultimately I know the hard days are refining me and making me a better Mom, they are building up qualities and strengths in me I may not have known I had; they are providing me with wisdom for the future, to tuck away and save that will benefit me down the road. And then on the really good days, I have learned to just sit and soak them in, being thankful that we have so many of them and that they're even better because of the hard ones.

2. It's all about the little things
Some days, especially as a Stay at Home Mom, the small victories, simple joys and quiet moments shared with my girls are what I need to focus most on. I may not accomplish a whole lot or do anything incredibly exciting but thats ok. Every day doesn't need to be a trip to the zoo, out to lunch, fireworks type of day. Some days are just spent at home, relaxing and being together. When I find gratitude for the little things on a day to day basis my heart is always fuller. When I choose to be present instead of tackling the 10 things on my to-do list and just watch them as they take in the world around them, that is what brings me the most joy...even more joy than a sense of accomplishment from a busy day going from here to there or crossing one thing after another off my list. Life really is made up of all the small day to day gifts, and being on the lookout for them, making it a point to notice them and savor them is one of my favorite things as a Mama.

3. Grace will get you far
We recently hung up a gallery wall in our living+dining room with one of my favorite pieces in our home to date...a beautiful rustic sign that has the word "grace" painted on it. We spend most of our time in that area of our home and it's a wonderful reminder for me every day as a Mom: to give grace to my girls and to myself. To always try my best to be kind & loving to them, even when they act out,  aren't kind or loving to me or frustrate me. It's easy to grumble at them if I'm feeling tired, particularly impatient or irritable. But I have to remember that just as God gives grace to me even though I haven't done anything to deserve it, I want to give grace to my girls, not only on the good days but also (and especially) on the hard ones. As parents, our children don't do anything to deserve our love and kindness...they just get it because they're ours and we love them unconditionally regardless of what they do or don't do. Instead of having a bad attitude, complaining or getting upset at them, I think of all the times I've been shown grace by others and continually purpose to give grace to my children. To love them every day endlessly no matter how good or hard of a day we're having.

4. It's so important to take time for yourself as a Mom without feeling guilty
This past weekend I hosted a dinner party in my home with my best friend for 12 of our closest girlfriends. It was a kid-free night with lots of good food, the best conversations and so much laughter. Dustin took the girls to my parents' house for the afternoon/evening and you guys, it felt so good to be "off the clock" for those 4 hours and just be Megan instead of operating in "Mom Mode," which I tend to be in 24/7. 

When we initially planned it, I noticed I was feeling guilty that I was hosting (even though I absolutely love to host) and because of that, that Dustin would have to pack up the girls and take them out of the house (even though they love going to Nana and Grandpa's) and that I would have an evening all to myself to relax and talk and just hang out with my friends (even though I totally needed it). Isn't that absurd?! Why did I have so much guilt? What is it about motherhood that makes us Moms feel guilty when we take time for ourselves? Somewhere along the lines we must have been told or taught that once we become Moms that's all we are. But that couldn't be further from the truth. 

Even though being a Mom is one of the greatest parts of my life and a calling I truly believe I born to fulfill, I am still so much more than that and it's so important not to totally lose who we are when we have children. To regularly take that time for ourselves to nourish our mind, body, spirit and soul in the ways we did before we had children. To do the things we enjoyed doing when we had all that time to do them. To spend time with people that build us up and to spend time away from our children so that when we are with them again, we are even better Moms than we were before. I am continually learning that the more I fill my own cup (take care of myself and find opportunities to put myself first or do the things I truly enjoy that give me life), the more I have to pour into my children. The better I feel, the better care I give to them. And I can absolutely do that without feeling guilty!! Because when I invest in myself, I am also investing in them.

5. Dance parties make everything better
Speaking of hard days (see #1), I had one of those on Monday. Like, a really hard day. Coming off an awesome weekend and feeling extra exhausted, we were all just a hot mess all. day. long. Dustin came home from work and you know how we are as women, we want to share our entire day (and every single detail) with our husbands the minute they walk in the door. Lucky them. 

I began by saying, "Today was just so hard. It wasn't fun at all. Sometimes I just wish every day was a lot of fun." He then asked me what makes a day fun. And I thought back to all the awesome days we've had lately and the one thing they all had in common (in addition to us all getting enough sleep...), and it was that we had impromptu dance parties. It seems so simple and even silly, but when I put on music and dance with Olivia while Poppy sits and watches -- thinking we're the most hilarious looking people as she just giggles and smiles at us nonstop -- those days are just so good. I'm a firm believer that you can't be in a bad mood when there is a good beat to dance to. And when all else fails, we have dance parties. It lightens the mood, resets the day and gets us all laughing. It makes mundane tasks more fun (making lunch, brushing teeth, folding laundry) and they make for some of the most special memories with my girls. And the days at home, whether simple or extravagant, really good or extra hard, are days I wouldn't miss for the world because so many are filled with those moments that I never want to forget.

Hope you're all having a wonderful week!!

1 comment:

  1. Megan, this is so encouraging to read. Every single thing is dead on. I am a brand new mom, but already see the worth in every point you made. Your words are a blessing...keep writing! :)


Back to Top