All of those toys, I said I would never own. All of those behaviors I said I would never carry. All of those times I said I would never worry about sickness. All of those moments of questioning why others kept their children on a schedule. I had parenting figured out. I knew I would be a great parent, the best parent, in fact. I had everything laid out in my mind, exactly as I thought it “should be.”
Then, I had a baby.
Parenthood rocked me and it rocked my world. When holding our precious baby, all of my plans, my ideas, my expectations, flew right out the window. Those first few hours of parenthood were a wild ride. Running on adrenaline and so much cluelessness, my body went into autopilot and functioned for a mere 48 hours before crashing.
My body hurt. It just ached.
I could barely walk to the bathroom and I consistently wondered when the pain would ever end. This is where the lies started creeping in. And oh, the comparison. You don’t realize how those comparison lies can seep in and really start to make you actually believe that you aren’t in fact prepared for motherhood. Comparison truly is the thief of joy, my friends.
I compared myself to the mom who started running one week after her baby was born, I however, could barely walk. I compared myself to the mom who said she felt great after giving birth, I however, had so much pain. I compared myself to a countless number of moms, because when sleeplessness mixes with hormones, your mind doesn’t typically go to a healthy place.
So maybe you’ve just had a baby. Maybe you’re about to welcome that sweet bundle into the world. Or, maybe you’ve been here before and you can relate. Just keep your head high, mama. Here are some practices you can do to refocus your hormonally fluctuating feelings, your tired mama heart, or your weary mind:
- Take a few deep breaths.
- Give yourself 10 minutes in the morning. Can you set your alarm ten minutes before anyone gets up? Can your husband entertain the kids for 10 minutes? Starting your day with a warm cup of coffee, a devotion, a book, or meditation, can really change the course of your day.
- Leave positive notes around the house, in your most frequently visited places. The kitchen sink? The laundry room? Your bathroom mirror? Grab that stack of post-it notes and write some positive reminders.
- Hone in on those things you normally take for granted. Gaze into those beautiful little baby eyes. Listen for when your sweet baby says “mama” and allow your heart to soften as you think of the times you yearned for moments like these.
- Finally, hold your baby tighter, whether a newborn, or 14 year old, lean into those moments and give them an extra squeeze, and love on them a bit harder.
Don’t beat yourself up, if your day didn’t go as planned, if anger got the best of you, or if you struggled with the game of comparison. Feeling defeated? Remind yourself that your kids are happy, they are fed, and they are loved. You’re a great friend, a great mother, a great homemaker, and a great wife. Let those words sink in.