I apologize for the disappearing act the last few days but I needed to take a step back. One of the things that I have learned in my years of blogging and creating is that if it’s not flowing, don’t force it.
I’ve been wanting to write a post about six months of motherhood but wasn’t sure how I was going to frame it or how to adequately express the immense and intense ways that it has changed my life. Tonight while I was changing the sheets, the idea popped into my head to share six ways that being a mom has changed me in the first six months.
I still believe there is no way that I can fit it all into one post but at least this will give me a starting point and some parameters.
1. I’ve learned that I AM “maternal.”
I think this is an important place to start. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to have kids. I have received so many Instagram DMs and blog comments thanking me for sharing this information so I wanted to say it again. It’s OKAY if you’re not sure if you want to be a mom. It is a MASSIVE life changer.
I have never felt especially maternal. I didn’t grow up babysitting or dreaming of my future children. I always felt a little awkward around other people’s young children and didn’t really know how to talk to them or be silly with them. I never pictured myself doing things like heading up a PTA, attending little league games or planning Disney trips. I wondered if I would be a “good mom” and it if would come naturally to me.
Gosh, one of the most incredible things about becoming a mom is how naturally being a mom has come when it’s my own child. I love being with him. I feel like I understand his needs. And I love singing, dancing and being silly with him. All of that stuff that people say about it being different when it’s your own child is so very true.
2. I’ve never known love like this before.
The love that I have for Finn is a kind of love that I have never felt or known before. I feel so deeply bonded to him. I heard that having a child is like having your heart walking around outside of your body. That is so true. This love puts all other love into perspective.
3. It’s deepened my relationship with my parents.
The journey into motherhood has given me a whole new appreciation for my parents, their love and what they did for me by bringing me into the world and raising me. I am grateful for them on a whole new level. The understanding of the love that you feel for your child is game changing. I am even more regretful for the run for the money I gave them when I was a teenager, haha.
I feel especially lucky to have had my mom by my side to walk me into motherhood. She has been a huge source of strength for me and I am in awe of her for preceding me in this journey.
4. It has slowed me down.
In the very early days of motherhood, I felt like I was losing my mind. It was so jarring to go from working allllll the time and coming and going as I pleased to being glued to the couch and breastfeeding and taking care of a baby 24/7. And with my relationship in flux, it was intensified. I’m not going to lie, it took some time to adjust to the new pace of life…but now that I’m six months in…I absolutely love it.
This slowing down has showed me how much depth and beauty there can be in the smallest moments of life. I don’t have to be busy or working to be “doing something” all the time. Just hanging out with Finn, making eye contact with him and being present can be enough.
It’s also slowed me down in ways like sleeping and resting more and working out less. I know this is crazy but I actually sleep MORE with a baby than I have in 10 years. I get in bed most nights around 8:30 and work/watch TV/read. I am usually lights out by 10 or so and it’s rare for me to get up before 7 or 7:30. I’m definitely averaging about 9 hours a night, although Finn does still eat a couple of times at night. I feel really rested and really clear headed now that I am sleeping more.
I remember being really concerned when I was pregnant about how I would fit in working out after I had a baby. And now I can’t believe how much my mindset has shifted around working out. It’s just not the end all, be all daily priority that it once was. If I can fit in a walk, I am SUPER happy and I find myself wanting to walk more than anything else. I am slowly making my way back to my yoga practice and I know that I will eventually start running and lifting more regularly but for now, most of my energy goes to taking care of Finn and breastfeeding him. And it feels so absolutely right.
5. I have learned a new kind of strong.
The transition into motherhood has made my mantra, “I will figure it out.” Never have I been so resourceful, organized or determined in my whole life. Sometimes I’m like, “is this really me?”
I’ve also learned that sometimes being strong is being vulnerable and asking for and accepting help.
And then there is the whole single mom piece of it. It’s been the hardest thing but the best thing too. I want Finn to see this version of his mom…a mom that is determined, strong, patient, loving, vulnerable and open.
6. I say yes more and put myself out there.
While I am strong and capable, I very quickly learned that I cannot do this mom thing without support from others. I also realized how much I was longing for connection. I knew that it was up to me to take action on these two things.
I had to say yes when people offered to help and invited me to do things. I had to start reaching out to other people and being more proactive about connecting. This is SO not how I’m wired and has put me SO outside of my comfort zone but has been SO rewarding.
I have said yes to as many offers for help and connecting as possible. This has resulted in so many amazing conversations and provided so much help and support. I’ve also made some new mom friends, which has been really needed and really great.
I could keep going for another thousand words. Becoming a mom has been a huge blessing in my life, even though it’s not in the way that I imagined. I can see all of the lessons that I am learning through motherhood and single motherhood and I know they are life lessons that I was meant to learn. They will benefit me so much as a mom, as a daughter, as a teacher, as a writer and as a friend.
Thanks for being on this ride with me friends.