What Motherhood Has Taught Me
As I write this, I am sitting on the couch as my husband and son nap together on the other couch. Knox will be 4 weeks tomorrow. It feels like it’s been forever. But it also feels like I blinked and now he is 4 weeks old. My life has completely changed in every single way since Knox arrived on July 17th, 2017. It’s been the best and hardest four weeks of my life. I never knew I could feel so many emotions all at once. I never knew I could survive with such little sleep. I never knew it would be so hard and amazing all at the same time.
I could go on about what I’ve learned about breastfeeding. Or I could tell you about baby poop and my favorite diapers. I could also tell you about my favorite baby carrier and products. But, that would be boring right?
Let’s talk about the real. The nitty gritty. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
I will be the first to say it: life with a newborn is hard. But, it’s challenges are different than I expected. I expected it to be hard because of late night feedings or diaper changes or breastfeeding all the time. Those things can be exhausting, but I don’t find these to be the challenges I face every day.
I am challenged on a daily basis to fully surrender. I have this living, breathing piece of my heart outside of my body now. And I can’t control what happens to him. I can’t control if he gets sick. Or if he gets hurt. I can’t control if he gets gassy or spits up and cries. I can’t control the exact time he takes a nap. I can’t control the exact time he wants to eat.
I love him in ways I never knew possible. And that scares me. Because when he hurts, it hurts me more. And that’s hard.
Parenthood is also stressful. At least this time around. I feel like I have no idea what I am doing. Every day is different and as someone who thrives with structure, I am constantly challenged to let go, give myself grace, and be at peace.
I am also learning a lot about what it means to let go of control. I love to have a schedule and I know what to expect with each day. I love waking up with a to-do list and getting started right away. And if you have babies, you know that it’s impossible to have a rhythm or schedule with a newborn. And instead of resenting that, I am working really hard to cherish these moments. There is so much sweetness in the slow, unpredictable life we are living right now. There is a tenderness to lazy mornings and late night feedings. And I don’t want to wish away these moments.
And to be honest, on the hardest things for me in motherhood is not working. I know, I can feel your judging eyes. But, hear me out. I love what I do. I know that the work I do is part of the calling on my life. I love that I am the boss and I am completely in control. I love being able to walk into my office and get things done. I am good at it and I know what to expect. But, here is what I am learning: I love working for myself because I get to fully control my schedule, my to-do list, and my work hours. But, it’s not like that anymore. So, every single day, I have to give up control with my time and my business. And that’s really hard for me, if I am being honest. It’s hard for me to not get to do exactly what I want to do. And I realize that is selfish, but that’s the honest truth about how I feel. So, Motherhood is making me into a better version of myself. It’s helping me choose to be at peace and to find purpose in the small moments and victories. It’s teaching me that parenting is a huge privilege and gift. It’s teaching me that I have a huge responsibility to raise a strong man of God. It’s teaching me good, deep, challenging lessons. It’s rich and raw and beautiful. But yes, it’s hard.