January 8, 2016

Becoming Mommy


You are so young to have a baby. It starts the moment that pregnant belly begins looking like more than just a food baby. Family, friends, acquaintances, and lots of strangers all eagerly giving you loads of advice on everything and anything you have to do in order to raise that baby "correctly" So much information getting flung at you so fast that you don't know what to think. They all really are trying to help, and they all really do wish the best for you. But woah, can I take a time out I'm feeling a bit dizzy. Everyone was so eager to tell me their advice based off of their experiences, they had me second guessing the whole thing.
It's really so sweet. But what I've learned is that everyone's advice contradicts the advice you heard ten minutes ago. I listened to everyone's advice read all the "baby expert" books and completely drowned in an overstimulation of knowledge in regards to my baby, I panicked. Amidst the panic I realized, it's all based on personal experience. And hey, my experience is completely different from anyone else's. I'm different, my baby is different and so maybe that makes a difference.
It wasn't until I began trusting my instincts and believing in my own abilities that I began to feel confident and proud as a mother. I didn't own that roll for a long while because I was always looking for help and answers elsewhere. I didn't trust myself. I thought all these people that have done this before me are obviously better and more capable. Maybe the people who told me I'm too young are right, am I smart enough to even do this? But they had to learn somehow, right?
Each mommy is different, each baby is different. And isn't that the beauty of it. Just because someone else does what's right for them doesn't mean it's right for me. And just because something is right for me and my baby doesn't mean it's right for you.
Don't get me wrong. Advice is much appreciated and I'm not too prideful to assume I got this whole motherhood thing figured out. (Really far from it) But finally understanding that God has given me the capability to rely on him for strength and wisdom is enough. God is enough. Thankful he gifted me the ability to raise and nurture one of his precious gifts. And aren't we all just trying to do our very best? This next little bit is something I wrote about 4:00 AM one morning when Beckham was 8 months old. Co-sleeping up until this point I was feeling guilty like I was doing something wrong by letting Beckham sleep next to me. All the advice I was receiving, as well as the "expert books" I was reading, was telling me to get him in his own bed. This is a little part of my struggle that came from not trusting my own instincts. We are back to co-sleeping half of the night and I wouldn't have it any other way. Hope this encourages you.

......

Tonight sucked. It sucked big time. It compared to the feeling of dropping your freshly scooped ice cream cone in the dirt while watching the ice cream man simultaneously drive away.
Trying to train your baby to sleep in his crib is actually just a way to train yourself on how to not sleep and be perfectly ok with it. Beckham just kept waking, kept fighting sleep, and kept letting me know that he was NOT satisfied with whatever it was I was trying to do to get him back to sleep. Rebelling with all
of his might against the thought of me actually putting him to sleep.
Self doubt, self pity, and frustration crept into my heart and mind so quickly and quietly I couldn't slam the door fast enough. I forgot to hang the sign on my mind that said "keep out, we don't welcome failure here"
The weariness of my mind surpassing that of my tired body who hasn't known stretches of sleep longer than 3 hours at a time. 8 months of sleep deprivation has a way of diluting the strength of your mind, making you subject to your own weaknesses, dulling your ability to push self doubt out of your head. Especially in the wee hours where time seems to stand still and the world is dark and quiet. Loneliness your only companion willing to stay with you even though unwelcome. Wondering if these long nights will ever turn into sunshine filled days.
I gave up, so to speak, threw in my spit up covered mom towel. After one entire hour passed of me getting Beckham to sleep only for him to wake moments later with sobs louder than before. I was just so frustrated. I even yelled out "WHY DO I SUCK?!" The wails of my child and the quietness of the night as my only companions to bring me comfort.
But, Christ.
I called out to Jesus because I was weary and tired. My Mind a McFlurry of negative thoughts. God and his sweet presence was there and his soft voice kept reassuring me that I, in fact, was not alone.
I took Beckham with me, no longer feeling that putting him in bed with me failure at all. I nestled him next to me, the warmth of our bodies together lulling him into sleep like a magic lullaby. Hearing his breathing deepen knowing he was content and safe next to his mommy for the rest of the night. Then wide awake from the tidal wave of emotions I had been working through I laid there in thought, knowing that one day I will miss being so desperately needed. I will miss the sleepless nights and time spent with my precious baby. Just him and I alone in the darkness comforting each other with just the mere presence of the other. Knowing this season is going to be short, just a snippet of my life that passes itself like the blink of an eye. I will long for the closeness again because all too quickly it passes us by. The tiredness written on my face and in my eyes will fade like a distant memory. Just like that I will be all put back together again and miss the time that I was weary and scattered. Because I was needed. So desperately needed.. Because being needed doesn't have a bed time but it does have an expiration date.

8 comments:

  1. You describe in a perfect way those night... my baby is one next week and I have live some hard days with no help, Just my husband at night. Now I realize how much I have grown in love and courage. Thanks for this article. Really inspiring. (Sorry for my English, is not my native language )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes girl! I know those lonely nights are so hard! Hang in there you are doing an amazing job!

      Delete
  2. I found your Instagram when I was pregnant with my daughter (right you had Beckham) and can I just say I am sooo happy you started a blog! My daughter Peyton will be 11 months on the 16th and everything you say about motherhood I completely agree with. It was a rough start. My husband and I also cosleep with Peyton (have been since we stopped swaddling at 4 months) and I constantly feel guilty. Reading this makes me feel SO much better that I'm not alone and that I need to trust my instinct. Peyton sleeps great with us and we sleep too. Keep doing what your doing mama, you are amazing! Reading your posts make me feel so much better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so happy to hear that! I am so eager to help encourage other mamas out there. It is hard to feel confident like we know best when everyone else gives so much advice. So happy to know I could encourage you in some way! You are doing amazing as well just keep on following your gut. We are all in this together :) and there is nothing wrong with co-sleeping. Tons of other cultures do it as the "norm" No more guilt, we freakin rock.

      Delete
  3. Em, this is Sarah, you are one of a kind and gosh do I feel honored to be your friend. This had me tearing up, the truth you speak is so beautiful, loving, and honest. You are one great momma and advocate for The Lord! I love just how honest you are. I love reading what you write because YOU ARE GREAT!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Sarah, you beautiful angel. You are such a delight to my heart, honestly. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. I truly value your friendship and one day when you are out of college and married you better come over every Tuesday for couples taco night :) Thanks again for being so sweet and uplifting, you are the best.

      Delete
  4. "Just because someone else does what's right for them doesn't mean it's right for me." This line just jumped out at me once I read it! It reminds me that we don't have to constantly compare ourselves to others but instead admire and feel inspired by others, especially other women. Your writing is a joy to read!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes!!! yes yes yes. In a world caught up in constant comparisons I am truly striving to do exactly as you said admire and feel inspired by others. We all just have to do what is right for us, nothing wrong with that. Thank you so much for reading and your sweet comment :)

      Delete