January 9, 2016

Expectations

Cassie Loree Photography


Effortlessly beautiful and definitely not swollen. That is what I always pictured when I visualized myself pregnant. I've just been reminiscing on pregnancy lately, maybe because I'm hopeful I will get to experience it again one day with the fresh perspective I have now that I've "been there, done that." Aren't expectations a funny thing. I by no means looked like this any other day of pregnancy so if you are in search of the pregnancy unicorn, I wasn't it. Proceed with your search.  (just so we are clear, these photos were sprinkled with pixie dust, and a really good photographer friend took them when I was 7 months pregnant with Beckham). If you want to know what I was most likely thinking, it was probably along the lines of "my boobs are sweating and I want a freakin taco." I actually launched my boss' birthday cake off of his desk using nothing but zero body coordination and my pregnant belly when I was about this pregnant. Mmmkay, I was truly a vision of grace. Seriously, if I'm being honest, it was hard to feel beautiful while pregnant. There is so much rapid change happening in your body, hormones flying like frisbees, and stretching skin taunting you to dig your nails into it and relieve that awful uncontrollable itch. It's really a doozy. Don't forget all the people that tell you your body will never be the same. Gee thanks stranger...I mean it's true, the mirror never catches up with the scale after you have a baby. My body is different. Just don't tell a pregnant lady that; chances are she's already a bit woozy anyway. Bottom line: pregnancy is a lot harder than it looks on Instagram. But wow, how wonderful it was to experience so much change and growth and life sprouting, right under my nose. That feeling is the only thing that lived up to any expectations I had on pregnancy, as well as parenting.
Expectations.
Why do we make so many?
Expectations about pregnancy and expectations about who you will be once that belly shrinks back to normal.
It's harder than expected but also way more awesome. I'm telling you.
You ever tried to ride a unicycle while balancing a stack of 30 ceramic plates....? Yeah me neither, but I assume it feels the same as being alone with a one year old - basically "I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IM DOING"(sometimes). So funny that when we are younger, we look at those moms who wear the baseball caps and haven't showered in days and kinda smell like sour milk, and we think, that will NEVER be me. We think, I'm going to be that mom that works out 7 days after giving birth, ensuring I will be a size 2, 3 months postpartum. Oh GOSH, and I'm certainly never leaving the house without getting dressed and fixing my hair and makeup.... Then you become a mom and applaud yourself when you manage to brush your teeth before noon. I'm not what I expected I would be. I don't look like the effortlessly chic women on Pinterest, smiling while they carry their Prada bag and 6 kids. Bravo if that's you, let's get coffee sometime, and I'll try to figure out when and where you were given superpowers.
It's already a struggle as it is. Chances are my fly is down and I have pepper in my teeth.
One time I went out only to find out upon arrival back home that my shorts had a hole right in my crack hole area.... Ok, Perfect. (I can't make this stuff up).
Anytime you travel anywhere with a child it's basically like moving day. Your car turns into a tiny uhaul trailer crammed with anything and everything that anyone might possibly need today or for the next 3 months in case anything were not to go as planned. Don't get me started on grocery shopping day....I'm just trying to figure out how to simplify my everyday the best I can.
Not being what my pre baby brained self thought I would be as a mom isn't actually disappointing at all. Don't get me wrong, I have those days where I tend to be down on myself, but motherhood really is so beautiful. It changes every bit of you. It shines a gigantic spotlight on the ugly characteristics that you had so delicately tucked away for no one to see, not even yourself. I never knew how selfish and impatient I was until I became a mom. Being a mom is putting your needs 100% on the back burner at all times and giving yourself and personal desires up for someone else. Talk about hard, people!
Mom luxury is taking a ten minute shower by yourself and shaving your legs for the first time in 8 days...
From the outside looking in as a young girl who didn't know anything about parenting, I just knew I would own it. I'd be that on-top-of-it-all-the-time mom. I didn't realize that being a mommy is being on call 24-7.. Nights, weekends, holidays - you work them all. If you are sick, tired, exhausted, physically and mentally spent, well it doesn't matter. You are still required to punch the clock before the sun comes up and face your day. That leaves you feeling a bit flustered some days.
I'm finally learning to embrace the crazy. Embracing myself as this not put together, hardly on time, out of control, I'll-have-a-Nutella-milkshake-for-breakfast-if-I-want-to woman. It's so liberating to not care. It's so liberating to let my own expectations go and to let God mold me and transform me into this person that is more interested in sharpening my character than what trendy bag is coming out next spring.
I'm sure I've really sold this whole motherhood bit, but honestly it's the biggest adventure I've ever been on. I am so completely humbled and honored that God blessed me with a baby. And I'm so thrilled he is transforming Emily for the better. Let's be honest here, mamas, we are all doing a really good job, and if I see you at Starbucks, chances are I'm gonna give you a high five and a slap on that spit up stained, 3 day worn, yoga pant clad bootay. Let's be each other's biggest encouragers because even though we don't see behind each other's closed doors, I think we all need encouragement.

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