While I was pregnant with my first-born, Jai’Marie, people would always tell me that it was going to be hard (being a mom) but no one ever went into detail. Over the past three years, almost 4, I have learned so much.
1. Sleep is a luxury and naps are a Godsend
“Nap when they nap,” they say, but they don’t tell you that their nap time will most likely be your only free time to get stuff done. Whether it be household chores, your business, school work, or your career. I have never appreciated bedtime and nap time until I became a mother. If I have things I need to get done, nap time and bedtime are my times to do it. As I type this my kids are sleeping lol.
2. You think you’re stressed now, wait until you have kids
Now I’m not trying to scare ya’ll off but this is the most real thing I can tell you right now. Becoming a parent added a whole new type of stress to my life and it started as soon as Jai’Marie left my womb. My first question was “is she okay!?”.
I mean, I hadn’t had a child prior to that very moment so I didn’t know what was normal and what wasn’t. But from then on I knew I’d be asking myself that question every day, among many others. “Is she okay?”, “Is she breathing?”, “Why won’t she eat?”, “I wonder what she’s thinking about?”, “When she becomes a prepubescent teen is she going to hate me?!”, and the most stressful thought/question of all “Am I a good enough mother for them?”
3. Post-Partum Depression is real and it’s nothing to be ashamed of
“Postpartum depression is a mood disorder that can affect women after childbirth. Mothers with postpartum depression experience feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion that may make it difficult for them to complete daily care activities for themselves or for others…Postpartum depression does not have a single cause, but likely results from a combination of physical and emotional factors. Postpartum depression does not occur because of something a mother does or does not do.”https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/postpartum-depression-facts/index.shtml
Before becoming pregnant I already knew I had anxiety and depression but I feel like my symptoms dissipated while pregnant. I was happier, excited, eating everything in sight lol. But then I gave birth and a few months after I felt a big wave of sadness. I felt as if I wasn’t cut out to be a mother. I kept thinking to myself, “I can’t raise this child, I’m not built for this”. My boyfriend at the time who is now my husband, hey babe, was there every step of the way FYI. So I wasn’t in this alone, I had plenty of help. Yet and still I was depressed, anxious, weary, overwhelmed and uncertain of myself. Thank God I had a village to help me through these times because Lord knows I needed it.
There are many resources available when dealing with PPD. Please talk with your doctor to explore the various avenues available to you.
4. You were chosen to be this child’s mother, whether you believe it or not
I know sometimes it may feel like you’re not fit to be someone’s mother but God chose you specifically. Whether you gave birth naturally, through IVF, or adoption. You being that child’s mother was no mistake. You may not see it now but there is a reason ya’ll were brought together. Yes it’s going to be difficult, yes you’re going to doubt yourself, yes you are going to have questions and need help. But at the end of the day, your child needs you and you need them.
5. Not every day will be sunshine and rainbows, patience is a virtue, and it really does take a village
As a mom, you have to learn to roll with the punches. These little babies are just that, little, they don’t know anything so they’re going to mess up and they’re going to mess up often. You have to learn to teach them literally everything. So patience is a major factor when it comes to motherhood and if you don’t have any you better get some fast!
Patience is one thing that has kicked me in the kneecaps. Yea, I thought I was patient but God said, “ha! Ok, let’s see”. You’re going to get frustrated, they’re going to get frustrated, there will be tears and lots of accidents. You will definitely need breaks from each other and that is ok. That’s where your village comes in, whether it be your friends or family, you’re going to need a support system. Not just someone to watch them but someone to confide in, preferably someone who has been in your shoes.
All in all, motherhood is stressful, time-consuming, and trying but so so worth it. Watching the little humans you created turn into bigger, smarter, more creative humans is the best thing about motherhood. Walking into the house and having them run to you screaming with excitement after being gone for five minutes will have you smiling from ear to ear. Random hugs and I love you’s will have you on the verge of tears. Motherhood has taught me so much about myself and exposed strengths I didn’t even know I had and I am forever grateful for that.