Things I Didn’t Know Before Becoming a Mom

I had a lot of respect for moms before I became a mom, but I can’t even tell you how much more awesome I think they all are at this moment. Moms who adopt or moms who birth their own kids, and moms who are raising their kids’ kids… all of you are awesome. Here are a few things I’ve learned from the moment I found out I was pregnant to now, with an almost three-month old:

1. All moms are rock stars.

It sounds a little cliche, but enduring nine months of pregnancy and many hours of labor is more than enough to catapult any mom straight to rock star status. In fact, I don’t think there is anything cooler a person could do than to bring a baby into this world. I guess accomplishments equally as cool might be among the ranks of… saving someone’s life, traveling through time, or being an actual rock star.

Like any good story about the journey to stardom, becoming a mom would probably not feel as B.A. if it weren’t for all the challenges along the way: morning sickness, round ligament pain, contractions, labor, and countless sleepless nights. I think back to when I (completely out of shape) finished a half-marathon. It was one of the hardest, most miserable things I have ever endured, but crossing the finish line was the most amazing feeling ever. It comes in second place now, though, behind becoming a mom.

2. On our team, my spouse is the MVP.

While it’s true that I did most of the heavy lifting during this whole process, my husband is the unsung hero. For nine months, he did so many things I was too tired to do. He made countless trips to the grocery store, rubbed my feet, cleaned the litter box, and dealt with my all-too-frequent moodiness. He took notes during our Lamaze class, and when it was “go time,” he completely blew me away with his mad sherpa skills. Through every contraction, we went “up the ladder… and down the slide” together. He talked me through each one, and helped me remember how to breathe (somehow I had forgotten). Now that our baby is here, the feeling that he and I are on the same team – with the same goal of loving and raising a happy, healthy person – has never been more real.

3. All moms get a pass.

mom memeI’ve seen memes floating around the internet that say something to the effect of – all moms should get a “pass” for their messy kitchen and piles of laundry or for being late to everything. Now that I am a mom, I not only believe moms deserve a pass, I think they NEED one. There have literally been times where I could seriously “not even” because I’m physically or emotionally exhausted.

When I accomplish something, like choosing to wash the dishes instead of take a nap, type an article for my freelancing job with only one hand, or arrive somewhere on time with my hair brushed, I am amazed at how accomplished I feel. If I don’t get any of those things done? Hey, I took care of myself and my kid today! I’m always reminding myself that that’s a big deal, and it’s THE most important thing I could do with my time.

4. Life is not about me anymore.

I used to feel bad for new moms when they would come to parties. It seemed like people would often smile and coo and talk to the baby, looking straight past the mom. I feel like I love my baby so much that he is literally an extension of myself; for him to be happy is for me to be happy. Life is not about me anymore, but when people show him love, I can feel the love too. In fact, nothing makes my heart happier.

5. I have to be OK with “someday.”

When I want to get something done, I typically want it to happen right now. With a newborn, I am no longer on my own schedule. I can’t just leave the house whenever I feel like it, and I can’t always get a big task done in one day. Any Pinterest project, party, or major chore takes a lot of planning ahead. In order to avoid frustration, I have HAD to make peace with myself that things do not have to happen right away. Someday we will install those new shelves in our kitchen cabinet. Someday we will get to take a road trip that’s longer than an hour. Someday I will organize my closet. Some things I can accomplish little by little, and some things I’m just going to have to put off. Until then, I’m going to love every minute spent with sweet baby while he still fits perfectly in my arms… because someday he won’t be this little anymore.

This post is dedicated to my mom. Three things: 1. OMG, you are amazing. 2. THANK YOU. 3. You were right.