My Earliest Lessons in Motherhood | Happy Mother’s Day
Today marks my second mother’s day as a mama to Ev, but in a special way it still feels like a first for me. This time last year, my boy was just a few weeks old and I my mind was foggy from those early days as a mom. I remember it almost felt strange celebrating mother’s day then, because I hadn’t really settled into my new role yet.
This year mother’s day feels different. It’s a day for me to celebrate the joys and the tears and the memories of the past year. It’s a day for me to celebrate how big and strong and smart and funny my boy is. It’s a day for me to celebrate all the times I’ve changed his diaper, and rocked him to sleep, and given him a bath, and made up silly songs for him. It’s a day for me to celebrate all the things I’ve figured out — like installing car seats and making baby food and getting out poop stains. And it’s a day to celebrate all the things I still don’t know — like the lyrics to nursery rhymes, and calming tantrums, and getting boogies out of a baby’s nose. I’m still learning all of that.
The holiday also makes me think about my own mother — her positive spirit, her contagious laughter, her brave attitude toward tackling things on her own. And it made me begin to think about the biggest lessons I’ve learned from her — and what I carry into my role as a mom.
FORGIVE YOURSELF | my mom is the best at reminding me of this. She encourages me to be kind to myself, especially as a mother now. I tend to be really hard on myself when I feel like I’m falling short on something, whether it’s at home or at work. My mom is the first to take a breath alongside me, and say all the things I’m doing right. When you allow yourself to celebrate the positive moments, it’s a whole lot easier to forgive yourself of the other things.
FIND YOUR PURPOSE | one of the greatest lessons my mom raised me on was to always live with purpose. She pushed me to run toward the things in life that made me feel most fulfilled, because that’s what would fuel the most happiness. She’s still who cheers me on during those middle of the night phone calls when I’m questioning everything, and reminds me I’m capable of creating exactly the life I want.
MOTHERHOOD DOESN’T COME WITH AN EXPIRATION DATE | Being a mom is forever. It doesn’t end at 18, or at college graduation, or on the day I got married. Nope. I still need my mama, and she’s always right here. A lesson I’ll carry into my own role as a mother is to always be there for Ev — at one, at 21, at 41 — and love him as a mother always should. Unconditionally, without judgement, and always with the most open heart. My mom taught me there’s no expiration date on that kind of love.
EMBRACE THE CHAOS | Things are a little nutty sometimes. Schedules change, naps are skipped, work returns. But the chaos is temporary, so we should embrace it. After all, the imbalance is what makes the beginning parts of this journey so memorable. Someday I’ll look back on those mama meltdowns and miss them. Truly. I have learned to focus a lot less on trying to do motherhood perfectly.
BUSY IS BEAUTIFUL | I shared this lesson on Instagram earlier this week — about the beauty of being busy. I’ve learned to change my mindset around how busy things are, so that every time my mind wanders to a place of… “i’m barely juggling it all,” instead i’m going for… “how amazing is it that life is so full?!” Sometimes, I think we all tend to let the feelings of being too busy take away from the magic that busy means life is pretty darn great at the moment and we have a whole lot to celebrate Don’t allow being busy take away from the moment you are presently in.
JOY IS SIMPLE | ever wonder why kids are just so joyful?! I think it’s because joy is simple to them. Joy is giggling from a swing set. Joy is unraveling a roll of toilet paper. Joy is hearing the early birds in the morning. It’s putting their toes in the water. It’s watching bubbles pass by. It’s wearing a silly hat. That is a child’s joy. Perhaps the greatest lesson in motherhood has been to live like I’m a child again — to find joy in the simplest of moments, because joy doesn’t require anything grand.