When I was pregnant with Gavin, I thought surely I was well prepared for this whole 'motherhood' thing. After all, I had a solid history of babysitting, had read lots of books and blogs, and had picked my Mommy friends' brains until they were tired of hearing from me. All I could think about during the last few weeks of my pregnancy was delivery this baby and how much our world would change once we met Gavin.
What I didn't know was how hard the transition would be. Motherhood is hard, and I am not ashamed to admit it.
Somewhere in all of the craziness and excitement of getting ready to welcome your first child, you get swept up, and you forget that motherhood is a full time job that no amount of reading, practice with other people's children, or observation can really, truly prepare you for. It is exhausting, it is humbling, and it tests you in ways you never even knew possible.
During the first few weeks of Gavin's life, I was adjusting to the lack of sleep, breastfeeding, a constant revolving door of visitors, and surviving alone at home while keeping myself, the baby and the dog alive. My personal adjustment period was a bit rocky. I was on a roller coaster of emotions, and I felt like all I did was feed Gavin all.day.long. Call it a dose of 'baby blues' or just call it a new Mom who was mourning the loss of a good night's sleep.
Motherhood has forced me to look in the mirror and see some of the things that I don't love about myself. I am definitely lacking in the patience department, a good night's sleep is the best medicine, and I can actually go almost a full 'work week' with one shower, my hair in a bun, and sporting the same two pairs of leggings. It's embarrassing, but true. A lot of days, I actually feel bad for my husband when he walks through the door and I still look as tired and ratty as I did when he left for work that morning.
But, I think the toughest part of being a mother is accepting the fact that the life you knew before is no longer. This blog has struggled, and I have made work deadlines by the skin of my teeth. Some days, I just barely survive until B walks through the door. I am behind on housework, TV shows, and basically everything that qualifies as 'productive.' And, for someone like me, that is a very tough realization to come to. I can't do it all. Lots of days, I am lucky if I set and attain ONE goal. And I will admit that sometimes that goal is just to take a shower, or to remember to pull chicken out of the freezer so we don't have to eat pasta for dinner again.
I read this article recently about how 'new Mom's get nothing done,' and finally, I felt better. You mean I am not the only one who can't keep it all together anymore? I'm not the only one who struggles, who gets frustrated, who cries and even feels like I have nothing left at the end of some days?
Gavin is by far my best work. He is growing changing, thriving, and I don't give myself enough credit for that. I am so grateful that I am able to stay home with him every day, and although I don't often get a break from this new full time job, the rewards are so much greater than I have ever experienced before.
I am fervently praying for more patience, more time in the day, and most importantly, the ability to accept that I can no longer live and die by my to-do lists. Perhaps this is the lesson that I was meant to learn all along.