Seasons of Motherhood: Some Thoughts for a New (or Any) Mom

Today I attended a friend’s baby shower. I participated in the games, munched on some finger food, and admired the darling gifts she received for her soon to be born daughter.

I took in the tiny onesies, itty-bitty socks, doll-sized diapers and super soft blankets. All so precious — and just perfect for the sweet baby who will soon be wrapped and rocked and fed and loved in them.

The expectant mom glowed; she looked absolutely radiant with her pregnancy curves and sparkling eyes. Nature has been working it’s incredible miracle on her as she’s been growing this tiny human inside of her.

I was thrilled for my young friend’s joy.

Seasons of Motherhood

This is such a magical time in her life as her season of motherhood begins.

This is such a magical time in her life as her season of motherhood begins.

As I thought of how happy I was for her, I felt gratitude for the slightly different season of motherhood in which I’m in currently.

No longer do I need sippy cups or nursing bras or diapers or car seat toys.  No diaper bags or strollers are loaded in the car before an outing.  My activities do not revolve around nap time; my nights are not broken up by hungry tummies, wet bums, and needy cries.

My children, while still young, are much more self-sufficient now.  Obviously they need me, but on such a different level.  They can get their own snack if need be; they toilet and bathe and dress themselves (hallelujah!).

In this pleasant stage we’re in, I don’t embarrass them in public yet and I always have a hand or two to hold wherever we are. They still want me to bring treats to school for their birthdays or chaperone a field trip. Barbies and baseball gloves and legos litter the hallway now instead of cheerios or pacifiers. 

The Good & Bad Days of Babyhood

Don’t get me wrong, nothing is sweeter than holding that brand new baby, skin on skin.  But nothing was as daunting for me either.  I was completely overwhelmed knowing that I WAS THE MAMA and responsible to keep this child alive!

Followed by the days and weeks and months of figuring out breastfeeding, trying to function on nonexistent sleep, hours of ‘purple crying,’ painful diaper rashes, fevers or ear aches or teething. I had to cut out anything and everything tasty from my diet for six months because my firstborn couldn’t digest my milk if I’d had dairy or onions or chocolate (to name a few).

There were dark days — too many of them — when it was just the baby and me … both of us in tears. I’m saddened to remember those times when he needed me that I just didn’t have enough to give; I felt so helpless as I lacked in milk supply, patience, support, experience, or even hope.

I’m saddened to remember those times when he needed me that I just didn’t have enough to give…

Eventually those dark times gave way to more and more ‘good days,’ although not coincidentally until the baby started sleeping better (so I could too).

Fast forward a couple of years, same room in the same small town hospital where we added a second baby to our young family. Then three years later — same place, different time — came the last.

Three little people totally dependent on my husband and I to nourish and teach and help them grow into healthy, responsible, kind humans. No pressure there, folks!

Hooray, You’ve Survived!

Yet here we are, not only still alive but thriving!

Sometimes I look around and sigh, honestly relieved and proud that I’ve managed to keep us all going from one day to the next.

Yes, I’m infinitely grateful for my three perfect, precious babies with their lamb-like cries. However, I’m happy to embrace and even celebrate the different stages of motherhood and childhood. 

Seasons Change

I know the seasons will keep changing — until one day mine will include a very still and quiet home.

So I remind myself to treasure these days, even with the frustration and overwhelm that sometimes still creep in.

Life is full of learning and growing; our opportunity is to experience all of the various stages with their highs and lows, challenges and delights.

Our opportunity is to experience all of the various stages with their highs and lows, challenges and delights.

Some Thoughts from One Mom to Another

For my very pregnant friend: relish that unique time of having someone grow and move inside of you. Cherish the moments as you stare into those newly opened eyes and count those fingers and toes.

Truly, you’ll be holding a piece of heaven in your arms.

And please, for your own sanity’s sake, heed the advice to sleep when that baby sleeps!

Finally a few words to the drained and strained and frantic mom of young toddlers: hang in there! If you and they survive today, count the day as a success. Forget the dishes; forget the crackers ground into the seat cushion; and yes, your unwashed hair still looks great in that bun.

Try to laugh with your two year-old as they explore the world through curious and gleeful eyes … even as their little feet shuffle from one catastrophe to the next. Then sink gratefully into your bed tonight when that ball of messy energy (finally) closes their eyes in exhaustion.

Celebrate

As for me, I will celebrate this current phase where I’m still the center of my kids’ lives. I know that sooner than later this time will be replaced by adolescence — a season when I will hold on for dear life to that wild, fun and terrorizing ride I expect it to be!

What season are you experiencing right now?  How are you embracing it? Or are you barely surviving as you wait for the next one to emerge?

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1 Comment

  1. Julie says:

    Loved this! Motherhood definitely has its joys and heartaches. I try to cherish every moment as much as possible.

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