Motherhood: the journey of a lifetime
It's been awhile since I have written a blog myself, since I have been sharing stories from some of the amazing women I know about their motherhood journeys throughout the past year. But as I sit here at 38 weeks pregnant waiting for my third baby to make its arrival, I've been finding myself spending a lot of time reflecting on my own motherhood journey. Almost exactly 5 years ago, I was waiting for my first baby to arrive. I was excited, but mostly anxious about what was to come, particularly the lack of sleep. Before I was a mom I LOVED to sleep (I mean I still love do, it just doesn't really happen as much anymore).
One of the biggest lessons I learned in those first few months as a mom was that I was no longer able to control all the aspects of my life the way I had before. This tiny little human in my care dictated much of my schedule, efforts, and even emotions on many days. As a Type A individual, this was challenging for me, and it took a lot of work and time to begin to learn how to be gentle with my own expectations of myself. During that first year of parenting (once I started to sort of get a handle on this new life of mine), I realized that I could use my professional training to help support other moms who were juggling all the aspects of motherhood. I began to receive training and networking in the perinatal professional world and it became my professional passion to help moms through the transition of becoming mothers. As my own kids got slightly bigger, I soon realized I also loved empowering women who were navigating parenting young kids with careers, relationships, home responsibilities, etc. etc. etc. even beyond those first few months of postpartum chaos. I have been extremely blessed that I have been able to take that passion and create a business and career for myself with it.
But beyond the transformation in my work life that motherhood has allowed, the biggest change is what motherhood has done to me personally. Motherhood takes over our identities sometimes, which is amazing, terrifying and frustrating all at the same time. Even when it's stressful and crazy though, I adore being a mom. I love when my little people get excited to see me when I pick them up. I love when they want to snuggle and hug and have me read stories to them. I love when they ask me questions about the world around them (though sometimes my patience has a hard limit on this). I get frustrated and annoyed and tired. But I do really, truly love having these amazing little humans in my life.
Five years in and I have learned a ton. About kids, about parenting, about the importance of community, and most of all about myself-as a mom, a wife, a friend, a clinician, and just as a person. I have adjusted my expectations (and then adjusted them over and over again). I have felt all the guilt-and done my best to work through it. I have wiped tears and given hugs and read books and played on the floor for so many countless hours. And for all the strife some days bring, I wouldn't change this life of mine for anything. I know the next few months will be stressful and chaotic as we welcome the 5th (and final) member to our family. But I also now know that that phase is temporary. It will go by quickly (at least in hindsight). And maybe I'll miss it (or at least look back on it with nostalgia), but I will at least do my best to remind myself every day that these kiddos give me so much more purpose and love than I ever knew was possible and I am grateful to get to be their mom.