24 Lessons Learned through Motherhood

All the Mother's Day posts have put me in my feels! Y'all are so motivating that I was able to get over my writer's block. This is my third Mother's Day. I've learned so much over the past two years, but here are some key lessons (in no particular order) that have resonated time and time again throughout my motherhood journey: 

  1. Being a mother isn't something that you're ever ready for. 
    • Before you go off, let me explain. Yes, you can have the best partner, all of the money you need, shelter, etc. However, there are just too many things that can happen in literally a split second. I didn't feel "ready" to be a mother when I found out I was pregnant, but I felt pretty "prepared" by the time my due date approached. His dad and I were doing fine. We had a home. My maternity leave was approved and I was getting full pay. We had everything we needed for him. We took a birth class... all of that. BUT then I went into labor and literally everything went out the window. He was born with 10 fingers and 10 toes and looking what appeared to me as perfect, but then a few days later we learned about his genetic condition that neither of us had ever heard about. Life literally happens THAT fast. Everything can seem okay and then you get hit with something. As a parent, you may not be ready or prepared for that, but you have to make it do what it do because someone is depending on you. All of the money in the world can't prepare you for that. 
  2. Experience is the best teacher.
    • This is to piggyback off of #1... you just don't know until you know. I swore my son wasn't going to do this and that... but here we are 24 months later and some of this and that have taken place... seriously. I read so many books, but the bulk of what I KNOW comes from my experiences as a mother. 
  3. Resilience.
    • Nothing screams resilience more than a mother being able to recover from a baby's public blowout. 
  4. It takes a village
    • It's very hard for any one person to be able to handle it all... but mom's do it. It helps to have a few people around to aid and support you. That support is so crucial.
  5. Let it out.
    • Whatever it is, let it out. Tears, words, energy, poop... don't hold it in. Give yourself permission to give in to what's trying to get out of you. 
  6. Everyday isn't a happy day, AND THAT'S OKAY.
    • Being a mother is literally the best thing that I have become... there is nothing else in my life that tops that. Nevertheless there have been days when being a mom kinda sucked. Everyday won't be a good mom day. That's okay. Go through what you have to go through, get to, and continue. 
  7. Don't skimp on diapers.
    • I mean this in the most LITERAL way. Do NOT skimp on diapers....unless you love shit and urine everywhere.
  8. It's okay to give (or throw) things away. 
    • What if I told you that you don't have to keep everything? I wasn't as bad as some of the mommas out here, but I did use to hang on to our wellness visit papers, first shoes, super cute clothes, etc.... that is, until it literally was everywhere. I didn't think I really held on to my LO's clothes, but I did have my share of unnecessary stuff just there. Why do I still have these baby shower cards? Why do I need these wellness visit write ups? Everything is digital. Why am I holding on to sweet, little, brand new through toddler two year old Baby A things? What's the saying? Take a picture, it will last longer. 
  9. Other people can love your baby too!
    • Some of y'all might be thinking OBVIOUSLY!...but some of y'all might be like the old me and are thinking NO WAY JOSE! It's true though... other people love your baby! 
  10. Momma gotta have a life too!
    • I spent a good chunk of my son's life (thus far) eating, sleeping, breathing him. He's my high, but there were days that I still felt low. I was sad I couldn't do this or that. I was sad I missed this or that. I was hurt that I wasn't invited to whatever event. In the beginning, and for awhile following, I found myself always saying I can't to do this or go to that because of my son... or who's going to watch him. I would then get a sitter and find a reason to still not go then be upset about not going. It took some time but I had to get comfortable and okay with letting someone else love and look after my child at times so I could have some time to do things that I wanted to do. 
  11. DO YOU!
    • No matter what you do or how you do it, someone will ALWAYS have something to say. From how you feed your baby, where you let your child sleep, what they're wearing, how you hold them, etc... There will never not be a time when someone is trying to tell you about how to be a mother to your child... some stuff is okay to listen to, but for the most part let it fly. I have no problem letting people say what they want to say, but at the end of the day, my child is my child and I will do as I see fit. 
  12. Love is not a one size fits all.
    • No one loves your child like you do, but that does not mean that they don't also love your child. Their love does not have to mirror your love in order for it to be love. It's okay to let others love on your child.
  13. Other mommas are your friends! (or can be)
    • I recall seeing so many people post about the friends they "lost" once they became a mother. That's likely due to a change in priorities between you and your friends. That's okay... y'all can bond over other things. That also makes it perfectly okay for you to make new friends... particularly other mommas. It can get kind of lonely, quiet, etc. hanging out with a little baby or verbally limited toddler. You might want some adult conversation. I found it helpful to make friends with other moms. I even co-founded a playgroup for moms and tots.
  14. Read that book... even if it's your 1034234917 time reading it.
    • I know i'm not the only mom that is guilty of feeling some type of way about reading the same book MULTIPLE times...sometimes consecutively. Yes, it can be redundant but repetition aids in recall, increases vocabulary, and so much more. I started to hear my son "read" the next part of Are You My Mother? and now I don't mind rereading at all... even for the 1034234918 time.
  15. Don't let your baby stop you from going and experiencing things.
    • What if I told you that you can go out and experience your city, state, etc. AND have a baby with you at the same time. Don't let cabin fever get the most of you... get out the house, bring your baby with you, and experience. 
  16. You don't have all of the answers...
    • and that's okay... you don't have to have the answers or have to figure it out. It's hard at times to not know why your baby/child is doing or feeling a type of way (or not). No one person knows everything. Part of being a mom is learning as you go. Don't dwell on what you don't know. 
  17. You can't spoil a baby. 
    • DEBATE YOUR MOTHER! Nope, my newborn baby is not spoiled because he/she wants to be held, or breastfed, or because I tend to him/her when he/she cries. I wish folks would stop with that. You can't spoil a baby... especially by tending to his/her needs. 
  18. Don't google your baby's conditions...
    • You know how scared you get when you google your own symptoms? You're a million times more scared when you do it for a baby. Don't do it. If you're worried, breastmilk... if that doesn't work, contact your pediatrician. 
  19. Shit happens.
    • You might leave your diaper bag at home. Your LO might hit their head. It's not about what happened, but how you get through it. Never dwell on it. 
  20. It's okay to cry over spilled milk (LITERAL). 
    • My breastfeeding moms know what I'm talking about! I've been there... at first you're like WOW am I really crying over spilled milk? The answer is YES... you worked hard for that milk so it's totally fine to cry over spilled milk. Try not to dwell on it though.
  21. It's okay to be wrong... and to admit to being wrong. 
    • Now most of the time we're right, but rarely, we can be wrong. There is nothing wrong with admitting to being wrong. It doesn't take away that you're a good mom and that you have your child's best interest in mind. It also helps when reflecting. 
  22. Sacrifice.
    • Motherhood is the epitome of sacrifice. As a mother you constantly find yourself sacrificing for the betterment of your child(ren). You'll lose sleep. You won't have the free time you once had. You might miss some meals, shindigs, opportunities, etc. But in the end, your sacrifice(s) is/are worth it when it comes to your child. 
  23. Patience is a virtue. 
    • If you're anything like me then patience is a daily test for you. I literally find myself wanting and acting in the right now when it comes to my son. If he needs something, it has to happen now. I remember thinking that he had to have crossed such and such milestone by a certain age or it reflected on my parenting skills or that maybe he would have some challenges... It has literally taken me the past 24 months to really get to the level of patience that I have now. Things don't always happen right when we want them to but that has to be okay. Your child will develop and grow in a way that is perfectly unique to them...and that's okay. Most times you have to take a step back and chill. Wait it out. It usually works out on its own or the solutions comes to you. 
  24. You can literally do anything!
    • You birth a whole baby! However you did it, you still did that! No one can take that from you. You can literally bring life into the world. That's a real super power. 

I'm only a little over 24 months in and have a lot to learn still. I am enjoying my journey of motherhood and can see daily how it is changing me and molding me into a better woman. What are some things you have learned?