Sunday, October 9, 2011
Motherhood: Trials and Triumphs
I am not Super-mom. I'm not sure I will ever be. I do try my hardest to be a good mom, but Super-mom....that's a title not meant for me. I marvel at women who manage to keep a spotless house and cook gourmet meals every evening for their families, who sew and knit and do other artsy things, who exercise religiously and are disciplined in their eating habits, who keep up with the latest fashion trends and have closets full of fabulous clothes, who have time to volunteer for certain causes and chair committees and be little social butterflies....all while raising beautiful children with perfect manners and make straight A's (because Mom always helps with their homework, or better yet, HOMESCHOOLS them), who always eat their vegetables and go to bed at 8:00 sharp every night. Seriously?!
Okay, I realize that no such woman actually exists, but some come pretty darn close. Not me. Oh no. It is very rare that every room in my house is clean at the same time, and, if I happen to have dinner ready when Stevo gets home from work, its usually Hamburger Helper or something of that nature that I threw together twenty minutes prior. I don't even know how to sew a button back on a shirt. I can't tell you when the last time I exercised was, and don't even get me started on my sweet tooth. Fabulous clothes....HAHA! My child is eight months old and I still can't fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes, and they aren't even that fabulous. No, I'm not perfect. And you know what? My child isn't perfect, either. What kind of a mother says that about her own kid? Well, an honest one...
Being Ella's Mommy is one of the greatest blessings of my life. She might not be "perfect", but she really is wonderful. Not to brag, but people are always complimenting us about how pleasant and happy she is. People often ask if she's always "this easy". The answer is yes, most of the time she really is. (Okay, so I might be bragging a little:)) But that's not to say it's always been easy. Motherhood is hard. It's 100% on-the-job training. Maybe your children did, but my child did not come with an instruction manual. Anyhow, even the best guidebooks admit that each child is different and that the "rules" don't always apply to everyone. I often feel like we just stumble along and figure things out as we go. One of the greatest challenges so far was breastfeeding. Like many new moms, I had every intention of nursing my baby until she was a year old. I was so determined to make it work. Yet, regardless of my good intentions and determination, we had issues from the start. Long story short, I nursed for only five months. Looking back, I am proud that we made it that long. We worked really hard! In the end, my milk production had decreased so much that I had to quit. That decision was probably the hardest one I've had to make in regards to my baby. I felt like such a failure! However, I knew it better for both of us. Ella needed her Mommy to be carefree and playful, not attached to a pump all the time. Does that make me less of a mom? Did I fall short? Sometimes I still wonder.
Nothing is worse than having a sick baby. Actually, there is something worse; being sick yourself and having a sick baby at the same time! This happened about a month ago when we both had a bad cold. She was miserable. I was definitely miserable! Let me be honest; there are moments when (dare I say it), I really don't feel like being a mom, and this was definitely one of those times! What made it especially bad was that there was no one I could call. Nobody could come to my rescue. I had to suck it up and deal with it. It sucked! But did my attitude suck more? Did Ella sense my frustration or lack of motivation? If she did, does she resent me for it?
I hate it when she cries. Does anyone else's kid cry for no reason, or is mine just a weirdo? Sometimes she cries and I cannot figure out why. That's when the second-guessing really starts.... What's wrong with me? It's a baby, my baby no less, not rocket science. So why do I feel like such an idiot? I should be able to fix this. She is counting on me to fix this! What kind of a mother am I?!
Then, right on cue, Daddy walks in and picks her up....and the crying stops! UGH! Really? Happens all the time around here.
Does my child hate me? Does she prefer him over me? Why am I even worrying about this?? Am I really jealous of my husband, a.k.a., her father?! Why am I so insecure?
Motherhood is hard. It is not always fun. But it is always rewarding! The Lord knows me; He knows there's only so much crap I can handle before I need some reassuring. And He reassures me in so many wonderful ways.
I'll never forget how elated I was when she slept through the night for the first time. We had diligently worked on this for several weeks, so I knew it wasn't by chance. I feel like God rewarded our hard work by blessing us with the gift of a good sleep. It was a small, but important victory.
I love going to get her after she wakes up in the morning. She sits and plays in her crib until I go in there. Every single time she glances up and sees me, she grins from ear to ear. It makes my heart melt. She's happy to see me! ME! Her Mommy!!
One afternoon last week, I made a pallet on the floor for her to lay and watch "Baby Mozart" while I sat a few feet behind her. She kept glancing back to see if I was still there. About half-way through the program, she rolled over and crawled into my lap. Then she fell asleep. It was amazing. She just wanted her Mommy.
Last Thursday at CDO, Ella saw me through the window in her classroom. I smiled at her and she smiled back. Later her teacher told me that after I walked off, Ella started crawling toward the window, saying, "Ma-ma-ma-ma-ma!" I have never felt more proud! Some may think she's too young to actually be saying "Mama", but I disagree. She's a very bright baby. She knows what she's saying, and she's calling for her Mama!! :)
There are countless moments like these that God blesses with. He knows I need encouraged from time to time. Sometimes, I think He does just because He loves me. Anyway, it makes it all worth it. Every tear, every fit, every snotty nose, every poopy diaper blow-out; it's all worthwhile because my daughter loves me. And I love her! I'm no Super-mom, but I think I do a pretty good job...well, most of the time. Maybe someday I'll learn how to balance cleaning and cooking and everything in between. I might even find time to shed the baby weight! (That would be nice!) In the meantime, I think it's best to take it one day at a time. I'm still new at this. What's important is the Ella is healthy, happy, and bright. She's pleasant and everyone loves being around her. I guess I must be doing something right. :)
Posted by Hannah at 6:18 PM