Before I became a mom, I thought I knew exactly what kind of mom I was going to be (hilarious, right?) I assumed I was going to know exactly what to do and how to do it, that everything came together easily, and I was going to spend all my time loving my babies, stress free.
However, I wasn’t prepared for how much motherhood was going to teach me about myself and even more surprisingly, how much my husband was going to teach me about being a mother.
1. How to Find Patience
This is one of the most important concepts I learned from my husband. The art of being patient. Children will try your patience, it’s inevitable. However, how we deal with those situations reflect who we are as parents and who our children will grow up to be. Our daughter has her moments, like any other child she’ll throw tantrums and get upset but, instead of joining in her chaos, we are her calm. Hubby and I will get down to her eye level and discuss what she’s feeling and why she’s feeling that way, we then try to explain to her that this isn’t the best way to express herself when she’s upset. 9/10 times Anaís will calm down and talk to us. However, temper tantrums aren’t the only time parents should practice patience, it should be something done around the clock. When you’re running late and you’re flustered, when they are constantly calling your name while you’re busy, when they spill their juice, or make a mess, all of these are great times to practice patience as well. Children will be children, we need to be patient and show them the better way of doing things and expressing our emotions. I love watching the way my husband interacts with our daughter and how he calms her down in her most stressful moments.
2. It’s Okay to be Selfish
I am not going to lie, this concept is one I am still working on. If you have read my blog post about mom guilt then you understand that it’s hard for me to do anything without my daughter and even more difficult for me not do anything for her. If I need to run errands, have a doctors appointment, need gas in my car, have to use the bathroom, whatever it may be, Anaís is right by my side.
I have been needing a new winter jacket since Autumn of 2018, Summer of 2019 is now approaching and I still have yet to purchase said jacket. Almost 99% of the time that I go shopping I end up walking out with something for my girls rather than myself. Recently, I was shopping online for spring maternity clothing and I somehow landed on Gymboree’s website and spent over $300 on both of my girls spring wardrobes. I may end up wearing sweaters all spring and summer at the rate I’m going. I always put my girls before myself.
My husband is teaching me that it’s okay to be away and have alone time, whether we’re going out to dinner and a movie, or having drinks with friends. He’s trying to show me that there is nothing wrong with treating myself, whether it’s with clothing or getting my nails done. He’s trying his best to teach me that our daughters will be okay without us for a few hours and they won’t resent me for not buying them new clothes every week.
It’s been hard trying to put myself first in any situation. However, hubby and I went on a weeklong honeymoon in December, without Anaís and I wasn’t a terrible, blubbering mess. I was upset and I had my moments but I got through it and it made me feel a little better about stealing some “me” time here and there.
3. I’m Stronger Than I Know
My biggest fan and biggest supporter is my amazing husband. We have been through trying times together and they have made us so much stronger. I have had days where I broke down and didn’t think I could do it anymore, moments where I questioned my parenting and who I was, and didn’t want to get out of bed, moments of insecurity, and depression. However, he’s been there through it all, cheering me on. My husband reminds me how amazing it is to be a mother and that no matter what, he’ll always be by my side helping me. He reminds me that I’m far stronger than I know and that I can handle anything thing that comes my way, that no matter how hard it may seem now, I can conquer any obstacle. I’m forever grateful to have such a supporting man by my side.
4. To Appreciate The Little Things
Being a parent can be overwhelming and we’re all so busy trying to be the “perfect mom” or “perfect dad” that we forget to embrace the little things that make each moment with our children, wonderful.
The dishes in the sink, the piles of laundry in the corner, the toys that need to be put away, it’s easy to let those things upset you. But, why are you letting such minuscule things upset you? Memories are being made and children will be children. I saw a sign recently that said, “Excuse the mess, the children are making memories.” That one sign changed my perspective on things. Yes, it was just a parent being clever but in a way, they are proving a point. Hubby always reminds me that sure the laundry needs to be done but Anaís wants to play, so why not play with her first? Why not go on an imagination adventure with her and have a tea party. The laundry, dishes, and toy cleanup, can be done when she’s asleep. There’s no time limit on our chores but there is a time limit on the age where our kids still need us and want to include us in their adventures.
Because of him, I have been paying a lot more attention to the bigger picture. I have learned how to better balance chores and motherhood and it’s made me happier. I’m no longer freaking out that I skipped a day vacuuming, rather I’ll use that time to sing songs with Anaís, read her a book, or play with her kitchen. Appreciate the moments that are here, now, mama.
5. Not Everything Has to be Perfect
This may go hand-in-hand with #4 but I can’t stress this enough mama, not everything has to be perfect. I know you want to have the cleanest house, the most organized closet, well-behaved children who don’t make messes, organized toys, and so on. However, that’s not realistic, that’s not life.
Prior to having my daughter, I was a perfectionist. I would clean everyday, whether it was bleaching the bathroom or organizing and re-organizing my closet, labeling everything in my cabinets, you name it and I did it. I realized I couldn’t keep up when I had Anaís, keeping everything “perfect” became almost unattainable. I had a few breakdowns about this because I was so stressed out. However, my husband constantly reminds me that there is no such thing as a “perfect” home, only a happy one. Children may make messes and the laundry may not be done, but they are only small for so long. Enjoy all of these moments, because although the dishes in the sink are stressing you out now and the toys haven’t been put away, years from now you’ll look back on this day and wonder why you cared so much about perfection when you could have been enjoying these moments with your children.
6. It’s Okay To Ask For Help
I’ll admit it, I’m stubborn, very stubborn. In my mind, succeeding in motherhood meant that I had to do it all on my own. Taking care of our kids, my husband, and myself, keeping the house clean, cooking dinner, and everything else.
Perfectly doable, right?
Instead of being on top of everything, I began neglecting important things like our family and myself. I became overwhelmed and had a slight breakdown. My husband picked me up, dusted me off, and brought me out of that funk. He’s always kindly reminding me that he’s there to help, and I don’t need to take it all on by myself. I will be honest, I don’t like to ask for help. I was raised to be independent and do it all on my own but as of recently, I have been better at asking him for a helping hand.
Motherhood is emotional, draining, overwhelming, exhausting, empowering and more rewarding than you can imagine and that’s all in one day! You have to be strong, fierce, and determined to tackle it and my husband reminds me of this everyday.
In all honesty, I never thought my loving husband would be the one to teach me about motherhood and myself, but I’m so grateful he has. These are all such important lessons to learn and I’m glad that I have because they have made me a better mother.
A learning mother and wife