Before I had kids, I was a completely different person. I embrace motherhood as my authentic self, and I don’t try to fit into a mold of what I am “supposed” to be, but rather, what I want to be. My late mother was by no means a traditional mother, and I applaud her for that. Being true to your authentic self will help you to be happier and not feel as if you’ve lost your identity when you are deep in your journey of motherhood.
Here are 5 things I wish I had known before I became a mom…
You Will Turn Into Your Mother, Regardless of The Million Times You Swore Up And Down That You Never Would
Ladies, you know exactly what I’m talking about right here. It’s that moment when you’re frazzled, tired, probably haven’t showered, laundry up to your eyeballs, and some tiny human is begging you to make them macaroni. You lose it. All the cool flies out the window. You’re huffing, puffing, feeling defeated. I have definitely been there. It’s like I’ve been teleported back to my own childhood, and I’m shaking my head at this mother I’ve become. But you know what? Parenting is hard work! I don’t care what the scenario is, it’s not for the faint of heart. And that full circle moment when you flip the script is when you’ll see that look in your kid’s eyes mirroring back at you what you once felt. Hint: there’s a reason moms like wine! (AKA mom juice.)
You Will Not Always be Perfect. Learn to Let That Sh*t Go.
Oh, man. I cannot preach this one enough. I am a person who sets the bar for myself extremely high. I want to do it all, have it all, be it all, and I want to look good doing it. But that is just not real life. After my son was diagnosed with Autism a few years ago, I realized it wasn’t worth killing myself over all the things I thought I could do. I learned that sometimes in life the little moments are actually the big moments. And it’s not about an award, or fancy jewelry, or a raise, or clicking with the PTA kiss-ass moms at school. It’s about those tiny humans and the person you’re raising them with. Stop and smell the roses sometimes. It’s worth it.
Your Partner Should Always Be Your #1
What came first? The chicken or the egg? In the case of kids, it’s the partner. It doesn’t matter if you’re married, dating, engaged, whatever. You are committed to the tiny humans that you created or adopted together. That’s what’s most important. I know we can become wrapped up in all our kids’ schedules, needs, care, etc. But putting your spouse on the back burner time after time is a recipe for disaster. Your partner needs to know that they’re still clinching the top spot. Value them, lift them up, be a team. And if they’re guilty of putting you on that back burner, don’t be afraid to voice your needs. It’s okay, and sometimes, they won’t know unless you tell them!
There is Beauty and Kindness in This World, Be The One To Show it and Teach it
It doesn’t matter where you live, if you turn on the local news, you can feel as if you’re raising your kids in a scary place. Although there is danger out there, there are silver linings and beauty all around us. There are still good people in this world even if you feel that we hear more sad stories than good. It’s up to you to show your children the beauty all around us and to teach them to treat others kindly regardless of the way they look, act, or speak. We are all different, and the world would be a boring place if we were all the same. Encourage your children to be unique and embrace their originality. If more of us appreciated differences, the world would be a much better place. And more importantly, negativity towards others is a learned behavior. Children are so sweet and pure, but they’re also little sponges that pick up on your actions and words. I know I sometimes let curse words fly, I’m not perfect by any means, but I treat others with kindness and teach my kids to do the same.
Self-Love and Self-Care Go Hand-in-Hand
Look, I get it. I’ve gotta do beauty on a budget, too, most of the time. Sure, I wish I could afford to buy nice things for myself or to spend money on things for me, but that’s not something I can do. Self-care doesn’t have to cost a dime. Sometimes it’s as small as reading, going for a walk, working out, maybe even taking a hot bath. In some cases, it’s just getting a few minutes alone to yourself each day. You have to love yourself before you can love anyone else. Value yourself and do not feel selfish for needing time to just be you. Something I like to do is to take showers in the evening while my husband can watch the kids, and it sure beats shower Schizophrenia that most moms can relate to.