Motherhood is one wild adventure. It’s so good, yet it’s hard, not to mention exhausting.
Today Matthew is one month old, and I can’t believe how fast time has blown past. This past month has been filled with so much… So much joy, so many trial and error learning experiences, so much of the unknown. Each day has been completely different (though our little guy is definitely starting to get into a routine). Some days are harder than others, spent trying my best to console a fussy baby. Other days pass with ease and contentment. No matter how the day starts and ends, no matter what happens in between, I have been doing my best to intentionally take hold of every moment, savouring it, embracing it, knowing that all to soon our little boy will be all grown up.
Damien and I have always said that we don’t our lives to evolve solely around our children to the point where they dictate what we do with our lives and when. We still want to travel, we still want to go to the church service Saturday nights with the colourful lights and loud music, we still want to go for coffee on Saturday mornings, sitting and enjoying one another’s company. However, to a certain extent our lives do and will evolve around Matthew (and any future children). When he needs to eat, I need to stop what I’m doing and feed him, fast. When he sleeps, that’s when we choose to take him to get groceries or go for coffee.
If there has been one thing that I have learned over this past month, it’s been how I need to learn to let go of my expectations. I can’t expect for Matthew to bend to my every need and/or desire. He’s his own person, with his own needs and his own desires. And similarly, I can’t expect that I will be able to fulfill his and/or my own needs and desires throughout this journey called motherhood. A big example of this is breastfeeding.
You see, I prepared myself for the chance of my not being able to have a natural birth. I didn’t, however prepare myself for the odd chance of not being able to breastfeed. I expected that I would have at least enough milk to fill Matthew’s little belly, allowing him to develop and grow at a healthy rate. But, that just isn’t the case. And because I had such strong expectations that I would be able to breastfeed, there were a couple of days where I literally cried, stressed and slept, feeling like a failure in that I wasn’t able to provide for my little boy. Thankfully I have a wonderful support group of women who surrounded me with prayers and encouragement and I’ve been able to come to terms with not being able to do things how I would like to, “naturally”.
Anyways, there have been many other things I’ve learned and am learning about life, love and motherhood. Regardless of how hard it can be, it’s a journey I am on to which I have no regrets.
To all the mothers who are reading this, I’d love to hear some of the things you have and are learning as you journey alongside me in raising up a new generation. (If there’s another important thing I’ve learned it’s that we need to walk alongside each other, because not one of us has it all together to the point of being able to complete this journey alone.)