Yesterday morning I woke up to my squishy 3 month old infant smiling and cooing after her 6am feeding and I literally began to cry. As tears rolled down my face, one after the other, Cadence reached her little tiny hands and touched my face as if to say “What’s wrong mommy?” I then proceeded to cry even harder, thankful that only an infant (who probably would forget I was crying in about 30 seconds) was there to witness my emotional reaction to the beginning of a very special day.
Yesterday I celebrated my very first Mother’s Day as a mother. Ever since I can remember, I’ve dreamed about one day being on the receiving end of love and hugs and adoration for giving life to a human and doing my best to nurture it. I say this all the time, but becoming a mother has been one of my greatest accomplishments to date. As I opened my blinds and let the morning sunlight in, I started to really reflect on what this new undertaking meant for my life.
The first three months as a new mom, you still have your training wheels on and you barely have time to reflect on what’s happening in your life. You are learning new things about this small human being who is now your number one priority. You are juggling new responsibilities and trying your hardest to balance taking care of this child as well as taking care of yourself.
New moms barely have time to eat and sleep let alone REFLECT. So as Cadence dozed back off to sleep for her morning nap, I took time out of my first Mother’s Day to just sit in stillness – phone and TV off, door closed – and reflect. Here’s what I decided:
1. I Will Give Thanks (Always)
The first thing I did on Mother’s Day morning was to thank God for blessing me with the privilege of being a mother. There are so many women who are unable to bring forth children, and there are equally as many who’ve had children and lost them (young or old). You never know when life will begin or end, so give thanks everyday for what you have.
2. I Will Lead By Example
Next I started to think about the type of person I want to be for my daughter. I’ve never been a fan of the “Do as I say, not as I do” style of parenting. A mother is a child’s first teacher, coach and confidant. Everything that I’ve become, as a woman, is a direct reflection of what my mother taught me and what I saw her doing herself. I realized that my fundamental character flaws are things that I don’t want for my daughter to perpetuate.
So instead of continuing to do them and waiting for her to pick them up just to tell her that they are WRONG, I’m instead going to work my hardest to correct them within myself so I can lead by example. It’s much easier said than done, but I’m willing to make that sacrifice to raise my daughter to be a woman of honor, distinction and worth.
3. I Will Never Judge
Nobody is perfect. And as much as I love my child to bits and she seems as perfect as perfect can be in her infancy, I know for a fact that she will grow up and make epic mistakes. Mistakes that will make me cry. Mistakes that I’ll blame myself for. Mistakes that will be life-altering. What I will not do, however, is make her feel bad for them. My own mother has been an incredible example of love without judgment. She never condoned negative or reckless behavior, but she also always made me feel like I could trust her to embrace me after making mistakes. That’s the type of mother I want to be.
4. I Will Let Her BE
Much of my present-day happiness comes from the privilege I had of having my parents’ support, regardless of my endeavors. I had a vivid imagination as a child and they allowed me to use it. To dream up the realities I wanted to create for myself, I needed their permission. To pursue the unconventional career path I’ve taken, I needed their blessing. And I’ve always had it. Though they may not have understood it (my Dad still doesn’t understand how I make money by typing on a computer all day lol), they have absolutely always given me their support. That is something I can never repay them for and an important parenting philosophy I plan to adopt. Letting your children BE and allowing them to find their own happy (from the education they get to the jobs they pursue and the people they choose to love) is the greatest gift you can give them.
Moms out there, what are your goals when it comes to raising your children? What’s most important to you? Feel free to share below.