PB will celebrate his first birthday next month. I’ll celebrate my first year of motherhood.
WOW. Does that make me old?
I’ve been a mom for a whole year now. That’s nuts.
It’s been a crazy, wild, beautiful, exciting, scary, life-changing year for me. I’ve learned more about life and about myself this year than ever before. I’ve always heard that kids have a way of changing the way you view your world, and I have to say that I couldn’t agree more.
Here’s what I’ve learned my first year of mommahood.
1. I was a brat before I became a mom. I was selfish and only concerned with myself. And then I became an even bigger brat the first few weeks after I had PB. I wanted people to feel sorry for me because I wasn’t getting much sleep, or because my back hurt, or because I was swimming in dirty laundry. I felt like I was doing something that nobody had ever done before, like nobody else had ever had a baby before. Oh Britt, how wrong you were! Going from being a totally irresponsible, carefree gal, who was only concerned with herself, to caring for a teeny little newborn who solely depended on me was a biiiiiiig change. To say that I was an immature punk would be a complete understatement.
I’m ashamed to admit how I felt those first couple of weeks. Don’t get me wrong, I was deliriously happy to have PB. Every day was (and still is) literally like waking up to Christmas morning. But I was having a hard time adjusting to my new life as a mom. I felt sorry for myself because I had to be responsible. I was a wuss. I felt like I deserved sympathy because I only got 1 hour of sleep the night before, or because my house was a trainwreck. I was a complete terd.
After a couple of weeks of feeling sorry for myself, I put my big girl panties on, slapped on some mascara, and grew up. Instead of whining about how tough it was, I chose to focus on how fun it could be and how honored I was to be able to do it. That was a total game-changer for me.
2. Big love. I love my husband. I love my parents. I love my family. But to love my son is a whole new kind of love. It’s a different kind of love. And it rocks. I can’t really explain it other than it’s an unconditional, full of hope, want the best for him, makes your heart swell with pride, kind of love. And it flat out rocks.
3. I serve an almighty, awesome God and I need Him every step of the way. I look at PB and see that God made him through Ben and me. Now how friggin’ cool is that? My God is the Creator of Life! And to see the creation and birth of a life is an incredible thing.
I rely on God more than ever now. I’m responsible for another human life. God entrusted Ben and I to raise PB. He blessed us with this baby and its now it is my job to raise Him to glorify and honor the Lord. I can’t do that on my own. I need God’s guidance every day. We sing a song at my church, and the chorus says ‘I can’t even walk without You holding my hand’. Amen! Motherhood has taught me a whole new reliance on my Savior. My relationship with Him isn’t something I’m always proud of because I neglect it far too often. But, I serve a merciful and loving God who forgives me daily for my shortcomings.
4. Respect. Talk about a butt-load of respect. I gained a whole new respect for my momma. I see what I’m going through as a young mom, and know that my mom did it too. She spent hours calming a fussy baby Brittany, changed an estimated 10,482 dirty diapers, and lost countless hours of sleep, all for me? And she still loves me! She handled it all with so much grace. I don’t know how she did it. I find myself looking at her, hoping I can be half the mom she is.
5. Be yourself. I had a bit of an identity crisis when I became a mom. I looked nowhere near what I thought a ‘mom’ should look like. I didn’t act the way I thought a mom should act. I didn’t do the things that I thought moms should do. I still chewed Big League gum and Bubble Tape for crying out loud! I started looking around at all the other good moms I knew, and started trying to be like them. I made a mental list of things I thought a good mom should be: wise, Christ-like, mature, responsible, organized, and a chef extraordinaire. She should wear Ryder’s, drive a mini-van, and bake cupcakes like nobody’s business. She should just be a ‘mom’ for pete’s sake! So for a couple of weeks I went nuts, trying to be what I thought a mom should be. And then I realized that I was crazy. And that, by God’s sweet grace, I would be the mom that PB needed. And that there really is no mold for a ‘good’ mom. You do the best you can do and pray that God will guide you every step of the way. And that’s it. So I still chew Big League gum, and still listen to Kid Rock sometimes. I don’t own a mini-van, and I still try to cram my butt in my skinny jeans. This is the kind of mom I am. And I’m okay with it as long as God is right there with me.
6. Humbleness. If you want to get humble, have a baby. It’s a humbling experience from the beginning. Nothing screams ‘humble’ more than having a room full of strangers examining your lady parts. And then, nothing says ‘humble’ like seeing the love and support you get from family and friends, whether it was a nice dinner brought to us that first week home from the hospital, or the wonderful gifts that people gave. And then, nothing says ‘humble’ like watching your son grow and thrive, and seeing how Almighty the Lord is and knowing that we are all at His mercy. Wanna get humble? Yea. Have a baby.
7. Savor your marriage. In the midst of being new parents, it is so easy to forget what brought you here in the first place: each other. If there was no Ben, there’d be no PB. It was (and still is) so easy to get lost in the day-to-day life of being parents. It’s important to set aside time for each other. My marriage needs to be the base for my family.
8. Life is good. In a world full of bad news, and negative people, it can sometimes leave you feeling down and out. But you know what? Life is good. I see PB experience his world for the very first time and I see the excitement and the wonder in his eyes. It makes me want to start looking at this ole’ world through kids’ eyes again. Maybe we’d all be better off if we saw the world through kid eyes? I look at PB and know that there are still good things that happen every day. And that God still works every day. And that life really is good.
9. And finally, I will NEVER use the bathroom in peace again. NEVER, I tell you. Sometimes, I miss a good ole’ relaxing visit to the pot.
Have a blessed Wednesday 🙂