I’ve been a busy mom for two years now, and that’s been enough time to learn some inevitable truths of motherhood. I have two beautiful kids, a toddler and a baby. Take it as advice for those of you who are still pregnant, and those of you who have kids, you’ll find yourself nodding along to these five things I’ve learned.
1. Everyone will have an opinion on how you raise your kids
Yep, everyone from your well-meaning grandmother to your next door neighbor to some guy at the grocery store will have something to say about your parenting. You’ll see this in big ways, like with the so-called “mommy wars” over hot topic items such as breastfeeding vs. formula feeding, epidural vs. unmedicated birth, and so on. You’ll also see this in small ways, such as when your mom casually mentions under her breath that “I started feeding you solids at 3 months, and you turned out just fine.” As you try to explain that, no, your 3 month old can’t have a bite of KFC mashed potatoes. You do you, boo. You’re your own person. Some well-meaning advice can be helpful once in a while, yes. But have confidence in your ability as a mother to make the right decisions for your kids.
2. Pre-motherhood expectations
“I was a perfect mother…..before I had kids!!” This expression is oh-too-true. Before I had kids, I had set certain ideals for myself on how I would parent them. We often see a child having a tantrum in public and think to ourselves a little smugly “MY child would never do that.” However, becoming a mother teaches you that you can (and must) let go a little, sometimes. Ideals that you’d set for yourself before having kids are not always easy to maintain, you realize. So don’t feel guilty if your kids are not the healthiest eaters or watch too much TV one day.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
This is somewhat related to point number two. Before we become moms, we sometimes assume we’ll be able to do it all. There’s this “supermom” ideal that we all want to achieve, but no woman can truly do it all without any help, at least not without breaking down in the process. Reach out for help, whether it’s so you can take a long shower in peace, so you can get some errands done kid-free, or so you can spend quality alone time with an older child who may be feeling left out after a new baby. You’ll likely find people are willing to help out, if you’d only ask.
4. Don’t lose your sense of self
It is so easy to lose your sense of self as a mom. You’re suddenly responsible for a whole other life than your own. That can easily become all-consuming. Make sure to take time to do the things you liked to do before motherhood. It’s important to have some “me time” every so often. Check out my blog post about me time for more on this topic!
5. It’s ok to lose your shit
Us moms have all experienced this at some point or other. Maybe your baby has just finally gone down for a nap when your toddler comes bursting into the room and asks you a loud question, waking up the baby. Or your toddler just dumped a whole box of cereal over your floor that you just cleaned. Before you consider selling them on eBay, just take a deep breath, make sure everyone is in a safe place, and step away for a few moments to take a breather and clear your mind.
These five truths of motherhood are something all moms can attest to. Remember, you’re not alone in this. We’ve all been there. No one mother has it all perfectly together. Trust that your instincts will guide you towards the parenting skills you need!