. . . for Lauren and Lauren: Motherhood so far

February 11, 2014

Motherhood so far

Becoming a mom is by far the best, most exciting, exhausting, scary and joyful thing I've experienced. Almost seven months in and there are days where I look at Addilyn and still can't believe she is my daughter. While I am no expert whatsoever, I thought I'd share a few things that I learned at the beginning of my role as a mom. And most of these things I'm still learning! 

1. Soak up all the holding, sitting, and snuggles possible.  Honestly I could probably count the amount of times I set Addilyn down when she was sleeping for the first few months at least.  I seriously held her all the time.  I didn't do much around our house and I don't regret it one bit.  There have been a few times I've wondered if that is part of the reason she is a poor sleeper but I stop myself from thinking that as fast as I can because even if that was the case I don't regret it one bit.  I waited a long time for a baby and I soaked up every snuggle and sleeping moment I could get.  And I miss them already.  I want them back and I wouldn't change the way I spent those first few months.  

2.  You will forget it.  While I was in the hospital I truly thought I would not walk again, I was in so much pain after labor and delivery.   I thought there would be no way I would want to go through labor again, despite people telling me otherwise.  My recovery was rough and I still have lingering issues from my long labor.  But I would do it again in a heartbeat.  I pray that I get to experience childbirth again and can't wait until I have another baby and get to live those moments when I meet my baby for the first time again.  

3. Remind yourself that this is always a phase.  I feel like as soon as I figure out some schedule for Addilyn or we get into some kind of routine, it changes.  This goes for her temperament too.  We are so lucky to have a generally happy baby, but she'll have days of fussiness or times when she doesn't like to be put down any point of the day.  But I am learning that everything is a phase. And I'm pretty sure this is going to be the way parenting is forever, right? 

4.  Stop comparing.  Stop second guessing.  I think this is my biggest struggle as a mom.  I read so many baby forums, articles and other bloggers monthly updates and my first thoughts are comparing my mothering or Addilyn's habits to what I just read.  I'll second guess what I'm doing and wonder if I am doing it "right." I know that there is no right or wrong way for a lot of these things, like sleeping training, feeding and schedules; but I can't seem to not wonder if I am doing it the best way for Addilyn.  I need to constantly remind myself that I love Addilyn more than anything and am doing what I think is best.  And that is what matters.  

5. Be honest with your feelings.  When Addilyn was born the first few weeks were really hard.  Baby blues, hormones, whatever it was, I experienced more than I thought I would.  I think I thought because I wanted a baby so bad I wouldn't have as many overwhelming or anxious feelings.  But I did.  And I felt guilty sometimes.  I felt guilty for not being appreciative and grateful every minute that I was a mom.  I felt guilty for feeling that it was incredibly hard.  Once I shared my feelings with a few of my mom friends I felt much less alone and realized those things are normal.  And that they don't make me ungrateful.  

5. Be grateful.  This seems a little opposite of what I just wrote, as I still have days where I feel overwhelmed and wishing for a day full of relaxing and baby free responsibilities, but I think one of the biggest things that came from our struggle with infertility is an overall grateful heart for Addilyn.  I am constantly reminded that we are so lucky to have a baby.  There have been times I've been up for the who knows how many times in the middle of the night, and I feel frustrated and exhausted.  I'm reminded of the days or nights when I was awake, where I longed for a baby to take care of.  I longed for that kind of exhausted because it meant I was a mom.  I think of all the people I know and have met through this blog that are longing for their baby and I feel so lucky that Addilyn is ours.  

I know that motherhood will be a constant process of sacrifice and learning, and although it's the hardest thing I've done, I am beyond thankful for the blessing of this new role.  



Bailey@Lost&Found said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

I can relate to ALL OF THIS. Every single word. As my little man naps in his room at this very moment, it makes me want to go in a give him some cuddles. I feel guilty for putting him down EVER, but I also know I need a little break too. When you're a mom, there is no winning, LOL.

Laura said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Thanks for sharing your wisdom from experience here, Katie! I love that you share the good and bad of motherhood. I can't wait to be a mom but I have to remind myself that it's not something to be taken lightly - it's a huge responsibility. I will be looking back at your posts later when I'm a mother!

Erin said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Soooo sweet. Love those first snuggle pictures. I'm amazed at how quickly I forget ALL of the hard stuff; it seems like all it takes is one little smile from my sweet girl. I'm already ready to have another one and I also hope I get to do so again--you're right that those first moments of meeting your baby are absolutely priceless, especially when you've waited 9 long months--or longer. I can tell you're a good mama, Katie, and Addilynn is as blessed to have you as you are to have her! :)

Denise said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Bless you both.

Amy Harris said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

amen to everything! especially the comparing thing.. what i've come to realize is that all mothers (and fathers) love their babies so much and they are all doing what's best and what works for them.. and that is all we can do :)

Courtney Kassner said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Very well put and I agree with every bit of it!...especially about forgetting the pain. The first two weeks after Crew was born I didn't think I'd ever get better or forget about painful it was, but luckily I have! I would do it all again in a heartbeat!

Allison @ Texas Mrs. said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

I mean this in the most serious way ever... you have got the prettiest, happiest looking babygirl EVER!!! Bless her heart!!!

Helene in Between said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

you have already learned so much!! espeically that this will pass, i can only imagine!

Brianne Bracco said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Such a great post...motherhood seems to teach so much and I appreciate you always sharing my friend :)

two birds said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

it is always a phase...even when they are 7 and 8 (or 15 and 16, i am sure)!!! great advice!

Susannah said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

These are fabulous lessons to have learned! It definitely sounds like you are an amazing mother!

Kayla MKOY said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

I truly think you have one of the cutest little babes in all the world. She is always smiling it seems!! :) I'm so proud of you and the momma that you are! You're doing a phenomenal job. I can't wait for your little girl to be older and read all these posts, and see how much she was always loved :)

Kristine@thefoleyfam said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

It's been so wonderful to follow your guys journey. So many more fun blessings yet to happen. You are one strong amazing mama who I look up to.

Sarah said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Definitely agree with the snuggles. I felt like with my first I didn't want to create bad habits, etc, so I didn't snuggle him as much as I really wanted, I felt like I should be productive.But the second time around, all bets were off and I held her as much as possible.

Bethany said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

This post totally made me cry. I feel the same on all of these. Those snuggles... okay, crying again. I miss those early days for many reasons but not others! In any case, every phase has it hard parts and amazing parts, and I'm just trying to soak in everything now. Addilyn is SO CUTE. I'm so happy you get to be her mom, because I feel the same way about Allie! :)

Erin @ Love, the Campbells said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

Hey this post looks familiar :)

Angela C. said... Best Blogger TipsBest Blogger Templates

I can so relate to this. Especially the overwhelming feelings right after delivery and thinking you will never want to or physically be able to go through it all again! I am four and a half months into the journey of motherhood and I am all about wanting more kids!! Motherhood is the most fulfilling experience of my life so far and I wouldn't trade it for anything!
Angela :)