Photos by Briana Lindsey Photography
I've only be a mom for 18 short months now so I'm hardly an expert. And let's be real -- I never will be. I'm learning as I go, making tons of mistakes and just trying to have fun with this journey. There are so many things that no one ever mentioned before I came a mom, harsh realities and feelings that are just so indescribable that no one could ever put them into words. And through the emotions, the incredible love, the gut wrenching experiences and the pure joys, there are six things I've learned so far as a mom that I think ever parent needs to remember:
1. What is right one day may be wrong the next.
From sleep safety to vaccines to the foods we're "supposed" to feed our kids, everything is changing daily. When I was born, my parents were told to put me on my stomach to sleep and now, stomach sleeping is a big fat NO. And that bed time bubble bath may work like a charm for your baby's sleep one night and the next they may wake up seven times. Or that time your kid is happy as can be and then in an instant they're on the floor having a screaming tantrum? Yep, that's a new thing over here.
So we've got to go with the forever-changing flow because from one day to the next (and one minute to the next), everything is changes.
2. Admitting your imperfections doesn't make you a bad parent.
It doesn't mean you're a failure but means that you're open to improvement. It means you're opening to becoming a better parent for your kids every single day of your life and that's what matters most, right? I could read all of the baby books in the world but still will make mistakes. I'll still make a lot of them because I'm human and humans aren't perfect. But being open to at least considering the advice of others is the one sure way to become a better version of yourself and a better parent every single day.
3. Trust your instincts.
...and don't let anyone tell you you're crazy. First of all, we know our own kids better than anyone else in the entire world. We know when something is off and even if we may think we're getting into our own heads, isn't it better to be safe than sorry? Don't let a doctor tell you "it was silly for you to bring her in today" and don't let anyone tell you you're over-reacting. Because your instincts are powerful and they show that you care enough to act on them.
4. The good moments will always over power the bad ones.
No matter how many lows and super lows you have to endure, that indescribable love and happiness you feel as a parent will always over power the bad ones. I know it's nearly impossible to understand in the moment but if we turn to those happy times for peace and much-needed optimism, the lows will be a whole heck of a lot more bearable.
5. Comparing yourself to others hurts no one but yourself.
Just stop comparing yourself to the mom next door, the other kid in class and really, anyone else in the world. We're different, our kids are different and we each have our own strengths and weaknesses. No, that kid isn't "advanced" because he walked first or talked first -- just different with a unique set of strengths.
Be totally you and own it like a boss.
6. You can't do it all.
I repeat: You can't do it all.
I've struggled real hard with this one because I want to be super mom and I think that I can. Of course, I have my super mom moments but every single one of us needs a break or we will hit a breaking point. So focus on those super mom moments and remember to make time for yourself. Because refreshing your mind and your body is exactly what will allow you to have those moments.
And P.S. You are a super mom.