Sunday, May 13, 2012

Lessons from Motherhood

Four years ago, I celebrated my very first Mother's Day with my husband and my 12 day old son, whom had come home from the NICU a couple days prior. I will always remember my first Mother's Day, as I am sure all mothers do. I know I am still a "new" mother in many ways, but I feel I have already learned many valuable lessons over my few years as a mommy. So, in honor of all the mother's who have come before and as an encouragement to those who are following the footsteps, I share with you some of the pearls motherhood has taught me.

Being a mom has taught me...
1. to love and appreciate my body.
I will forever remember the couple weeks after delivering my son. I had delivered via an emergency C-section and continued to wear the gauze "underwear" the hospital had provided to prevent irritation on the gash across my midsection, with these I was still wearing a mattress an extra-large "lady" product to catch the excess blood-flow and extra-thick pads in my nursing bra (when my milk came in, it came in,) showering was only occurring every few days, so I smelled of breast-milk and spit-up; yet, in that moment of feeling the least physically appealing I had ever felt, I was owning my womanhood. My body was amazing to me, it had produced an incredible little person who had stolen my heart the very second I met him. To this day, I have a heightened appreciation and love for my body.
2. ...there really is no use crying over spilt milk. Early in my mothering days, I accidentally spilled 4oz of milk I had just pumped. I began to cry. Then, my husband and I began laughing because I was literally crying over spilt milk. And you know what? The milk was still spilt and the world didn't end. Motherhood is messy. There are exploding diapers, middle of the night vomit-fests, muddy hands, bloody knees and countless pounds of food that end up everywhere but the mouth. In those moments, you put on your big-girl panties, take a deep breath (sometimes hold it,) roll up your sleeves and get messy. Any other response, is just wasted effort.
3. roll with the flow. You can plan and schedule all you want, but you are only in so much control. More times than I can count, my plans/schedule have been messed up by an illness, an accident or some other toddler emergency. My original plan for this Mother's Day weekend: Saturday- clean house, do laundry, pre-cook Sunday's dinner; Sunday- church, relax with my boys, baseball. How my weekend went: Saturday- spend all day taking care of a sick child; Sunday- cleaning, multiple potty-training accidents (involving poo!), a steak dinner (grilled by the hubby) and baseball. Not exactly as planned, but I actually had a great weekend.
4. have a deeper appreciation for my parents. This one was surprising to me, though it shouldn't have been. I have always loved my parents, but I failed to fully appreciate their humanity until I, too, became a parent. Especially during my selfish teenage-years, it was too easy to hold my parents faults against them. They were parents and they should be perfect, after all. But I have come to realize how wrong my thinking was. They are just as human as I. Not only that, but when I think about how much I love my son and how much it would break my heart if he grows up and acts foolishly, I realize that maybe, just maybe, my parents weren't all that wrong in some of their decisions and rules...
5. have a deeper appreciation for Christ. "For God so loved the world, He gave His only Son..." John 3:16 I think of the love I have for my son and it is a gut-wrenching thought to think of losing him. And to give him up for death that others may live? To have him suffer for an undeserving, unappreciative world? I couldn't do that. But God could. Because He loved me so much more than I love my son. Even when I act like a tantruming 3 year old, He loves me.

(I intended to make this cute by putting in pictures, but my blog is being difficult right now, so just text...)

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