Remember when you were 9 months pregnant and you started to panic thinking that you wouldn’t be able to make it to your due date? Remember when you thought you couldn’t possibly deliver that beautiful baby into the world? Remember when you thought you wouldn’t make it to the end of the week with your husband out of town and your toddler pushing every button in your soul? I’ve been there. Those are the moments when we think to ourselves “I can’t do this” and “what was I thinking? What made me think I could do this?” But you know what? You’re stronger than you think. I know it’s easier to say than believe because I’ve been in your shoes, in fact, I’m in them EVERY DAY. But somehow each day the sun rises and we drag ourselves out of our cozy beds and start again. As women, we are much stronger than we give ourselves credit for.
When I was pregnant with my first child I remember desperately trying to read every book on pregnancy and parenting that I could get my hands on. I even took notes like a crazy person and literally studied like I would have for a test in college. My husband and I took a childbirth class together and we thought we were completely prepared. In reality, we had no idea what was really coming. I was heart set on a natural birth and during the delivery of both of my sons, I distinctly remember thinking that I wasn’t going to make it though. I panicked under the pain of contractions but my husband held my hand and told me I could do it – and I DID.
After the arrival of our first son, I realized that there were a zillion little things that the books hadn’t prepared me for. I wondered over the tiny baby snuggled in my arms and wondered how I would ever be able to take care of him. “I can’t even keep a fish alive, I thought to myself, why would anyone trust me with a real live baby!?” Life with a newborn was difficult and the learning curve was steep. Breastfeeding did not come as easily as I had hoped and my son struggled to latch properly. I often felt like I was failing. If I told you that I never questioned my ability to handle the situation, I’d be lying. In fact, some days, I questioned myself SEVERAL times a day. You might be wondering how I got through it. It wasn’t easy and my mantra was “one day at a time” sometimes “one minute at a time” but I did it. I did it because I HAD to. This little tiny human was depending on me. Are you a new mom? I want you to know that you CAN do this. You are a great mom even if you haven’t slept in days and can’t remember the last time you took a shower. Your baby is wearing the same clothes he was wearing yesterday? Who cares! As long as your baby is fed and happy – you are killing it. Are you are struggling? It’s OK to ask for help! Raising children takes a village. You Got This!
Fast forward a few days after my older son’s second birthday. I had decided that it was time to attempt the dreaded task of potty training. It was June and I had decided that we would spend a few days playing on our backyard deck while my son learned the mechanics of using the potty. After all, it’s much easier to hose down a deck after an accident than clean a floor or carpet. Unfortunately, my son had other ideas. No matter how much water or juice I offered him he refused to go… until I allowed him to sit on my upholstered deck chair – big mistake. The chair was covered in pee and I spent quite some time cleaning it off. Potty training was difficult and took forever. My son was almost 4 before we decided we could ditch pull-ups once and for all for both night and day. I was almost at the point of desperation thinking that my son would never get it but he did. It just took a lot of patience and a lot of love.
Both of my sons know exactly how to push my buttons –especially when their dad is out of town. My mom says that they have me wrapped around their little fingers but when it’s just me trying to run the entire circus it’s exhausting and let’s face it; my resolve to negotiate with the toddler terrorists is one of the first things to go. Lately, my older son has been purposely testing every boundary he can and I find myself wondering how I’m going to manage to make it through the week without losing my mind but I know I’ll get there. I don’t have a choice. I can do this and I will – one day at a time.
They say the days are long and the years are short. I never really took much stock in the sentiment until it really spoke to me a couple of months ago. My children are growing so fast every day which breaks my heart and yet some days I literally count the minutes until bedtime. It’s a strange juxtaposition and sometimes it’s difficult to rationalize in my head. It’s easy to just say that I don’t have my life together but the truth is that even the best laid plans never quite seem to pan out the way that we envision. Nonetheless, each day we wake up to new challenges, brush off the sleep from our eyes, and tackle them head on. As moms, we don’t have much of a choice because our precious families depend on us but we are stronger than we give ourselves credit for. Whatever challenge you are facing – You Got This and if you don’t, we are here to help.