Ladies, mamas, why are we so hard on ourselves? Let me tell ya, I have learned some lessons over these last two years since I had my son, but the biggest lesson I’ve learned is to give myself some grace. Pre-kiddo, I never thought about my mental health and how motherhood would end up changing so much about who I was. This is why I have had to learn to give myself a break, give myself some grace, and try to focus on enjoying the crap out of watching this little child grow up. A few areas where this mantra has really helped me out:
Those extra pounds post-baby: This is a big one, but why does it matter so much? Your body just grew a dang human or went through a tough adoption journey and is adapting. Those extra pounds are keeping your kid alive while you breastfeed, and Lord knows you needed that beer and pizza on a date night with your husband. Those extra pounds are from making memories with your kiddos baking cookies, ice cream dates, or trying new foods. Give yourself some dang grace and learn to love that body girl. And do yourself a favor, research Intuitive Eating (another post for another day, but this has played a huge part in my post-kiddo journey).
Feeding the kiddo: There are a lot of opinions on this one, and here is what I have to say about those opinions, not today Satan, not today! This starts day one, fresh out the womb with the bottle-fed/breastfed battle. Who the heck cares, fed is best, and do what works for you (this was a tough one for me and a lot of other women I know). Then the internal battle when they start eating real food. Am I giving them enough healthy food? Are they eating enough/are they eating too much? Toddlers know how to self-regulate (intuitive eating, telling you, look into it), which is awesome, they will be just fine. There are days where all my child wants is a can of pears for dinner (and hold your judgment on the canned fruit, that stuff is delicious), he has days where he eats balanced meals, and days where he takes a bite of something, then he’s done. Give yourself some dang grace, let the kiddo lead, and it’s all going to be ok.
Working Mom vs. Staying at home: The struggle is real here. I’m a working mom that works 40+ hours a week, and there are several weeks where I travel for work. My kiddo goes to daycare during the week (shout out to the caregivers that love my child and take wonderful care of him), and I miss him like crazy. There are days I feel so guilty for not spending that time with him, but then I’ve realized I’m a better mom for having that time away. The first time it was very apparent that our situation was going to be fine was when he painted with his feet at 4 months old while at daycare. I would have never known to do that! Stay at home moms, dang I respect the heck out of you. What a selfless and amazing thing you do for those kids. How do you take a shower or pee during the day?! Either way, give yourself some grace, you are doing what is best for you and your family.
Mamas, we can’t be everything to everyone, but I guarantee you are enough for that little one or little ones you have. We are all just out here doing our best. Give yourself some dang grace, you’re doing great.