Surviving Motherhood: What I’ve learned after 10 years of being a mom.
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Today I want to chat with you about something that is just so crazy to me. In just 3 months, I will have been a mom for TEN years! That’s right, a full decade. It absolutely blows my mind how much time flies, and how life can take you on journeys that you never imagined in your wildest dreams.
This post is going to be a long one, so grab a glass of wine or a snack and spend some time with me.
On June 30, 2009, I became a mom for the very first time. My oldest daughter, Alexa was born after being admitted to labor and delivery because I hadn’t felt her move in the past 10 hours and the doctors were starting to get concerned. Several hours later, she arrived, healthy and happy.
I have learned SO much since she was born. Not just about motherhood, but about myself, about children, about relationships, about what is important in life, just SO much. Now that she is turning 10 this year, we are planning to celebrate her birthday in Myrtle Beach and I seriously can’t believe that I’ve been a mom for 10 years. It’s absolutely mind boggling to me. If you are a new mom, an OG mom, or you are thinking about having children and what it will be like, then this post will be perfect for you.
Getting pregnant at a young age…
I was only 18 when I found out that I was pregnant with Alexa. It was a quite a shock as it was an unplanned pregnancy and I was in no way ready to have a child. I know that teen pregnancy is often looked down upon because it is “better” to finish high school, go to college, get your degree and career and THEN have children. While that is a great plan for some, I am SO thankful that I had my children earlier than society tells us to. While my days of partying and staying out all night were cut short, I feel like I will get that time back when I am older and more established in life. Both financially and mentally. When my youngest is 18, I will only be 40 and by then my husband and I will have all the time and money to travel and do everything that we didn’t get to do in our younger years.
To be honest, I couldn’t imagine having my first child right now. Even though I am only 29 years old, I am just SO happy that I am past that phase of life. I’ve spent the baby years being one thousand percent devoted to my girls, and now that they are older, they are more independent, and we can do tons of fun stuff together. I look forward to traveling with them as they get older and having tons of fun with them. It’s honestly quite a shame that society looks down upon young people who have children. If you have the right person in your life (I was lucky enough to find my soulmate early on), then I don’t see why you shouldn’t have children early and get that part of life out of the way. The baby stage is the hardest and most demanding stage. It is wonderful and beautiful, but things get way easier the older your children get.
I feel like a completely different person now than I was when my kids were super young. In a way I am a different person because I have changed quite a lot, and even though I didn’t find it difficult in the slightest to be a stay at home mom with a toddler and a baby, it is a heck of a lot of responsibility and plain hard work. These days I am much more relaxed, and I honestly LOVE where I am in life right now. If you are reading this and you are a young mother and you have been shamed for it, don’t listen to the haters. It’s not as bad as they make it seem.
I just have to get this out of the way right now. I am absolutely disgusted and completely turned off by pregnancy and everything it entails. I had easy, normal pregnancies and I hated every second of both of them.
Weight gain is honestly the least of your problems when you are pregnant. You literally don’t know your own body anymore and the most ridiculous things will happen. From morning sickness, to extreme fatigue, aches and pains, mood swings, food cravings and aversions, from not being able to sleep, to having to pee all the time to feeling another person living, growing, and hiccupping inside of you. Then there’s the bonus of having the doctor stick their fingers up you for the last month of checkups or so.
Taking the horrid glucose test is bloody awful. THEN you have to give birth which is a whole pain in the ass. SMH I f*cking hated it!! Anytime I hear a woman say that she enjoyed pregnancy, misses it, or anything of that nature I am automatically turned off and grossed out. Nothing about being pregnant was fun and I never, EVER want to be pregnant ever again. It’s one of my worst nightmares.
Even though I just went HAM ranting, I want to make it clear that my second child was planned. And even though I hated every second of pregnancy, I was willing to do it all over again to have another baby. But now that the pregnancy phase of my life is over, I never want to go back.
The minute your child is born…
You will experience a love that you’ve never experienced in your entire life. All of a sudden, your life will change, and you will be all about your baby. I remember when Alexa was born. She was SO cute, small, innocent, and perfect. I knew in that moment that I was meant to be a mom and I knew that she would be my little best friend. From then on, you will never not think about your child. Even when you do get time away from them, they will always be on your mind. You will always worry if they are okay, and if they are happy. You never want you child to be hurt, scared, uncomfortable, or hungry. You will want to give them the entire universe and much more. It’s quite powerful really. And even though you will read this, and hear the same from other people, it’s something that you have to experience to fully understand.
Parenting newborns, babies, and toddlers is…
I don’t care what anyone says. Unless your child has major health issues or a disorder that might make things harder, parenting is really freaking easy. I never once had a day where I thought it was too difficult.
You want to know something? Parenting is as hard as the parents make it. If you have a hard time with your child, 95% of the time its your fault.
You see, children adapt to live the way you teach them. If you are a lazy parent and you don’t have any structure, rules, schedules, or anything like that, then guess what? Your kid might be hard to manage, and parenting might be hard for you. If you get your child on a schedule, give them structure, teach them manners, respect, and how to behave in public then parenting will be a breeze for you. I have seen SO many kids with HORRIBLE behavior in my day. Their parents are embarrassed of them and try to avoid taking them out in public at all costs because of how bad they are and to me that’s honestly just a reflection of bad parenting. Sorry not sorry.
Of course when your children get older and start going to school, things are different as you aren’t there to guide them as much, but when they are toddlers and small children, their behavior is a reflection of you.
Being a working mom…
So for the first 6 years of my kids lives I was a nanny. I would take my kids to work with me and I also took care of other kids. I nannied for babies when they were 6 weeks old and looking back I can’t believe it! If I’m being completely honest, sometimes nannying was hard. Being in someone else’s house all day with my kids, and then still having to go home and tend to my own house was quite tiring to say the least, but nannying was an awesome way to make money without having to pay for daycare and also allowed my kids to be around a couple of other kids their age so they basically just played all day long. Nannying took a lot of energy because I had to constantly plan new activities for the children. Between birth and age 5, a child’s brain does the most developing so it was up to me to try and come up with tons of ways to teach them everything that I could while they were little sponges. This required me to spend tons of time online looking for ideas and also at craft stores shopping for supplies. All in all, working while having kids was a win/win for me because I did get to stay with them all the time.
When your kids get older…
Oh my gosh you guys. Now that my children are older and my husband and I have really grown and changed so much in the past 10 years, I am healthier and happier than I’ve ever been. When my kids were babies/toddlers, I would always say that I wanted them to be babies forever because I loved them so much at that age and watching them grow and learn. But honestly now that they are older, and independent, and exploring their passions and interest I just LOVE this stage at life. I don’t feel guilty leaving them when I want to go out with my friends, I love that they aren’t as fragile an high maintenance as they were when they were babies, I just love everything about this stage. I feel like I have gotten myself back because ever since they were born I just decided that I was going to give my life to them and it wasn’t about me anymore. So for years I just lived entirely for them which is fine I don’t regret any of those choices but now that they are older I definitely feel more like my old self and I honestly could not be happier.
Overall Motherhood was definitely easier than I expected and the time passed much faster than I ever expected. I always used to hear this saying before I had kids and I haven’t heard anything more true than this but people would always tell me “The days are long, but the years are short”. Nothing has been more true for me. I can’t wait for what the next decade brings for me and my family so I can talk about being a mom for 20 years.
Do you have any kids? How do you feel about being a mom? Are you trying to decide if you should have kids or when you should have them? Let me know in the comments below. I love chatting with you! Thanks for spending time with me! Have a wonderful day.