Monday, March 25, 2013

it's hard work to be a mom

Sometimes it's so hard to be a mom. It's not like the other things you do in your life, there's no one to tell you if you're actually 'doing it right' (of course there are plenty of people who like to tell you what they think is the right way to raise your children, but that's not what I'm talking about here). You just have to make choices and hope they pay off in the end, because the decisions you make don't just affect you the day you make them, they affect you and your child for years.

There can be so much self-doubt as a mom, especially during those harder times when you have to decide what 'method' or 'philosophy' you're going to go with. When your baby cries ten minutes after you put them to bed for the night, you have to decide what to do, and it just might be one of your most over-analyzed decisions ever. Will you let him cry for two minutes, ten minutes or more? Should you go right in to soothe him, or maybe send dad in to tuck him back in and pat his belly? You'll worry and stress over what you're going to do and the possible outcome. You'll think, is this one time going to mess up his 'routine', forever?

When your baby whines at your feet for the tenth time, and you pick him up, the worrying starts again. Am I giving into him? Should I have stopped and tried (for the tenth time) to get him to ask nicely or to try and redirect his attention? Did I do the right thing?

The worst part is, you won't know for a really, really long time. You probably won't actually ever know, but you'll always wonder. I loved sleeping with my baby when he was younger, but would he sleep better now if I hadn't done that?  Would my baby be less clingy if I hadn't held her so much when she was a newborn? There's really no way to ever know. Every single parent could do something differently and have a different outcome as a result. But you only get this one life, there are no do-overs, you only have that one moment (or second) to decide, and in the end I think the most important thing is to embrace the path you've chosen, if that's what your heart is telling you to do.

Could Riggs have slept by himself instead of in our bed? Of course. Would I have it any other way? No! I can never get back those moments of snuggling him so close and watching every little breath he took, not ever. Would he go back to sleep in the night without me breastfeeding him? Yes, he eventually would. But again, I would never change it. When I think back to even a few nights ago, when he woke every hour wanting to nurse and cuddle, I don't think of how tired I felt or the sleep I missed out on, I think of how sweet it felt to hold his warm little body and to be such a comfort to him. Soon he won't be breastfeeding at all anymore, and no matter how hard some of the moments have been during our breastfeeding journey together, the exhaustion, the biting, the tears (his and mine), no matter how low I felt during those moments, I'd never ever trade them in for getting more sleep or weaning him sooner. Instead I look back and am thankful to have even those 'bad' moments, to be able to experience that bond with him, when there are some people who don't get that chance.

My child has already grown so fast and changed so much that in order to keep up I really have to live in each moment and embrace the choices I've made, rather than spend even a second of my time second guessing myself.

If you're a mom and you have the tendency to stress about the decisions you'e made, please, don't do it. No one else knows your child like you do, you are the expert. Trust your instinct, and don't beat yourself up about it when you feel like you've made a mistake. You will never be a perfect mom, but luckily you don't have to be perfect to be a good mom. Your child is a blessing, a precious gift, chosen just for you by a perfect God. Trust His judgement and be confident in your ability to mother your child the way you see fit.


  1. not a mom yet but love the pictures, so cute!

    1. Thank you, I love pictures of me with my squishy little guy:)

  2. This is definitely one of my favorite posts ever! Every single word is so so true and it´s exactly all this stuff I´m thinking about, too.
    The only thing I wish is, that my babies grow up happily and turn into sel-confident, happy, blessed, thoughtful and loveingly adults... and so I´m always thinking if the decisions I make are right. If it´s good to give him e.g. sweets every day, to let him play with the iphone, to let him watch tv or to accept that he is always standing up while we are eating.
    Sometimes I (confessed) shout at him because he is making me crazy. I tell him once, twice, a third time... nothing.... I shout/talk loudly... and he does it. Is it only me or is it happening somewhere else too? Will it have a bad effect on him?
    But then I think about all the times I hold my babies tight, hugs kisses, cuddles non stop... and I tell them millions of times that I love them, that they are perfect the way they are and that I´m so incredibly proud of them!
    So I hope this improves the bad moments we definitely have...
    There are days I´m glad they are over... on the one hand... but on the other hand every day which was hard, hard, hard makes me sad because I hate struggling to be a mama. It has always been my biggest wish to have babies and it will always be the most difficult thing in the world!
    And concerning breastfeeding... I often had and still have difficult moments... never ever did I regret my decision! I´m asked about how long I´m going to nurse so very often... I hate it!
    To feed my babies and to soothe and comfort them with my milk still makes me strong and proud and happy! Go on mama... we do it right!

    Riggs is such a lucky boy to have you as a mama... no matter if you are not able to make everything right... you are wonderful! As long as he feels loved and supported he will be happy and will be a happy extra lovely man some day too... because of you!

    1. Oh Rebekka! Thank you so much for the comment...I am so glad to have 'met' someone so similar to me! Your kids are so lucky to have you as their mama! Wish we lived closer xoxo