I’m not afraid to admit that motherhood has ruined me. It has brought out the absolute worst—I used to be so awesome, on top of the world. And now, here I am, being honest about the things that have forever changed. I’ve been really good at various things, usually I can pick up a hobby and succeed. Motherhood was the first taste of what it’s like to be “out of it”. Your brain doesn’t quite process information the same, pregnancy begins with horrible morning sickness and breathing becomes a measurement of survival. That was me with a healthy pregnancy too. I told myself, “when she gets here, it will be different, it will get better.” Not!
Yep. The green veggie hasn’t made an appearance on my plate since my early pregnancy days. Food aversions are awful, everything about broccoli was ruined for me—the smell, the texture, the color—ugh, I can’t. It was one of my favorite sides to eat but not even in soup form does it appeal to me.
2. Eating Out
In order to eat out, there has to be synchronized movements from both parents: one entertains the child, then they switch. No matter how many times I’ve explained this to my husband, I end up with entertaining the girl the whole time. Alana is still in her infant stage so, she is very observant of where we are and what’s on our table. She will stop at nothing to grab it all! Does this means we don’t eat out anymore? Of course not! But it’s very challenging and not effortless like when it was just us two.
3. Doing Dishes
Having a baby means you’re a slave to dishes because no matter how many bottles, spoons, toys, teethers and sippy cups you’ve done in a day, there’s always going to be more. They multiply before your eyes, like magic. I’m constantly searching the house for items I might have missed to wash everything together and STILL I always manage to miss a bottle or two. Next house, I’m getting a dish washer.
4. Predicting Outcomes
Expectations get thrown out of the window, fast! no matter how much you plan ahead, babies are unpredictable. We decided to spend a night at al hotel for a little getaway a few months ago. Alana has been sleeping through the night since she was 4 months so, we thought she would be fine. She cried on and off all night, inconsolable. It was awful. Fast forward to September, we stayed at a hotel in Chicago and she slept all night, no problem! You just never know what outcome you’re gonna get, you just have to embrace it and roll with it.
Speaking about sleep, it’s never going to be the same. I’m convinced sleep deprivation is a method of torture. Most people will tell you the best sleep of your life will be during your pregnancy… FALSE! At least for me, it was the worst. I was uncomfortable and baby was active during the night. When she was born, she slept 5 hours in a day—no naps, nada. She was more interested in eating than sleeping. We coslept at the beginning, which made it harder for me to go into a deep sleep. So, yeah, love/hate relationship with sleep. Even though she sleeps great now, even amidst teething, the days I could snooze forever are gone. When she’s up, my sleep is interrupted regardless of how snuggly I am. Boo!
Like marriage, motherhood is a refining fire: it brings sin to the surface. And the process is painful. Everything I’ve been capable of hiding, escapes and reveals itself. It’s a light to the dark places of my soul. Each sleep lost for the love of my daughter, the countless times a diaper is changed, the meltdowns caused by postpartum hormones, each nursing session with sore nipples, every bottle scrubbed, every onesie washed, all of it chips away at my former self. Unraveling something better, something far more beautiful in me.
Is motherhood the hardest thing you’ll ever done? Yes! It is. Is it worth it? Yep, that’s why people have more. I’m not used to struggling so often, especially the lack of gratitude that comes with it. If I succeeded at school or work, I was praised. But there are no awards for surviving another day as a mom. You need to give yourself grace because it’s inevitable to feel disappointed in yourself given the physical circumstances that could break any human being. Give yourself a break, take time to self care! Read a book, delegate bath time to dad, go on a walk—do whatever it takes.
Here I am, a mother. And like anything else, I’m learning how to be better at it each day. It looks different than I expected but it is so rewarding. I needed to be broken and refined. For someone as selfish as I am, God is using motherhood to teach me how to love like He does. The love is so good, it hurts. I’ll be sharing about the ways motherhood has empowered me next week, stay tuned.