Grateful For The Chaos: How Motherhood Changed Me

By Serah Harlingten

Writing this story is completely out of my comfort zone. My brain is telling me its too difficult, people will judge me and I won’t be able to accurately portray how I feel about being a mother in a couple of paragraphs. But Motherhood means constantly living outside the comfort zone so I’m going to give it a try.

I have two children, an almost 4-year-old and an almost 1 year old. They have already given me the best moments of my life and the most challenging ones! It’s hard to summarize my life as a Mom over the last 4 years…. currently I’m distracted by the fact that I have Tylenol in my hair from last night and am severely sleep deprived.

I have changed a lot since becoming a Mother. My children have morphed me into a morning person, someone who always travels with snacks, is a constant worrier and creator of “the silly game”. I have experimented with SO many pancake recipes as it’s my sons favourite breakfast. I have cried on the floor and the car and the closet at least a handful of times but every day we have one of those moments when I stop thinking about what I “should” be doing and I just stare at them with awe and think how lucky I am to have them in my life. And then someone gets pushed or takes a toy and the water on the stove boils over and we are back into the chaos.

I feel lucky to have found my part time job as the Program Administrator for Mommy Connections Calgary, it has kept me connected to the outside world. I have been working with Katherine for approximately 2 years and have learned a lot about myself and motherhood along the way.

I love being a Mom but it can be a thankless job so having the outside validation from Mommy Connections has been helpful for my confidence and life balance. My kids will appreciate me in about 20 years, so hearing good job from someone else (besides my husband) is nice! At first it was an adjustment to find the time to be a good Mom and to get my MC work done. I’ve realized that I can’t multi-task as well as I thought I could. I now wait until the kids are in bed most days to get my work done (for all of our sanity!).

In the Mommy Connections programs, we ask the Moms to answer these two questions during their first class:

  1. What is the most challenging thing about having a baby/toddler?
  2. What do you love the most about having a baby/toddler? I haven’t asked myself these in awhile so Im going to start with the most challenging part.

For me the most challenging part has been a constant feeling that I need to do more, that I’m not doing enough and I’m not doing things right.

Its easy to feel like a failure at the end of the day when I didn’t finish the endless list of jobs I had for myself and we didn’t make it to the play date or the party because the kids were sick and no one slept the night before. It was easy to beat myself up about not doing the laundry or ordering take out but its been really damaging to my mindset and my self esteem. It hasn’t been until recently that I have been able tell myself that I did all I could do and be proud of what we did do and all of the laughs we had during the day. Even if they were followed by my four year old telling me he was going to put me (and all my clothes) in the garbage! Which made me think its probably quiet in the garbage (ha)! I’m starting to understand Oscar the grouch, he was just a parent who was sleep deprived and had to find a quiet place to sleep.

The part I love about having a baby and a toddler is the constant love! It’s worth all of the messes, crying, poopy diapers, whining, never-ending cleaning, and sometimes sleepless nights. My son sings ‘Twinkle twinkle little star’ to his sister whenever she is upset and even though he sings the words wrong, it’s the best.

Watching these two kiddos learn new things, play and laugh has to be the most satisfying thing about my Mom life.

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To carry on the “day in the life” of a mom, I found some questions to answer and hope the next mom will too 😊

The first thing I do each morning: Pick up daughter from her crib and then let the dog out

Breakfast consists of: Usually pancakes or French toast and fruit, eggs

If I have 30 mins for myself I: Will do some work or cook or watch Netflix

What is a typical day like for you: Breakfast, driving to preschool, getting my daughter to have two naps, cooking/cleaning up and managing fights and encouraging play and usually Paw Patrol somewhere!

Favourite item for baby: teether!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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