I am a proud first time mom to my beautiful one-year old daughter, Sawyer. She has taught me so many things in such a short amount of time and will be my inspiration for every blog post! I am also a wife and a fur-baby mom to our very large dog, Geo.
Going back to my job as an HR Coordinator after a year of mat leave was difficult, however I love juggling work and home life. There is never a dull moment!
In the small amount of spare time I do have I love to do puzzles, colour, play sudoku and creep on Facebook (of course)! I have also always loved to write and I’m excited to share my thoughts with other mommas!
I will shamefully admit that before I became a mom I had a strong stance and mindset on what I ‘would’ and ‘would not’ do if I ever became a mom. Oh how blissful ignorance truly is.
Expectations and plans are not a bad thing as they give us something to strive for. However, from my own experiences during the first year of motherhood, I have learnt that you cannot let them weigh you down and control your life because reality will get in the way and create a new plan that you may have little to no control over.
Labour and Delivery? Mine was going to be beautiful, painful and ‘natural’. No drugs, no interventions. My body was just going to do what it knew how to do and I was going to be along for the ride. It was not going to be a slow and long 44-hour labour that included an epidural, required a handful of medical interventions and ended in a C-section. No, that is not how my birthing story would go.
Breastfeeding? It was going to be breeze! It was going to be the most wonderful and natural experience. I would love every second, continue to breastfeed for at least the first year and the dreaded ‘f’ word was not an option. It wouldn’t feel unnatural and awkward. I wouldn’t hate it and cry on a regular basis because I wanted to stop, yet felt trapped because there was no way I would give my baby formula. I would not notice that my milk supply was dwindling 5 months in and that formula would soon become my child’s primary source of nutrition. No, that is not how breastfeeding would go for my baby and me.
Co-sleeping? Never! My baby was going to sleep in her crib as early as possible since co-sleeping is dangerous, risky and can creates dependence. My baby will never sleep in a rocker or swing and she most certainly will not sleep on my chest on the couch. Most importantly I would never have a 14-month toddler in my bed with me every night. No, that is not how my baby was going to sleep.
Television? Television is bad and my baby was not going to watch any kids TV shows until she was at least one-year old. She can stay pre-occupied with books, toys and interactive activities. I would never use TV as a babysitter for my 8-month old baby when I needed to get housework done or simply need 10 minutes of ‘me’ time. No, that would never be allowed in my home.
Cell Phones? Toddlers and small children do not need to play with cell phones, especially as a distraction tool in a restaurant or grocery store. I mean, my generation never did and we turned out just fine. My baby will not play with a cell phone when she is 10 months old, her face will not light up at the sight of that bright screen. Most importantly – I will never use my phone to distract my toddler in a restaurant when she is tired of sitting still. No, I will never resort to letting my baby become a ‘zombie’.
The realities of many things over the last year were the complete opposite from my expectations and I took it very hard most of the time. I felt guilty, like a failure and inadequate far too many times all because I built it up in my head to how things ‘had to go’ in order for me to be a good mom.
Then, over time I learned to let go. I discovered the beauty in my unique, messy birth story that brought my baby girl into this world. I looked at how happy and thriving she was after being on formula for a month and that my level of stress from not having to breastfeed any longer significantly decreased. I realized how indescribably blissful falling asleep with a tiny baby snuggled on my chest was and I continue to bask in my daughter’s perfection as I fall asleep with her next to me every night. I took advantage of that TV show that gave me the break I so desperately needed at that moment. I was content that my phone kept my daughter happy in that crowded public area rather than having her scream at the top of her lungs.
Looking at my healthy, happy, goofy, wild-spirited daughter who walks, talks and eats anything you put in front of her, one would never know that she was delivered via C-Section, fed formula since she was 5 months old, co-sleeps, and watches TV and plays with a cell phone on occasion.
Are some of the choices that I have made for everyone? Of course not! But I found a way to let go of my expectations and let reality sink in in order to meet the needs of my daughter and myself.
Be flexible Momma. Embrace change. Let go of set plans, ideas and notions of how things should go or what you are ‘expected’ to do. If that means veering of the path you had imagined it is going to be okay. That’s life. That’s motherhood. And it’s a beautiful thing!