I am relatively new to the wonderful world of motherhood but after speaking with many other moms, each at a different point of their journey, I have found one common thread they all come back to… the seasons of motherhood.
Many of the moms in my life talk about how different one season is from the next and how comparing them is a fool’s errand. Each season is different and full of their own set of joys and difficulties.
The New-Mom Season
Right now I am still mostly in the new-mom-fully-immersed-in-baby/toddler phase of motherhood. I am about to welcome a new little one into our family. This phase is so unbelievably wonderful for all the newness and excitement it brings.
This is the time where we meet our babies for the first time, we register at all the fun stores, we experience birth for the first time, we soak up the tiny snuggles, and we are needed and called upon by these little ones nearly 100% of the day.
This is the phase where you are greeted with knowing smiles from other members of the mom tribe while you shop the racks of tiny clothes and you can’t help but bask in the excitement of bringing forth this new life.
This first season of motherhood, the early beginning, is also a time when moms learn for the first time, that motherhood is a wonderful but sometimes difficult journey.
As a mom who is nearly two years into this phase, I’ll admit some of the shine and glamour has worn off (though not the enjoyment) and I have experienced the struggles of this season of motherhood.
This is a time where we spread ourselves so unbelievably thin that at times we barely know up from down and day from night. We likely sacrifice the daily hygiene rituals of showering and hair brushing.
Our once well thought out meal plans may default to eating whatever bite size bits remain after our little hungry monster eats. This is a time where we exist on less sleep than humanly possible and we wear a rotation of yoga pants that never actually see yoga.
We sport the mom bun with pride and feel like we’re winning when mascara hits our face. This may also be a time where you struggle to accept your new body.
The journey of pregnancy, delivery and post-partum has left me struggling to love my body again. Many of us moms struggle to find ourselves in this softer, more tired body. It takes time to see (and love) the new woman that was born the day our babies were born.
The Isolation of Motherhood
For me personally, one of the greatest struggles of this period of motherhood has been learning how lonely motherhood can be sometimes.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have wonderful mom friends, but we each have our own little clans to keep alive and after cooking, laundry, snuggles, and bedtime stories there is barely enough time to make it to bed without falling over let alone schedule a time to do a girls’ night.
Social media has made this feeling of loneliness an even harder pill to swallow when I see other moms, who appear perfectly put together and I can’t help but wonder “What am I doing wrong?”
This season of new motherhood is amazing in so many ways but it is can also be hard! And all too often the other moms in the tribe forget to mention this important part: motherhood can and will be difficult from time to time and that is perfectly normal and most of all OKAY!
The Roller Coaster of Emotions
Sometimes the topsy turvy flips of emotions can leave us wondering if we’ve gone crazy. Here we are one minute, longing for a shower that is long enough to shave and wash or a hot dinner at a restaurant without a child on our lap stealing our food.
But then moments later we are hit with the realization that our babies are growing faster than we can even process and one day we will yearn for these days of slobbery kisses and sleeping babies in our arms. It took some real acceptance and letting go on my part to remember this time in our children’s life is so fleeting.
And while right now we might feel isolated and a bit lonely, we are doing important work. We are the boo-boo kisser, the milk-makers, the snugglers, the best rock-to-sleepers.
We are very literally the world to our babies. The seasons of motherhood change as our babies grow. Right along with our babies, we as moms grow too. We will never again be who we were before they arrived.
But instead, we will be a better, more experienced version of that young woman. We are so much more now. We are all we were and more as moms and it really, truly is a beautiful thing.
Embrace the Journey
I am learning to let go of the social media expectation of “motherhood”. Slowly I am accepting that this journey is messy but beautiful, wonderful but emotional, and most of all difficult but transformative.
I will leave you with my own mom’s personal favorite bit of advice “this too shall pass”. Admittedly at first, I was annoyed by what felt like a brush-off of my struggles.
But I have since learned that my mom is simply reminding me that I will get through it (whatever the struggle) and in the meantime, I should enjoy the journey… this beautiful journey and all the seasons of motherhood.