In this Dr. Smith’s Diaper Ointment sponsored post, I was asked the question, “What’s the One Thing that Surprised Me the Most About Becoming A Mom?”
It’s taken me a long time to get where I am today, and I can say with all sincerity that my journey wasn’t an easy one. Sometimes it’s still hard for me to say it out loud, but it’s a reality that I believe many women face. . .
I struggle being a mom.
From the moment I got married, I’d often tell my husband that my sole purpose on Earth was to be a mother. My teaching career and business career, were just apart of this giant waiting room until I was able to do what I was put here to do; raise amazing children.
We spent almost 7 years together before we decided it was time, and I’ll never forget my initial reaction when that first test came up positive.
Well … my first reaction was that there was no way it was possible! But once the initial disbelief settled, I spent the next 8 months eagerly anticipating the “Start” of the life I was destined to do.
For years I’d convinced myself that I was going to be so amazing at motherhood that everything would just come naturally. If my child cried, as his mother I’d have the magic touch to sooth him. And books and resources would be no match for motherly instinct.
I just knew that motherhood would be the natural gift God had instilled in me, and my life could truly begin. Motherhood was the greenest grass, and I could see it so easily from the other side.
But what I wasn’t expecting was for this idea to be a mirage.
We had a rough delivery with my first. After a full day in the hospital, almost 2 hours of pushing, severe tearing, and a completely empty stomach, we welcomed our sweet baby boy into the world on March 14, 2011. He was almost too perfect giving us a peaceful night’s sleep our first night in the hospital. I remember that feeling of euphoria and thoughts of “this is easy” creep in during the first 48 hours.
By 1 am on March 16, my “purpose” wasn’t everything I thought it would be.
It was that second night that changed everything.
When the crying was endless and needs weren’t being met, I realize my “motherly instinct” wasn’t as natural as I’d thought. I’d brought this child into the world. I was supposed to know what to do and how to take care of him, and after hours of tears from baby (and mother), I succumbed to the feeling of pure defeat and paged the nurse. Over the phone, the only words I knew to say were “He’s crying and I don’t know why.”
This was only the start of my journey as a mother.
I spent the first year of my child’s life with Baby 411 on my bedside. Every time a problem arose, it would be my source of comfort; even as simple as “What does a diaper rash look like and how to treat it?”
I’ve learned a lot over the last few years, and while I’d say motherhood might come more naturally now to me than it did, I still struggle with being mom. I’m as far as it gets from perfect. Every time I get a glimpse of “I know what I’m doing,” my boys will prove me wrong.
I think the most important lesson I’ve discovered recently (thanks to Jon Acuff) is changing my expectations of having children. I can’t look at my children as my sole purpose. That will only lead to me feeling like a failure because no matter how hard I try, there will inevitably be something that goes wrong (like never-ending ear infections, broken legs, or sleepless nights). Instead, I now view my children as a part of my family that hadn’t yet existed. They aren’t my purpose, but the motivation to live my life with purpose.
Although this post was sponsored by Dr. Smith’s, the content and opinions are 100% my own. Their topic inspired me to open up about some struggles I’ve been having recently and reflect on my biggest surprise as a parent.
I invite you to share your thoughts too, leave a little comment and let us know:
What’s surprised you most about being a parent?
And when you’re done, make sure to enter the Dr. Smith’s Diaper Rash Ointment giveaway!
They’re excited to announce that this Texas-owned business is now available nationwide at Walgreens, and they’d like to give one lucky reader a $50 gift card to Walgreens & a supply of Dr. Smith’s ointment! (A great gift idea if you little ones are past the stage of needing it!)