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2 Years In – A reflection on motherhood (Part 1)

Bears in doors

Little Pookie-star is almost 2 years old.

Yep. 2.

When I think back to the beginning, it seems so long ago. We’ve both grown, changed, and learned so much.

Milestones always make me reflect, so as I think back on the past two years as a whole, what can I say about it?

As cliché as it sounds, motherhood has been more challenging and more incredible than I could have ever possibly understood before Pookie’s arrival.

The love I feel toward her? Intense. She’s like a magnet to me. My body pulls toward her. It’s crazy.

My favorite things?

Her laughs.
The way she shakes her little hips when a song comes on that she likes.
The way she holds back a smile when she’s really excited but wants to “play it cool.”
The way her hair and skin smell.
The way she phrases almost everything as a question. “No?” “More?” “Kitty?”
The way she shouts “Mama!” and runs to me when I pick her up from school.
The way she observes and learns. Nothing escapes her.
The way she insists on carrying around a purse and having a least three bows in her hair.

The most unexpected part?

Motherhood is much more fun than I thought it would be (right now anyway…)! Of course, there are hard times, but Pookie and I usually have a blast together.

But it wasn’t always this way.

When I think back to when Pookie arrived, I remember that she wasn’t the easiest baby, but it definitely could have been worse. She cried a lot, didn’t sleep very much, and was easily overwhelmed and overstimulated.

She was not a baby I could take “where ever” with me.

And that has been one of the biggest challenges for me as a new mom. Pookie’s need for us to stay home the first few months, where she could relax and enjoy the quiet, felt like an enormous loss of freedom for me.

As they say, the first 2 weeks with a newborn are “a wash,” but once we got into a groove about 3-4 weeks in, it dawned on me that this was my life now.

Never again will I be able to do whatever I wanted to do. For reals. Like ever.

Yes, we mums all understand this concept when we’re pregnant and waiting for this “huge change.” Everyone talks about it but you have no idea how to prepare for it.

Did I understand the concept that I would not get to sleep-in anymore? Yes.

Did I get the concept that Pookie would be under my care 24/7 for the rest of my life? Yes.

However, when concept turns into reality, the weight is heavy.

I could not longer run out to the store, stop by a fitness class, have an impromptu lunch with a friend, go see a movie, or work whenever I wanted. I would have to arrange far in advance for someone to be with Pookie, and it would probably cost $, giving every activity a price tag.

For me, that loss of freedom was intense and very sad. It took me awhile to adjust.

When I did leave the house with Pookie in the first few months, it was exciting to be out, but stressful for me.

She would easily get overwhelmed, and melt down. I would quickly retreat back to the safety of our home where I could figure out what was bothering her without an audience of 50 other people watching me fumble my way through it.

When I did get to do something by myself, it felt so amazing. I felt so relieved. And yet, at the same time, I felt so guilty for feeling so happy to be away from my baby.

Why is this so complicated??

Even now, I get sad sometimes that it’s so hard to do things I want to do now that I’m a mom, but I’m getting more used to it and I’m figuring out how to make the things happen that I really want to do.

With Pookie closing in on age 2, things are a bit easier now. Pookie is pretty relaxed in her current stage, so we can take her a lot more places and do a lot more things – just not after 7pm. 🙂

It’s hard to talk about these types of things without sounding ungrateful. I love Pookie beyond words and am so incredibly thankful she’s in our lives. You all know how long we waited for her.

That doesn’t make all the hard stuff disappear though, and I feel it’s important to be honest and open with myself and with other moms.  Maybe it will help another mom feel more comfortable with the sadnesses and challenges she faces as a mom.

I’ve been learning how to view this change not through all the “I can’ts” but through the “I’m ables.”

For example, having limited time to myself makes me able to use the time I have more effectively. Now that I have to arrange care for Pookie so I can do certain things, it’s really helped me with planning and scheduling. I’m actually taking more action on the things that are important to me than I would have before Pookie arrived. I used to think I had “so much time.” Not any more.

With its challenges and all, I’m so happy that I’m a mom. Mark my words though, since I’m saying this now before we’ve survived the toddler years!! 🙂

More to share on Thursday for Part 2! See you then! xoxoxo

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