Balance of Motherhood – Feature with Connie

I am not a mother, but I truly hope to be one when the time is right for our little family. My sweet cousin Connie became a mother just a few months ago. We grew up just a couple weeks apart and she’s always been years ahead of me with maturity and life knowledge. I look up to her, and so many other amazing women in my family, for so many reasons.

Connie humbly explains what she has accomplished since being pregnant and giving birth to her adorable baby girl. She has been working, serving others, getting her Masters, passing tests, and doing so much more! Again I’m not a mother, but my plan would be to drop everything for that little thing. Connie has taught me that life goes on after having a baby, and you are still able to accomplish so many goals and dreams.

She shares a lot of quick, and simple, truths to motherhood but also womanhood. There is so much in our lives that pull us different directions. It’s important to understand and do what’s best for ourselves and our families. To keep a balance to it all.

Connie and Fam.jpg

I have been a mother for 3 months now, so I am basically a seasoned professional. Seriously though, I cannot imagine holding any other title dearer than this one. I also just graduated with my Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy; a dream that I have worked toward for the last 12 years is finally coming to fruition. This means that I also hold dear to my heart the title of OTR/L (Occupational Therapist – registered/licensed). And if I had to choose between one of the two, my career as an OTR/L would drop off my radar in an instant.

I have expressed to my Heavenly Father in many prayers for the last 4 years that I would sacrifice my dream of becoming an occupational therapist if that meant I could be a wife and mother. I believe He knew my prayers were sincere because He didn’t make me choose. In his great wisdom and love, He has provided me with both.

I speak only for myself and my own limited experience as I express my feelings of motherhood.

NEW MOTHERHOOD IS MARVELOUSLY MUNDANE

Feed baby, change baby, ‘play’ with baby, rock baby to sleep, do as much as I can while baby sleeps, repeat.

But then there is that time when she decides to roll over…or that occasion when, for an instant, she holds her bottle up on her own…or that incident when she heard her momma talking and visually scanned until she found me…or every night when I lay her in the crib still awake and she won’t take her pacifier because she is smiling ear to ear at me…or those faces she makes every time we put her in her bouncer and she can’t stop blinking her eyes because she thinks that little toy monkey is going to get her…or the weekly church blowouts she has on daddy’s lap just to get out of sacrament meeting…or her first taste of an orange…I could go on for days, but all of THOSE things are the marvelous part and it simply makes anything mundane about motherhood absolutely worth it.

MOTHERHOOD IS A ROLE YOU JUST FALL INTO

All the preparation in the world will not suffice – it is a waste of time to over-prepare for such a role. How could I possibly prepare for sleepless nights combined with carpal tunnel syndrome, severely painful urination and defecation, difficulty getting in and out of bed, all while trying to care for a little one? You can’t…all of those previously listed difficulties have passed, but new ones inevitably take their place and the process repeats itself. Promising myself to love her to her very core is really the only requirement – everything else fell into place because I was prepared to love her.

The actual act of being a mom, where I am present with my baby girl…playing with her, teaching her, singing to her, reading to her, feeding her, keeping her safe…all of those things are simple – in fact, it is a role I have fallen into quite effectively. The hard part is realizing that everything else in your life can wait because singing to your baby girl is more important than getting the laundry done. The moments pass by quickly, so if you forget and get distracted by all the work that needs to get done, you will undoubtedly have regrets down the road (that is just my guess…I’m not experienced in anything ‘down the road’ yet…lets be real, I have only just been a mother for 3 months). However, in the same breath…

MOTHERHOOD DOES NOT MEAN ONE SHOULD FEEL GUILTY ABOUT PARTAKING IN SELF-CARE ACTIVITIES

We need time to take care of ourselves – and if that makes you feel guilty, just realize that the REAL reason you are making time for yourself is so that you can actually be present with your kiddos when you are with them.

Sometimes when Riley gets home from work, I hand over Andie Joy and go for a run. Every once in a while when I put the baby down for bed, I get into the shower for an unreasonable amount of time. On Wednesdays, I play basketball with a group of mothers. I make the time to plan out meals to ensure healthy eating so I can have the energy I crave and necessitate. When the weather is nice, I lay out and tan. It is important to me that my daughter sees that I have interests outside of spending time with her…it’s not selfish, but rather healthy.

MOTHERHOOD LOOKS DIFFERENT FOR EVERYONE

I am still learning about what kind of mother I will be; let’s be honest, I am still learning about what kind of person I will be, but I am becoming more confident in myself and owning who I am. Motherhood is different for everyone because no one child is the same. So please, give all those judgments a rest as we are all doing the best we know how to do.

“Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work” –C.S Lewis

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