There are so many things people told me, shared, implored with me about parenthood before it all went down (it being birth). Some of those things, I can honestly say you guys, in hindsight, just noooot helpful. But then there are a few that I’ve hung onto, that have girded me up as a mother and made me feel like I may actually (okay, actually actually) be cut out for raising this little boy.
A lot of this is all tied into my faith, and from the standpoint of what I believe God has entrusted us with in our baby boy. No, these aren’t the practicals or what you need to put on your registry (although I’m drawing up something like that at the moment so hang on to your hats people!), these are the personal things. The little voices that come knocking in the night and want to steal away the preciousness of parenthood and tell you that you suck, and you’re not cut out, and oh you got angry? You’ve royally blown it. That stuff.
Yup, I’ve heard that crapola too, and even listened intently at times. So however you’ve decided to approach parenthood, I think we all deal with this on some level (to those who don’t know what i’m even talking about, bless you) and I hope some of this can be helpful to you! Because we all need a little lot of encouragement, and I want to be a voice that lifts up my fellow mama comrades, and not the opposite.
1) you are the best parent for your child
a friend of mine has kindly reminded me a few times now that god has chosen me to be luke’s mama. he is ours and our make-up, personalities, inclinations are all the best fit for our little man. yes, i’ll make mistakes, need a lot of prayer and advice, but i believe that god didn’t make a mistake in our little family.
2) take some time for you, it’s really okay..
the first time i was away from luke was to drive a few minutes away to the nail salon. it took some will power to make myself get away, but i was so glad i did. and yes, i missed him in that short span of time, but me being mentally healthy and treating myself makes for a better mama. so i’ll make time for it. oh yeah and eat cookies. or green smoothies. whatever floats your boat.
3) spend time with your significant other
by week two, james and i had slept in separate beds for a week (me in my fancy hospital getup) and we were giving away every ounce of energy and care to this little baby (obviously). i remember sitting on the couch after putting him down for the night and just as we nestled in to get cozy, we hear him flip out in the other room and james says “luuuuke, this is my time man!” so even though it’s hard to come by, get time with your spouse as much as you can!
4) receive help
you wanna clean my bathroom? yes you may. clean my dishes? twist my arm. truthfully, it’s harder than it sounds (for me) but i’m eternally grateful to my friends who’ve brought dinners, cleaned our home, stopped off at the store for us and cleaned our humongous pile of dishes. they are angels from above, and i’ve gotten over the feeling that we look like piggies in the process, which we do. i should post a picture of our dish pile on a daily basis so you all feel majorly better about your lives 🙂
5) they won’t remember you crying in defeat at 3am
rest in it, people. amen, glory, hallelujah.