Yes, this is what it's really like to be a mom. Some things have surprised me, but motherhood is pretty much what I expected it to be. So many women were honest with me about what being a mom is really all about and what I could realistically expect, and that has made the world of difference in my life. The least I could do is be as honest and raw as possible, so that maybe someone else could benefit from my experience and feel better prepared for the journey to mom life. So, here's the truth...
It took just one look at my baby for the first time and I was hooked. I really do love Levi more than I anticipated. It's as if my heart grows a little more each day. Every little coo and smile make the world a more beautiful place. That being said, sometimes he really annoys me. Not because he's annoying, but because I think I have him figured out and BOOM the kid makes a fool out of me. Like tonight, for instance. I swore I was going to just be patient and allow Levi to cry it out some in his crib because "that's what's best for him." Yet here he is in his rock and play beside me because I talked myself out of that and convinced myself he was just too little for that yet, even though I spoke with such confidence this morning that he was ready for this.
I google everything. Some of my more popular searches these last 8 weeks have been: Will my baby's bellybutton bleed after his umbilical cord falls off? How often should my newborn eat? Remedies for gassy babies? Foods nursing moms should avoid? Things to do with a 5(6,7,8...) week old? What does healthy baby poop look like? When will my baby be able to keep his pacifier in by himself? <--not joking
I find our best days, the days I enjoy being his mom the most, are the days I purposely put everything on my to-do list on the back burner and focus simply on loving this little boy. Anything I get done on top of enjoying my baby is simply a bonus. I remember hearing the quote long ago, "Remember, you're not managing an inconvenience. You're raising a child." Oh how often I remind myself of this. He has to be my priority.
That being said, I've had to remind myself that my husband has to come before our
child. I am first his wife, then Levi's mom. I'll never forget the day I had to leave for a little while and as I was walking out the door, Levi was crying quite a bit. As I drove away, I thought to myself, "I'm so torn sometimes between wanting to step in and just comfort my baby, but also not wanting Brett to feel belittled or incapable of taking care of his son." Right then I felt so convicted. What's a little crying compared to my husband feeling disrespected by me? No competition. Brett will win. Every time. He just has to in order for this to work. Brett has been home all summer and it's been the biggest blessing having him help me and help take care of our son. It's because of him I haven't experienced the reality of a real stay at home mom. I mean, he's the reason I've been able to shower every day :) In just a few short weeks he's going back to work full time. Maybe I should write another post then about what being a mom is like because this is being written during summer break mode!!
I haven't done things perfectly. I don't expect to. There are nights I go to bed thinking I should have done something differently. I'll feel guilty over something silly like the fact that I still wipe myself up first before I wipe Levi's face when he spits up all over us. However, no matter how great or rough the day has been, I ask myself each night, "Was I good to Brett today? Did Levi feel loved today? Were Levi's needs met?" and most importantly, "Was God glorified today?" If I can answer these questions with a "yes," I go to sleep with a smile on my face, asking God to give me the grace to do it all over again tomorrow. Motherhood is nothing short of an adventure, and I continue to thank God for letting me be a part of it!
All that being said, God has continued to prove His truth. My whole life I have dreamed of the day I get to be a wife and mom. I'm finally exactly where I've always wanted to be, and yet (surprise, surprise!) it's still not enough. Brett, no matter how wonderful he is, will never complete me. Levi, no matter how friggin' adorable he is, will never define me. My identity is only found solely in the Lord. I am just a sinner saved by grace who longs to love my husband, kids, and others with the love of Jesus in hopes to point them right back at Him!