Motherhood Lately: 10 Months In

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Ten months in and most days I still feel a bit clueless about what it means to be a good mom. And I have to be honest, if you ask any of my siblings, they will tell you I definitely thought I knew a lot about parenthood before I had kids. Sigh.

One thing I have learned, however, is that motherhood is a constant lesson in flexibility, humility, and perspective. Sometimes the best thing we can do is take a step back, take a good look at our lives, and show ourselves some grace.

While being Everett’s mom is one of the greatest blessings I have experienced, it has also been filled with a lot more ups and downs that I expected. I end more days than I care to admit feeling like I failed to be creative enough, patient enough, or productive enough. And yet, most days I do little else than play and care for my son, keep up our home, and cook meals. Ten months in and I know I need to take a moment and reflect on what this season of life is like and enjoy the memories.

Before digging in, one thing I want to address is the feeling that a mom can’t talk about the challenges of motherhood without being ungrateful. The challenges we face are common and while they may not be earth-shattering, they can be isolating. Struggling in the varied experiences of parenthood does not mean you love your child any less! When someone shares with you that they are going through a challenging or tiring period with their child, instead of saying “Enjoy every minute, it goes by so fast,” just simply say, “I hear you, you're doing a great job.” Trust me, we know time is going by too fast, we might just need a hug and a little acknowledgment.

8-10 Months: Favorite Moments

  • Watching Everett discover crawling. Watching your child learn a new skill, struggle, and improve has to be one of the most incredible experiences. Day after day, he practiced and became stronger. While my days of freedom are officially gone, it is so fun to see him crawl around the house! He is definitely on the move!

  • Seeing Everett and Bentley play together. Everett is even throwing a ball for Bentley now, he has quite the overhand toss! ;)

  • Family days spent together enjoying the simple things in life - our yard, going for a walk, playing with toys before bed.

  • Bathtime - Everett is finally using the full-sized bathtub. Nate is in charge of bath time now, and it is adorable to hear them laugh!

  • Getting kisses from my sweet boy! They are rare, but his kisses are the most adorable (albeit sloppy!).

  • Reading books: Everett is enjoying story time more and more! He especially likes flap books.

  • Going for walks outside. We love fall!

  • Seeing Everett get stronger and navigate pulling himself up, walking along furniture, etc.

  • Witnessing the immense joy and love Everett has for his Dad! He finally says “Dada.” As soon as Everett hears Nate come home, he starts kicking his legs and squealing. It is adorable.

8-10 Months: Challenging Moments

  • Several failed attempts at sleep training - We would take one step forward and two steps back. Spent way too much time talking/planning, and then failing over and over again. Thankfully, we are now getting into a good groove - fingers crossed!

  • Setting high expectations and being disappointed - whether dealing with bedtime, Everett’s reaction to his new car seat, or a mini vacation.

  • Due to nursing to sleep, having a significant lack of alone time. Struggle with asking for help/wanting to leave Everett, but know I need it. I am working on this - thank goodness for my mother-in-law, Pam, who has generously come down to help out with E a few times in the last month.

  • 9 months of poor self-image due to a lack of exercise and motivation. Since I started my Couch to 5K program, I am feeling SO much better. It’s amazing what a little effort and sweat can do for your mental state. Loving how this translates into more energy to play with Everett and be a more positive mom.

It’s true what people say - life continues to get better and better as our little ones get older. There is a part of me that is sad that Everett’s baby stage is coming to a close, but I also love seeing his personality develop. Going back through my photos of him as a newborn kind of kills me, but I’m trying not to dwell on how much he has changed or the fact that many of those days I was just in survival mode.  I can’t wait to see what the next couple of months will be like with this little rascal.