Let me start out by saying that I feel like the luckiest person in the world to be the mother of my three year old son. He is the joy and light of my life and every second of the life we share is precious to me. I was lucky to have him, as I was told I might be unable to have children. He is a true gift to me, the likes of which I’ve never known. That said, there are times in motherhood that are more of a challenge than others.
Here are my thoughts on motherhood.
Motherhood is Hard
Those of us who have had a hard pregnancy or difficulty getting pregnant never want to look a gift horse in the mouth, as they say. In other words, we never want to take motherhood for granted. That’s because, like me, I was never sure it was going to materialize. I struggled my entire life with health issues, and I was concerned whether it was a good idea to pass on my DNA to another being. I have never lost sight of this.
With every situation that arises, many of which are just typical little kid illnesses, I worry. Is this the time they’re going to say that he inherited my problems? I get nervous when I take him to the doctor for his checkups. I worry when I see any small indication that he has something that looks like it came from me. But I am learning not to overreact and that’s definitely on the plus side of being his mom. I’m taking it in stride and I’m learning to let go. This is a win for me.
Motherhood Is Exhausting
I’m exhausted all the time. And the amount of personal space I get is very little, if any. I’m not complaining. I’m just saying that this is one of the things I don’t love about motherhood. I hate to be tired all the time. I am not the world’s best sleeper and I have sleep envy when it comes to my husband. His head hits the pillow, and it’s lights out. When I finally do fall asleep, it can feel like I’m the only one who hears my son crying in the middle of the night. Dads have a different mentality when it comes to kids. It’s like they’re there, but by default, moms are always on. Not the same with dads. As my dad always says, dads are not dads, dads are not-the-mama. And it’s true.
Everything Falls on Me
The New Mama Hack Decks are born from the idea that moms are typically on point. The same is true for our Date Decks™ and all the other decks in between. Moms are it when it comes to organization and planning. Is it because we’re better at these skills? I don’t think so. I think it comes from the idea that we can do it all, have it all, and nothing falls between the cracks. Which is so untrue. What falls between the cracks is “me” time, and the struggle to find personal space amid everything else we do.
When my husband is tired, he takes a nap. The world can be falling apart around him, but he doesn’t notice. He doesn’t notice that we need to plan a birthday party, or that we need to get a gift for his mom. He doesn’t notice that there are holiday cards with cute pictures of our son that need to be exchanged. He doesn’t notice that enrollment for preschool is backed up several years. He just doesn’t notice. I, on the other hand, am laser focused. I went into motherhood with expectations of how it was supposed to be, what it would look like, and I’m playing that out in living color. Sometimes I wish I could turn off the channel and just let go. I wish I could get past the mantra of “if I don’t do it, it won’t get done.” I need to let go of my need for perfectionism and the image that is attached to motherhood. Instead, I need to relax. That’s one thought I have about motherhood that I feel a lot of people share.
Time is My Most Precious Commodity
When my husband leaves for work, he shuts the door, and he focuses on his projects. I, on the other hand, focus on my work projects and care for our son. Simultaneously. To say that this is a feat the likes of which I’ve never known before is an understatement. Children require full time care and attention, and so does work. Try to do both at the same time, and it’s a challenge. It’s not a challenge I take lightly, as I feel grateful to be home with him all day. But it’s a challenge. My husband can compartmentalize his time. He goes to his office, and he’s off duty at home. He comes home from work and he’s on duty. The lines are clearly defined.
I, on the other hand, have blurred lines and I feel like my days never end. Where one part of my day starts, and another begins, is impossible to visualize. That’s because I am multitasking my life. And sometimes my husband’s life as well. Women often get less credit when they stay home to take care of a baby. My husband gets a new job, or a promotion, and all eyes go that way. Congratulations all around. I often wonder if these same people stop to recognize that there is a lot of behind the scenes that goes along with his job growth. And that a lot of it comes from the love and support of his family, which feels like my first job along with my other first job of running a business. It’s a constant, 24/7 of hat changing and role shifting.
Do We All Feel Alike?
I had this same conversation with my neighbor the other day. She works out of an office and has three little kids. As she was dropping her two kids at home after picking them up at school, and then turning right around and going back to work after dropping them with her mom (not to mention that she had a baby a month ago), we waved. She rolled down the window to ask how I am doing. I asked her the same thing. It’s kind of like a woman’s secret code, the look in her eye. "I’m overwhelmed" is what that look says. It's that eye roll and half smile thing. But in that look is joy. It's just sometimes buried under lots of other things like a car full of half empty baby bottles and pictures made at school, sandy shoes and a zillion little toys in both the front and back seat. This, really, is life at its finest. It's just hard to recognize sometimes.
I think this must be part of the discussion of motherhood. It’s really a discussion about priorities and values and the commodity of time. What is time worth? I think it’s worth more than people say or recognize, especially when you're home with your small child all day. Time, and space are important to everyone and what we often give up when we watch a small child all day. Time and space are what give us time to think and create. And realize ourselves. If not, we become robotic.
Why We Have New Mama Decks
With this in mind, we offer our New Mama Hack Deck. It is designed to give new moms a little extra time and space to catch their breath. Ideas are outsourced and creative and put more time back into a new mama's day. Give them to a new mom who is making the transition to motherhood. It may be the best gift they ever receive. Most importantly, they remind new moms to take care of themselves so they don't get lost in both perfectionism and a lack of time and space.
New Mama Hack Decks – A Great Gift for Showers or as a Baby Present
For more New Mama hacks, please check out our New Mama Hack Deck prompt cards. They are a great gift that provide tips and tricks for new moms. Sells for $19.95 and makes a great shower or baby present.