Sunday, May 12, 2019

My First Mother’s Day

{new ink commemorating the day I became this boy's mama}

It’s so surreal to be writing this post. Mother’s Day has always been important to me, as I have tried to make it special for my mom, but to celebrate myself this year is truly amazing. This time last year, I was newly-pregnant (only our parents knew!) and today I have a 5-month old baby boy. I feel so honored to now hold the coveted title of Jack's Mom.

I have a newfound respect for my own mom since becoming a mother myself. My mom is the most selfless person I have ever met. As a mother, grandmother, wife, friend, and nurse, she puts everyone's needs before hers, sacrificing without hesitation. She loves fiercely and her generosity knows no bounds. I strive to become half the woman she is, and am grateful that I have the most beautiful example of the mother I want to be. Seeing my mom with my son brings me so much joy. I'm glad we live so close and Jack has a wonderful relationship with his Nana and Poppy.

{11 days new, snuggling with Nana}

Becoming a mother has been something I’ve dreamed of, and it has been better than I could have ever imagined. The moment Jack was born, my heart instantly grew and gained a love I never knew existed. I look at him and cry happy tears knowing how blessed Greg and I are to have created life. Watching him grow, learn, and become his own little person is the most rewarding feeling.

This sweet boy has already taught me so much in such a short period of time. I’m learning to be more present and embrace the moment - good or bad because this too shall pass. There are tough days - the growth spurt fussiness, long sleepless nights, nursing around the clock, and feeling like I'm failing at times. But then the next phase comes full of smiles, giggles, cuddles and coos, and everything is worth it. I’m going to blink and have a toddler running around so I want to enjoy the hour-long naps with him on my chest while I can.

{candid capture by my best friend when Jack was 1 week old}

 I’m learning to trust myself and my gut-instinct. I’ve read and researched practically every newborn parenting topic in the last year and half but now that I’m in real life situations, I’ve handled things differently than how I initially thought I would. I’m learning that saying “no” is okay. I’ve always been a people-pleaser but now sometimes I have to turn down a request in order to do what is best for my son. As his mother, I am his provider and protector and I put his health, safety and comfort above everything else.

I'm learning patience. Looking at the world through my son's eyes has made me embrace slowing down a bit. The grocery store will still be there after he's done exploring the flowers by our front gate. I'm learning that there is beauty in the process, not only perfection. I'm Type A and a perfectionist in every facet of my life but he is teaching me that the messy moments lead to just as many laughs. Like when Greg and I took Jack to his first doctor's appointment and we forgot the diaper bag at home - he somehow went through 3 diapers in one hour at the pediatrician's office. Rookie mistake!

{mastering the mirror selfie}

I’m learning to love my body. As someone that has struggled with a past eating disorder and body image issues, pregnancy and giving birth has made me look at my body differently. It has created life, grown a human and was Jack’s first home. I’ve come to accept that my hips may always be a little wider than they were pre-baby and I may always have extra skin on my tummy from carrying my son for 10 months, but I love my body even more now because of the gift it has given me.

One of my favorite quotes I’ve read about motherhood is, "Making the decision to have a child - it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body." It rings so true for me - whether I'm at work, out on a date with Greg, or finally getting a moment to take a shower in peace, my head and my heart are always with Jack. When we're apart, it feels as though a limb is missing. But when we reunite and he flashes me that gummy little grin, I melt and fall even deeper in love with him.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms and mother-figures out there! And to the women in my life who may be struggling today, my heart goes out to you.

{4 month little nugget - I love his thigh rolls!}