If you were to ask me what the best thing that has ever happened to me in my life, I would say without a question in my mind, it has been having Adelynn.
The first time I held her in my arms with her big blue eyes looking up at me, we shared an automatic bond, I knew it was love forever... I often times catch myself getting emotional just thinking about this beautiful memory in my life.
Things have changed A LOT since giving birth to little miss Addie just a little over a year and a half ago and not in a bad way...
They say as a parent, things don't always get easier, they just get different and from my personal perspective, I can say that this statement is completely true. Not only do our kids grow and adapt quickly, but we as parents do too- we learn to that is.
Month by month it seems the number of tantrums increase, the messes get bigger, and stressful situations seem to present themselves more, and some of us might even begin to question if it's possible to last another second without popping off... It's funny to me when other people think that being a stay at home mom is an easy, luxurious job, and yes, I am totally grateful for the opportunity to raise my child without paying $2k plus a month for childcare all while watching my baby grow up and reach all of her milestones (total win), but the title "stay at home mom (or dad)" isn't as easy and glamorous as people seem to make it out to be. My days are usually very busy from start to end with school, answering to emails and messages, social media, training, work, errands, and the duties of the house which generally include cooking and cleaning all while prioritizing the needs of my daughter. By the time 4pm hits, I am typically dead exhausted but I think by now, it is almost ingrained in me to "keep going". There are no naps, no moments alone, not even a second on the toilet to yourself but somehow we parents just do it. We buck up, and do it... because well, what else are we to do? Lock ourselves in the closet and disassociate, neglecting our children? I think not.
I have learned that staying strong is key. Each morning I wake up, I know very well by now that there is going to be a long day ahead of me filled with at least ten diaper changes, two baths, two to three walks, feeding time, a few books to be read, and whatever else comes my way along with taking care of my responsibilities/ self-care. I also must know upon waking that my schedule for the day might be thrown off. Although it is frustrating, I have to be positive, strong, present, patient.
Our kids come first. Maybe you were raised by parents with selfish tendencies, but that doesn't mean we are to continue that cycle. Having our eyes glued to our phones while avoiding playing with our kids when they want to be played with is taking the easy route, we must be aware that when we are selfish as parents, our kids suffer in some way or another. (I use this example because Kyle has called me out for this very thing and vice versa). It is crucial to be aware and mindful of the way we talk and act around our children because they absorb literally everything, no, like seriously, everything... Do you ever notice how when you are tense and stressed your kids become tense and stressed too?
One thing I have noted that I somewhat struggle with thus far in my parenting journey is a slight insecurity over how I look to other parents in public. When my child is screaming and throwing a tantrum which happens at least once every outting, I get rises of anxiety about looking like I am the one causing my child to be angry. When she resists going into her car seat with all of her might and stiffens her body into a straight board, screaming her face off in the middle of the parking lot, I fear looking like I am abusing my child trying to get her into her carseat... I have talked to several other moms and they too get anxiety over similar things... I guess it's good to be aware of the fact that we get high anxiety in these situations but, I am learning that how I look to other parents is none of my business. If I know that I am only trying to help my daughter and she's throwing normal toddler tantrums in public and other parents are glaring over at me or make rude comments like, "get your child together" (yes this has actually happened more than a few times which is why I think I might have a bit of anxiety over this) then that is on them, not me. We can only control so much!
I am learning to stop beating myself up. There have definitely been times where I have been so overwhelmed that I just yelled out a curse word or yelled at Kyle for help in front of Adelynn and immediately I began to call myself a piece of crap, unstable mom. Beating myself up only allows for more anxiety and negative self talk to creep in. We all make mistakes, even as parents.
All we can do is our best, continue being honest with ourselves and reflecting on areas of our parenting that needs improvement, loving our kids and modeling to them patience and kindness even at an early age as their little brains are developing rapidly and absorbing everything in all environments. In fact, I recently said a strong prayer for guidance, to show me how to better my parenting and God once again, presented some answers to me. So, with that being said, I totally recommend praying from your heart to God a similar prayer.
And the last little reminder that I have to remind myself of constantly and want to share with you is, stay present. These little blessings are only with us for X amount of years until they are free birds. Cherish the memories, hold them a little longer, love them a little harder, and show them things you wish you were shown as a kid. We are only guaranteed this moment anyways.