Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Lessons on Mommyhood

Here are a few things I've learned along the road of mommyhood that have blessed us to incorporate into our life.  I'm not saying they will work forever, or that they will work for you, but they work for us right now and I'm thankful for that.

First, pick up the house at the end of the day. Especially the kitchen.  Every day has its own mess (Does it ever!) and it is unfair to your future self to let messes overlap.  (Obviously, I have to listen to what my heart needs and there are some days when I am too exhausted/at the end of my rope by bedtime, and I give myself the grace to let a few dishes linger in the sink.  As a general rule for us, though, the house ends the day on a very clutter-free note.)

WASH THE BOTTLES.  Just wash them.  It is so much better to have clean bottles ready for those moments when she needs one rather than letting them pile up, only for her to cry at your knees the entire time you wash one out.  I still fight this one.  I don't know why it just feels like such an insurmountable task to wash those stupid things.  But when they are sitting clean in the dish rack, I am significantly less stressed.

If you have to leave early in the morning, pack your purse/baby bag the night before. 

Don't buy cheap wipes.  Just… don't. 

and lastly, wake up before the baby.  This one is so hard for me and I am literally just figuring it out this week.  If we have somewhere to be in the morning (For example: Sundays and going to church…hypothetically speaking, of course...) We always have rough mornings when I sleep until Piper wakes up.  This is partially due to her age and her desire to be independent and explore all the things.  I can't quite leave her alone or trust her to listen to requests and commands, yet. ("No, Sweetie, don't put your finger in that lipstick tube.")   Although she is learning, and very advanced in her comprehension for her age, it is still a factor.  But - of course - the vast majority of fault lies with me.  I am a selfish human being, especially in the mornings.  My body will take us much sleep as I give it and my subconscious is a tricksy hobbit, always trying to weasel as much sleep out of a morning as I possibly can. ("No, I definitely don't need a shower…  I'll wear lighter make up today…" etc etc).  I'm also a big fan of breakfast.  I love breakfast.  I love eggs and toast and if we don't have breakfast food I am one cranky lady for the entire morning.  So, I realized that on mornings when I need to get ready and eat at the same time that Piper needs to get ready and eat, it just ends up in a lot of frustration on both of our parts.  I am torn between meeting my own needs and meeting hers.  The selfish part of me rears its ugly head and both of us end up frustrated with one another.

That being said, I am starting to wake up before her and this has made all of the difference.  I have time to get myself ready.  I eat, drink coffee, catch up on my computer, read or journal, start preparing Piper's breakfast, and if we have to go somewhere early… I can get myself ready, too.  When I do this, I am a better mom for the entire day.  When I hear her stirring it isn't a race against the clock of what-all I can accomplish before I have to go in and get her.  Rather, I'm excited to see her.  I am ready to introduce her to a day that is already progressing well.  My needs are met, so I'm not bogged down with anything but making sure her needs can be met.  It's still a struggle, and I know there will be mornings when I need more sleep than others and we'll have to adjust, but this has been a huge lesson for me lately.  A lesson that everyone in our family benefits from, and I'm thankful to be learning.

Motherhood is a never-ending string of lessons.  Often these lessons overlap, build on each other, and evolve over time.  What works for us now might not work for us in the future, but I'm thankful for the ways I've grown and all that I've learned so far on this journey.


  1. Great, insightful thoughts. It seems to me that these also are the keys to my mornings (get up before I have to, pack my lunch the night before, pick up the house for a calm day) but alas I still struggle with the discipline to do so. My word this year was going to be "discipline" inspired by the Road Less Traveled, but then I changed it to self-love. These actions are in some ways an active way of loving ourselves and our days right? So instead when I'm in bed and should get an early rise I try and think of it as "self-love" rather than "discipline". It helps a little bit but you're so right...sometimes Gollum wins.

  2. I agree on each point Les! I find myself grumpy if I wake up TO the kids instead of already being awake when they get up...mornings are good times to just be. I like it. I look forward to learning more from your motherhood lessons!