The Moment I Became a Mom - Jordan
So many moments come flooding to my head when I think about this.
I remember so clearly the day leading up to the birth of my first son, Landon. I had literally been daydreaming about his birth during my whole pregnancy and I woke up that morning and just KNEW it was the day that I would meet him. I was so calm and steady throughout the whole day that no one really believed I was in labor- not my mom, my best friend, or my husband. His birth story is for another day but let’s just say the day was slow and steady and then after my water broke at home it was a fast and furious race to get to the hospital.
Just before midnight the sweetest little boy was born and laid right on my chest. He was so familiar to me because he looked exactly like his Daddy and also his ultrasound we had seen just the week before. I was confident, nervous, anxious, blessed, ecstatic, and so strong- all the things, all at once.
This was absolutely and obviously a defining moment in my journey into motherhood. But in reality, there are so many little and precious moments that make us mothers.
I feel like my journey truly began when I went off to college to study early childhood education. I’ve always had a love for children and secretly wanted to be a mom for as long as I could remember. While in college I worked and interned in several preschools and homes learning so many tactical ways to care for young children and how beautiful their little minds are.
A few years later, I met my husband and there were several qualities that made him perfect for me. He was fun and adventurous, exceedingly attractive to me, had a good heart, great head on his shoulders, and you guessed it- I was fully confident that he would be an amazing Dad one day. Not to mention he was totally on board with my hopes and dreams of having four kids including, fingers crossed, a set of twins and the possibility of adoption. If that didn’t scare him away then I knew he was the one.
I planned for our first pregnancy long before we were ready to start trying. Becoming physically strong and researching and understanding nutrition so that I could not only fuel Mark and I’s bodies but also our future children was really important to me. And definitely a stepping stone into the ways that I mother now.
Aside from the two months before our wedding, I had never been on birth control but we were trying to avoid pregnancy for a while. Awhile turned into a year of casually avoiding pregnancy and a year of purposely trying to get pregnant. Thankfully, Mark and I are both blessed (so far) with a healthy ability to conceive children. And though that year felt long in the moment, it was soo so short in comparison to the seasons of waiting and heartbreak that some families go through, and I never want to take that for granted.
I knew that Father’s day was around the corner. And though I knew taking a pregnancy test that day was a long shot I HAD to try. So I woke up early and headed to Walmart. Came home and took the test (at least 5 days before my missed period) …and it was POSITIVE. I wanted to SCREAM with excitement. Today was going to be my husband’s first Fathers day. I wrapped up the infant soccer Jersey I had been hoarding for months and the pregnancy test to surprise him. Seeing him as a Dad is one of the best parts of being a Mom.
That day I felt my world start to shift as I realized I was finally going to be a Mom.
I learned so many things about myself as a person and as a Mother during those first couple of years. Like how painfully lonely it can be to have a new baby. How you just want to scream from the rooftops how freaking AMAZING you are for keeping a baby alive and no one is there for your standing ovation. How there are moments of complete failure and astonishing success in motherhood.
I remember going back to work after my first was born. I was told all of the ways you’re supposed to be miserable and sad to leave your baby. And I was, don’t get me wrong, I wanted to spend every waking moment with my new little boy. But when I got back in the groove and in a routine it was one of the first times I felt like myself in a really long time. Remember that whole feeling alone part- I needed some adult human interaction! Between maternity leave and a couple stints of staying home while moving into my role as a doula, I realized that being a full- time stay at home mom was not for me. Not because it’s not an amazing job, not because it’s not fulfilling, challenging, or hard work—because staying home with your babes is all of that and more. I wish I could be a rock star stay at home Mom, I mean I literally went to school and learned so many ways to be a good mother. But, For me, I realized I am a much better mom with small breaks. My mental health is better when I’m not in my head all day long. I am calmer and more present with my kids when I have an outlet doing something I’m passionate about during other parts of my day. Once I learned to embrace this reality about myself I felt new muscles stretching and strengthening I never knew I had.
One of the most valuable pieces of information I learned about as a new mom was judgment. For whatever reason, it seems to be a natural instinct to pass judgment on others, especially when it comes to motherhood. Trust me; I have been on the giving and receiving end. I remember all too clearly being the naïve new mom feeling like I knew the right answer for others situations because of how nicely it worked for me. But when I really dug down deep and put myself in other's shoes I realized that everyone is on a wildly different journey. They may mirror each other, but there are so many little factors that play into how we parent and the choices we make as moms. Once I found the freedom in supporting others, including myself, unconditionally- I again grew stronger.
Do you want to know what makes me the strongest? What really makes me a mother? A #supermom?
Here it is- The parts of motherhood that aren’t so glamorous. It’s the mistakes that I make. It’s snapping at my kids and then thinking back and hoping I can do better next time. It’s having a day where all I want to do is lay on the couch in front of a screen, and so I do, but then the next day we get up and spend the day at the park- really playing and laughing together. It’s when picking out and cooking another meal is the LAST thing I want to do that day…. So McDonald's it is. Yep, my kids know about the golden arches. But the next day I try harder to get more fruits and veggies in their bellies. Or when your little baby is sitting right beside you playing and you drop your guard for one second and the next thing you know he has fallen and is not only hurt but needs stitches. You pull yourself together and calmly arrange for a trip to the E.R.-all while holding back tears because you don’t want your baby to see that you’re scared.
So many muscles have been strengthened in those moments.
The good, the bad, and the ugly have all been significant roles in my journey to becoming a Mother. I absolutely have days where I doubt myself and my worth as a mom. But then I look at my growing boys and realize- I did that! I made them! I grew them from the tiniest mustard seed and now they are two of the coolest human beings I know!
So what is your story? What was your journey into motherhood? When was the moment or moments you became a Mom? I challenge you to really take some time to write or reflect on your journey. Even if it’s just the beginning, or even if you’re not yet a mom. You are stretching and growing every day, take a moment to celebrate how amazing you are and are going to be!