If only I could have met myself, walking into the hospital that day, contracting and breathing heavily, anxious to meet my first born. I would have held my shaking hand and wiped my salty tears from my pained face. I would have had the chance to say to myself what no Mother is prepared for. What they don't teach at birthing classes. What you don't think about as you're registering at Target .
I would have had the chance to calm the storm in my mind. I could have silenced the lies and replaced them with truth.
I could have saved a few thousand tears and false expectations. I missed out on so much joy, striving to be a perfect Mom.
With three children under five, I'm by no means a parenting expert. Nor do I have it all together. In fact, most days I'm doing well to remember to brush their teeth in the morning.
But if I could give myself anything that would have eased my mind there in the delivery room, it would be this letter.
Dear New Mom,
All these pains are far worth the over abundance of love your heart will feel within a matter of minutes. That expansion in your heart you feel, yeah…that stays. It stays, and it grows as they grow.
When you take your baby home, let people help you. Your only job is to lay in bed with your fresh new squeeze. Smell her, devour her with kisses and snuggles. She won't stay fresh for long. Remember that scent, for it will be a scent you long for even in your ripe age.
It will be difficult, but please don't compare your baby to others. She will walk, talk and eat solids when she is ready. Don't push her. Don't push yourself into pushing her.
And when that baby is older, that sweet newborn, she will disobey you. More than once. But you will know the correct way to discipline her and show her love. I promise. Count to 10, breathe in between and go with your gut. For she was formed there. It was made to make good decisions for her.
The days are eternity but the moments are fleeting. Take every single kiss you can get, and sit down to a tea party while the laundry molds. You can wash it again tomorrow, but she may not be into tea parties tomorrow.
You will be so very tired, but that's what coffee is for. To slap you awake into a new day.
Find Mom friends, and go by this criteria:
Make sure you feel loved, just as your son takes their child's toy. Make sure you feel loved when all you needed was a good cry. Make sure you feel loved when you share a hearts desire.
I promise you can do this. I promise that at the end of your day, when all is quiet and sound you will hear, deep in your heart your reason to be on this earth.
Your children are your first ministry. We must minister to them first, and equip them to love people well. It's then we focus on the outside. Because if the inside is a mess, there's no way to fix the outside.
Take them seriously, they know more than we give them credit for. After all, a big part of you is speaking out of them. Find that part of them that's you, and nurture it. Find that part of them that's not you, and learn from it.
But above all this ranting, if I could say one phrase to myself. If I could say just one thing that would carry me through motherhood, and into my empty nest it would be this phrase:
Enjoy it all.