When we were preparing for labor, Joe and I took this amazing birthing class. Ok, actually we took a bunch of birth classes. I’m Type A . I prepare. So we took a bunch of birth classes but only 1 that was amazing.
Along with the pain coping techniques and hormone sequence lessons (Fascinating. Seriously. Women’s bodies are magic.), our teacher gave us pearls of wisdom that have stuck with me long after labor. One of the concepts in particular has saved me on a number of occasions:
After laboring for hours, 3 new people emerge. A baby is born. A mother is born. And a father (or mother or partner) is born.
Think about it. There is suddenly a parent where there simply wasn’t one before. It is a complete and utter transformation of self, particularly for the birthing mother, whose hormones go on a wild ride.
Remembering this has saved me more than once from the heaving guilt of new motherhood, the “not enough-ness” that every mother faces. During one particularly stressful time a few months ago, as I nearly melted down about not having it all figured out yet, Joe had one of those magical “nailed it” husband moments. He reminded me to go easy on myself. “You’re only a year old as a mother!” I then had an “oh yeah!” moment and cried relieved tears onto my super-husband’s already super-soggy shoulder.
Why should I, having only been a mother for 1 year, have all the answers!? I can’t. I don’t. And that’s ok. I am learning and growing into motherhood. Growth can be painful at times, and challenging. To help my daughter grow, I try to practice patience and understanding, and to give her all the love and hugs she needs when things don’t go the way she intended. My 1 year old mother self deserves no less.
*Thank you to Beth Steinhaus and Monica Rainey for inspiring today’s post