This is it. My first post. I never thought I’d write for fun, let alone join the blogosphere. I have previously remained on the backdrop of social media and I rarely post much of anything publicly, so this is stepping out for me, to say the least. It’s not that I think there’s anything wrong with doing these; I just haven’t worked up enough courage to show complete strangers an image of myself that isn’t perfect. I never have minded that others share glimpses of their stories with the world; I definitely respect them for that. I just thought that my story was just too different or that I would be unfairly judged if I shared anything online other than happiness or “good” things. I didn’t want to be thought of as a negative person. Being a perfectionist, I had trouble with sharing and embracing imperfection in my life.
And then I became a mother.
I became a mother to this wonderful, adorable (I know that I’m biased), little baby son named Joel. Every time I gazed at his tiny nose, the gentle curl of his eyelashes, I was smitten. Smitten! I didn’t think that there was any possible way that I could love another human with the fierce love of a mother. In fact, when we brought him home from the hospital, I wanted to hold him and stare at him all day long. My husband, Jake, and I felt immensely blessed to have a hand in creating this beautiful life and gift from God. If you’re a parent, you know what I mean. If not, just trust me. You may be fortunate enough to find out someday. It’s amazing. I mean, look at this sweet, sleeping baby:
But, like all babies and children in general, they are difficult. Babies are by nature creatures that cannot do anything for themselves, constantly need attention, and seem to wake up just when you’re falling asleep at night. They may not even let you sleep for days. Days. And somewhere in the midst of your sleep deprivation, you’re supposed to find time to eat, go to the bathroom, and maybe even take a shower. It’s called parenthood.
Likewise, few things about Joel were easy in the beginning. If you knew us toward the beginning of Joel’s life and if we were lucky enough to have made it out of the house in one piece, you would have known that we were stressed. Stressed may not even be the appropriate word here…it was awful. We hardly slept and Joel would not nap for longer than thirty minutes without being held. I loved holding him and would have gladly held him 24/7, if I didn’t have to perform any of the aforementioned activities for myself. Joel would cry at anything, he cried at nothing. He cried and cried and cried. However, thanks to the soothing methods championed by Dr. Harvey Karp in Happiest Baby on the Block, we were experts at how to soothe a colicky baby. That doesn’t mean that it’s easy to keep this up around the clock, though. More to come on that in a later post. :0)
Obviously, I struggled. Who wouldn’t? Things were just plain hard. Sometimes, I felt like I was drowning. I had no idea what we were in for (who really does until they actually become a parent, right?). I felt defeated, like I was a horrible mother, and at times it was hard to even like Joel at times. I LOVE my son so much and I would die a horrible death for him, but I definitely had moments of resentment, moments of weakness. And even though I had a loving group of mothers surrounding me, I still felt like I couldn’t share those ugly inner thoughts. I felt like I just wasn’t handling things well, so there must just be something wrong with me and not with the situation. Add to that a bit of sleep deprivation, and you have yourself a very cranky mommy. Of course there were many sweet and happy moments, but there were so many tough moments.
How did I survive? Through a couple of very loving friends (one of whom is not even a mother yet), I was encouraged, loved, and hugged. I realized that it’s totally understandable that I felt the way I did. Newsflash: I’m far from perfect. Yes, I may post cute-sy pictures of my adorable son like everything is hunky-dory, but let’s face it. We all have baggage. We all have days that we just need to know that we’re not alone in our struggles and we need others around us to encourage and to discuss, experience, and embrace “real” life with. I’m so glad that because of God’s grace, I don’t have to be perfect! I’m also grateful that both my husband and another dear friend were able to extract my deep thoughts and feelings and help me through them. We all need honesty and we are all weak sometimes.
That’s why I’m writing this blog.
This is a blog for anyone (not only moms) to discuss, encourage, and experience life together. It is a place where we can feel free to express joys, fears, and frustrations about life situations. I’m hoping that I and any of you out there would be willing to share and commiserate honestly. We all have an image, a mask that we wear for other people, but I’m hoping to cut through the crap and share what’s really going on. I realize that we do not want to make our deepest darkest secrets public (in fact, I’d prefer that we wouldn’t), but in our everyday lives, I’m challenging myself to be forthcoming with some aspects of my life, to be in a “glass house” if you will, meaning we will be transparent and authentic. Through that honesty, my hope is that we can laugh, cry, and even get to know one another through the process without fear of being judged.
And if you stick around, I promise that not each post will be so serious. Like right now, why not lighten the mood with a cute picture of a baby?! Insert cuteness here:
I also plan to talk about random, everyday life things and post my latest recipe and DIY attempts, which may or may not work out. I’ll even post “Pinterest Fails,” as, not if I have them, because they’re just plain fun.
So, I want to know – what were the most wonderful and the hardest parts of your first few months of parenthood?
*Photos courtesy of Reilly Images, LLC.