Part One: What I know now about being a Mom
Today I’ve asked 5 fellow Mamas to share their thoughts on Motherhood. The question I asked was, “How has your picture of motherhood changed from before you had children to now?” I hope you enjoy hearing their unique perspectives and drawing strength from women just like you — trying to do their best everyday. This topic will become a series and posted quarterly with different contributors. Let me know what you think today on instagram!
As girls we daydream of what motherhood will be like. As a little girl myself I remember seeing my mom iron while watching daytime soaps, and I thought, “This is what dreams are made of”! Not really recognizing all that she REALLY did during the day, how she really was my mom and what that meant. I had NO idea, but I knew I wanted to be just like her. When I got married, we knew we wanted to start a family. As the days turned into months, and months turned into years, I knew my “definition” of how I was going to become a mom was going to be different than what I dreamed of as a little girl. While facing infertility for more than 10 years, after doctors visits and procedures, it was the right thing for us to start looking into adoption. Having nieces and nephews adopted in my family and seeing how my sister and sister-in-law became moms, really made me realize that they weren’t any different. They weren’t any less of a woman, they were MOMS!
It was tough to accept the fact that I wouldn’t carry our babies, but I am so glad I did. I was still going to become a mom, I would still raise children, bring them home, tuck them in at night, share life lessons that I learned as a teenager, and love them no matter what. Sure, my daughters don’t have the blonde pigtails I had as a little girl that I always thought my girls would have. Truth is, they have better hair than I do! Yes my daughters don’t look just like me, but we have more of a mother/daughter love than I ever could have imagined. I quickly learned that it wasn’t necessary that I carry my children, they still have my heart and they still call me mom! And that’s all I dreamed of as a little girl.
Amy Twitty is a mother of 2 lovely girls and owner of LivandHope, a t-shirt line created to benefit those hoping to expand their family through adoption. She shares daily moments on instagram @livandhope and snapchat @amytwitty.
The moment when you become known as Mama, Mommy, Mom, Mere, Ma, Mãe etc., is when you know you’ve arrived. Although, depending on how “Mom” is said it could make you want to laugh, yell and/or cry. In spite of all the advice (and lectures) I received when I broke the news to family and friends, not one of them explained the complexity of motherhood to the extent of that which I know now. Every day and stage is an opportunity for learning and growth, both as mother and child. Mothers are an exceptionally resilient group of women, who sacrifice so much of themselves without second thought or complaint. This is why it is so important for us to continue to support one another, uplift & empower. Erase competition & support a fellow mama today!
Destiney Green is a mama who says she’s “majoring in motherhood”. She is also a contributor for the brand Rags to Raches. She shares daily adventures with her beautiful daughter on instagram @momcrushmonday and by all definitions is a “#bossmom”.
I always knew that I’d never be a “traditional” mom. While I find the concept of being pregnant and giving birth fascinating, I have always known that it wasn’t the way I would grow my family. I have had the feeling since I was small, even more so since doing a missions trip in Mozambique with an orphan placement program, that I would parent a child who already existed. When I met my husband and realized that he had a daughter, I had sort of an ah-ha moment. This was what I was meant to do! It was startling and comforting all at the same time. This was the child I was waiting to parent. I don’t know that I thought much about being a mother prior to her. And I definitely didn’t think a thing about being a bonus-parent. But had I pondered it at all, I’m sure that the reality would be VASTLY different than the fantasy. It is so blessedly difficult. Another woman’s child calls me “mommy” and as much of an honor as that is, it’s also really stinking hard. While we are watching her grow and learn and really come into her own, we are also always faced with having to say goodbye. Step-parenting is wonderful and I LOVE her, but oy! It’s not for sissies!
I think one of the best parts of my role in her life has to be exposing her to a different world and seeing her transform. Every year we go to my hometown of Kodiak, Alaska, and I get to watch her become a different little person. As much as I enjoy seeing her take gymnastics lessons and do yoga and play princess in the front yard of our Salt Lake home, nothing beats this Alaskan mama getting to watch her little Kodiak kid reel in a salmon! She kayaks and she swims in the frigid sea and she helps her Nana in the kitchen. She eats salmon roe and halibut ceviche. She helps her papa clean fish out on the boat, eventually getting covered in guts, smiling from ear to ear! It’s incredible to see parts of me coming out in her, even though she’s not of my body. How did I get so lucky? The above photo is the day I became her mama, August 1st 2012 (photo credit : Rachel DeVault Photography).
Kathryn Jones-Porter is a step mom to an energetic and gorgeous 8-year-old. She is also a lifestyle, family, newborn and birth photographer based in SLC, UT. She shares her work on her blog and also instagram @brokenanchorphotography. Currently booking fall/winter sessions (she’s offering $75 OFF to the first 5 sessions booked when you mention Lactation Link). She also collaborates with Lactation Link with photography.
My idea of motherhood has changed drastically from before I had kids to now. I am the middle child and my three older siblings all had kids before me. I was an aunt long before I got to experience being a mother. I remember thinking how much I loved my nieces and nephews and how hard it was to imagine loving someone more! People would always tell me, “Oh, you just wait!” I remember helping my sister with her newborn. I would wake up with her and take a feeding or burping. I remember wondering how on EARTH do mothers do that day in and day out and still function. Well, fast forward three years later and I found myself in that same situation. I was actually really scared of having a baby. I am an active and pretty spur-of-the-moment person and I thought that my life was going to be over! I know that sounds silly, but it was my reality.
So, I had my first. It was an intense delivery but after a few scares, everything was perfect. He was perfect. I was a MOM!!! I remember the rush of emotions flooding my body. I couldn’t believe he was mine. I was amazed at what miracle our bodies are and even more amazed at the amount of love I had for him. My heart was so so full of love for my little guy. My life changed that very moment for the better. Nothing in this world could have prepared me for those overwhelming emotions. They were and are so so real. I have since had two other little boys. With my second baby, he almost died and is a complete miracle. I thank God every day that he is in my life.
Motherhood means so much more to me than sleepless nights, cleaning spit up and listening to tantrums. Motherhood to me is equivalent to being a super hero. Being a mom has been the most unbelievable trying thing, but also the most insanely rewarding thing too. You literally carry their emotions and feel what they are going through. Your heart yearns so deeply to take away any of the pain or hurt they feel or will ever feel. You fear for them when they approach the steering wheel at 16. You worry about what kinds of friends they are going to make and have to just hope you taught them well and most of all, you want them to have confidence to stand up for what is right! All of this falls on your shoulders as a Mother. What a crazy and rewarding job. I tell myself this daily, “Rachel, you have done an amazing job if your kids have great self confidence and they know that you love them unconditionally, no matter what!” Those are my two goals. Being a mother has been an honor, blessing, trial and the most rewarding thing in my life.
To be honest, I am still trying to juggle motherhood and a business. That is the hardest part of my job is trying to find a perfect balance. In the beginning when I was just starting, I was working until around 3 or 4 in the morning. By the time my kids woke up I was a walking zombie. It took me a few months to realize that just because I “was there” with my kids, I wasn’t really. I was so tired and wrapped up in half-business and half-mom that I wasn’t able to focus on either and do a good job. So, I finally made a decision I was so scared to make. Hire a Nanny. I did it. I hired someone who was great with my kids and could be home with me while I worked. I had her only coming a few days a week for around 5 hours a day. During that time I was able to focus and get a lot of work done so that when she left or didn’t come in, I had no distractions. I could be 100% Mom. That was probably one of the hardest, but best decisions I ever made. It was a scary investment at first, but it paid off. I was able to grow my company while also having the control of my kids and being around them without feeling like I was totally neglecting. This was a big hurdle and it still isn’t easy.
I always have wanted my kids to know that they come first. No. Matter. What. That is where it sometimes gets hard. I have had to rearrange my life, in order to be there for them more. I am there in the mornings to get them off to school and I am there in the afternoons when they come home. This is something that I wanted to prioritize and it was something very important to me. Some days it is different and I have to stay later, but for the most part, I feel like I can be with them as much as possible. My kids and family make me the most happy. If I didn’t have them, I don’t think I would feel real joy. I am grateful for them and I would give it all up if it was at the stake of my family. They are my everything and will always be.
Rachel Nilsson is a mother to 3 energetic, handsome boys. She is also the owner of the clothing company Rags to Raches. Her signature kids rompers were recently featured in Vogue. You can catch her most recent creative inspirations on instagram @rags_to_raches and her website.
Going into motherhood I thought it was going to be a breeze. I am the middle child of 9 siblings, nannied a family for 6 years, and got my degree at BYU as a school teacher. I thought I had this whole baby business down. Boy was I wrong!
First off, I never read a parenting book, just didn’t. I am all for one-on-one help, which is why Lacation Link has my stamp of approval. I had huge problems my first go around with breastfeeding. I only nursed on one side and was completely lopsided for the entire year while nursing. This is just one of the small examples of how parenting was a little bit different than babysitting!!! The biggest thing I have learned as a mom is not to have an agenda, and if you do be willing to pay or sacrifice for it. I have three basic needs everyday. Exercise, Get Ready, Blog. I have to do these things when my kids are sleeping so I have to wake up earlier than them, which a lot of times means I never get the good hearty REM sleep.
Parenting is 100% an act of love and sacrifice. The more I sacrifice and serve my family, I’ve found, the better our days go, they just do.
Shannon Bird is the mother of 3 little ones under 3! She is also the creator of birdalamode.com where she shares her inspiration and adventures in family, fashion, fitness, travel, and favorites in lifestyle! She also shares daily snippets on instagram @birdalamode.
Thanks for stopping by,
Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC
I’ve created this great e-mail course to help you get breastfeeding started on the right foot! Click the image below for more info.