Mama, you are amazing!
Wednesday, August 02, 2017
By Alexandra Marie
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Nothing can prepare you for life after the birth of your first child. Since I am a major planner (and so is my husband), I went to the labor and well-baby classes, read all the books, and got all the advice I could from friends and family. I spent hours in Babies R Us buying everything I thought I needed before my baby arrived. I felt so prepared, but it turns out I really wasn't! I found out that you never truly know what's ahead until you're right in it. I had this vision that when Madden was born life would just continue on as it did before she was here, now we would just have a baby with us. I knew that a baby would obviously change my life, but to what extent I had no idea! Madden was born at the beginning of August, so my husband and my mom were still out of school (they are both school teachers). My parents and sister stayed with us those first couple weeks after bringing her home from the hospital. I had help cleaning the house, making meals, doing laundry and taking care of the baby. This newborn thing wasn't so bad after all! As August quickly came to an end and the school year was about to start, my parents headed back to central PA. My sister went back to college, and my husband started his school year as well. Our house very quickly went from loud and full of people and energy to very quiet. Now it was just Madden and me. To be honest, I was a little nervous to not have anyone around if I needed help. I was doing 12 hour days home alone with a newborn with no family in sight (my husband was coaching high school football at the time, which meant practice every day after school!). Boy, how my world had changed! I went from the hustle and bustle of everyday life (outside of my home) to inside everyday wiping floors, washing bottles, changing diapers, cleaning spit-up, and doing laundry. My only adult interaction seemed to be small talk with the neighbor when I took the dog outside to pee. I want to make it very clear that I am by NO means complaining. I absolutely love being a mom! Madden was the baby we had wanted so badly. We prayed for her and planned for her and tried months to have her. So I will never ever regret the decision to have her. I am only saying that the first baby for me was a huge adjustment. I never knew how that little baby was going to change my entire universe. There were a lot of days at the beginning of motherhood where I felt hidden or invisible. I went days in a row without leaving my house or changing out of sweatpants. I would cry frequently, sometimes for no reason. I would walk into a room and totally forget why I walked in that room in the first place. If I was feeling adventurous and decided to leave the house, it took me forever and a day to pack everything up and get out the door! I felt bored but at the same time overwhelmed and not in control. In the very next breath my heart would feel as though it was going to explode with love when Madden would fall asleep on my chest. It was a very weird time for me. I had so many different feelings and emotions, and major sleep deprivation was no help. Some days I felt that I didn't have much of a purpose or that my new purpose was to just stay home and take care of babies. I felt my identity had totally changed. On the other hand, I also had these feelings of knowing this wasn't going to last forever and that I needed to soak up every moment before it was gone. As I mentioned before, my emotions were all over the place! Those first few months were a whirlwind, an adjustment, and a huge learning curve.

 

As Madden is now turning two, I've realized that motherhood has become less about the everyday tasks of taking care of a little and instead become more about the big picture. I am raising an actual human! This isn't just a baby that needs fed and burped and changed every two hours. This is a very tiny human who is going to be a part of society. I am raising a member of the next generation, and I take that very seriously! I am here to teach her, guide her, love her, and be an example for her. I started to see that motherhood was so much more than physically taking care of someone else's needs. I also had someone else's tiny heart, mind, and spirit to nurture as well. So for all you mamas that feel unimportant or invisible today, know that you are doing the most important job there is in this world! We are doing the very best we can to raise the next generation to be kind, loving, compassionate, strong, and wise (among SO many other things). This is no small task! Moms are seriously superheroes. You sacrifice so much for these tiny babies that you love so deeply. So, as easy as it is to get sucked into those feelings of doubt, remember how important you are and how important this role of mama is.  Motherhood does not come without its challenges. We all have days when we feel everything is going smooth, and we all have days when we feel we aren't quite cut out to do this job. But you SO are. You got this! Give yourself all the credit you deserve because you're in the midst of the most challenging yet rewarding and important job of your life! I no longer feel hidden in the background. I feel a huge sense of pride knowing how important I am to my girly. I was given this baby for a reason! So my message to you is this: you are loved and valued. You go mama! You are amazing.

 

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2 Comments
Alexandra Mann - Aw Dot this was so nice. Made my heart smile! Love knowing you as well. Hope to see you soon!
Dot Martin - Knowing you has been a privledge. I knew you would be a great mama. You are kind and caring and it is obvious that you live your life with Jesus. esp writing, I enjoy your stories.Love