Saturday, February 6, 2016

Mama Be Kind to Yourself; A Letter to My Former Self

Dear New Mama,

     I have so much I want to share with you about this journey of motherhood. Things you could never know about unless you experienced them or learned about them from someone else. First and foremost, you must always be kind to yourself. You are human and you are not expected to know everything or how to do everything. You will make mistakes, you will forget, you will get frustrated and you will want to give up. You will also succeed and have triumphs. You will teach and discover. You will question everything, doubt and exhaust yourself. You will laugh, cry, marvel and be amazed. You will judge, you will regret and you will be more exhausted than you can ever imagine. You will at times feel you can't do this mother thing and pray for help...answers...sleep.... You will put millions of tons of pressure on yourself to be the best, most amazing mother ever created and to in turn, raise the most perfect child  who has the perfect everything.
     I want you to know, New Mama, that you do not have to do this job alone. You are not the only one. Most of us moms feel or have felt like this at one time or another, if not most of the time. You do not need to be "Super Mom" because we are not super human. We ARE HUMAN. Period. We are imperfect. We are allowed to not know, to screw up, to give up, to be tired, lazy, selfish, and busy. This journey is such because it is unscripted. It is unknown and different for every parent and every child, even within the same family. It is a learning process. This tiny baby you have is going to grow, change, develop and turn into his/her own person. You have to learn all about this child and he/she has to learn about you. You have to get to know each other. This relationship starts at birth and evolves over the course of our lifetimes. We must grow, learn, change, adapt, accept, assimilate, accommodate, forgive, love and more.
     Mama, I want you to know that you are already an amazing and talented mother. It's not because of the "perfect" things that you do for your child or how well you do them. Your a perfect mother for your child because he is YOUR child! He was given to you because only YOU can be his mother the way he needs. Your are an amazing mother because of the love you have for your child and the way you love him. Because of the strong desire to to whatever it takes to do your best to care for him. Your child is loved and supported and guided. Your child will love you because he feels your dedication and love. Your child doesn't expect a perfect mother, he already thinks your perfect. Your child forgives you when you mess up and also learns from you. The times when we show our imperfections are the truly wonderful moments of parenthood. These are the times when we can shine and do the most good. We show our kids we are human. Imagine if we held our kids to the same perfect expectations to which we are holding ourselves? They could never measure up because no one is perfect. How damaging that would be for them. Then why do this to ourselves?! We can teach our kids so much through these flawed moments. This is when we teach how to communicate, admit shortcomings,  how to problem solve, express our emotions properly, how to forgive, love and be flexible.
     Mama, if I can leave you with a few tips, I think they may help you. Be flexible and patient. "Rome wasn't built in a day" Go easy on yourself. Your not supposed to know everything. It would be weird if you knew everything. Don't hold yourself to ideals, weather they belong to you or someone else. You are YOU, and that is it! Please avoid judging and letting yourself feel judged. No one lives in your home, body, heart and mind and you do not need to answer to anyone. Ever. Have faith always. Enlist the support of your fellow mothers. We really do "GET IT" and we all want to help and support each other. You are so far from alone and you should always speak your heart even if it means admitting that "this is hard, not what you expected or that you need help". We all need help...all the time. Let people help you...they want to. "It takes a village"! We aren't designed to raise our children alone. Most important, do not ever loose sight of yourself mama! It is so easy to get caught up in the constant sacrifices of motherhood that we forget to take care of ourselves. We put our needs, wants and joys to the side. Sometimes we feel guilty when we miss or want to do those things we enjoy. You have to always keep sight of YOU because you forgetting your needs will interfere with your ability to be that amazing mommy you strive so hard to be. You need all of yourself to feel whole. Your child deserves to know all about incredible, amazing you. Yes, you are a mommy, but it's one part of you. It doesn't define you. You are amazing just as you are!