Journey to motherhood

I looked into her wide dark brown eyes, bewildered and speechless. She was 7 pounds and 10 ounces, and I wondered to myself, “What am I supposed to do with this? This is my baby? Are you sure?” She was beautiful – with eyes wide open from my womb to the world. But something else tugged on my tired mind: How I wished she’d come with a parenting manual!

Honestly, I would have preferred to leave my firstborn in the hospital that early morning with the nursing staff. Something inside of me was convinced she would be better off in the hands of medical professionals and smiling nurses. Not the average response for most first-time moms. But, thats my story.

I was nervous, scared, tired, relieved, and excited – all at once. My unbalanced post-partum hormones did not help either. That was ten years ago. It was the beginning of motherhood.

The dictionary defines motherhood as the state or quality of being a mother or maternity. That state is a process – a journey. It is a journey of a lifetime, spanning the ages of our children. In my journey, I have made mistakes and overcome challenges. Most of all, there are three lessons, that motherhood has taught me.

First, you cannot do it alone. No matter how skilled you are as a childcare professional or babysitter, you need help. Be open to accepting assistance from family, friends, loved ones, and even professional caregivers such as nannies, au pair, and helps. Ask questions when you don’t know or are not sure. I was young and stuck in my ways of raising my first daughter. In hindsight, I can see my protective, maternal instinct kicking into gear when someone else offered to bathe her or take her for a stroll while I catch some much-needed rest. Surround yourself with a caring and loving support group. Also, be willing to accept their help.

Secondly, learn to live by example. As a new parent, I thought my child was too young to notice what I do. I was quick with my words of correction: “Don’t do this! Don’t touch that!” Soon, I realized that she was not obeying my instructions because my words did not match my actions. Why should she eat her vegetables when Mom was picking hers, swerving them to the side of her plate, and throwing them in the trash? I sure did. Being a mom taught me how to eat my vegetables(*smile*). Live by example. It will be good for you – like those healthy veggies.

Lastly, my journey to motherhood is a daily reminder that I am learning; I am growing. Motherhood is like a school – except we graduate and receive our diplomas once those grandkids arrive; we can finally take the backseat just to watch how our children instill values and worthy principles in their kids (hopefully). No one knows it all. We only hope to wisely counsel and lead our kids as they grow and develop before our eyes.

One thing I can guarantee you is this: being a mom is fun. It is a lot of work, but it is worth it. Everyday. And… my adventure continues.