I am the oldest of four children raised by two wonderful, selfless parents. When my brother was born, my parents had four children under the age of five. I’ve always laughed and honestly thought my parents were crazy for doing that to themselves. But now that I am a mother, I have nothing but true admiration and respect for both of them.
In our house, my mom stayed at home while my dad worked long hours on Wall Street in Manhattan to provide for all of us. That meant that my mom was home alone most of the week taking care of us. Since becoming a mother, I cannot imagine having three little munchkins running around in addition to the four-month old I am currently raising. When venting to my mom about either scheduled naps not working out or that I haven’t brushed my teeth yet at 2pm, I’ve wondered how she did it all those years ago without losing her mind or wanting to run away. When I asked her, her answer was so simple, yet so wise: she just gave into motherhood.
After speaking with her, I reflected and tried to pinpoint why I seemed to be struggling so much. I’ve always dreamt of becoming a mom and being able to stay at home to raise my child. So why was this nugget of advice a revelation to me?
When venting to my mom about either scheduled naps not working out or that I haven’t brushed my teeth yet at 2pm, I’ve wondered how she did it all those years ago without losing her mind or wanting to run away.
Sometimes it feels like a unique time in history to be a mom. Between social and other forms of media, I find myself getting caught up in the comparison game where I feel like I should be constantly doing more in addition to raising my daughter. Based on those feelings, I then set unreasonable expectations for myself and then would get depressed when I don’t meet them. In this fast-paced world we live in, I’ve also personally felt the pressure to check off items on my personal parenting list as quickly as possible – whether it’s losing the baby weight, setting a nap schedule, or introducing solid foods. And there have been times in these last four months where I have resented my sweet daughter for not conforming to the routine I’ve created.
She’s just a baby learning how to live in this new world – what did I expect?
I’ve since realized, it’s the days where I simply go with the flow and follow my baby’s needs or moods where I have felt the most stress-free as a new mom. The days where I just give in to this new chapter of my life and allow the part of being a mom take the wheel. Yes, there will be days when I call the shots or when a schedule must be dictated. And while I am a full-time mom right now, I don’t plan on leaving my career dreams or passions. I continue the career hustle whenever possible and push myself to dream big.
Her answer was so simple, yet so wise: she just gave into motherhood.
But since I took my mom’s advice and just accepted this new chapter of my life, giving into motherhood has been freeing.
Being a type A, oldest child, control freak, I need to remind myself of my mother’s advice on a daily basis, especially when I find myself obsessing over something silly. However, I am trying more and more to just let go of the pressures and unreasonably high expectations I’ve put on myself. I physically tell myself out loud to just give into this crazy, amazing world that is motherhood and try to go with the flow. Before I know it, she will be off to preschool, leaving me behind, and I will be crying into my cold coffee in the car.
When I look back on my childhood, I am so thankful to my mother for giving herself entirely to her children. There must have been numerous times when it was not as easy as she made it look, but all I remember is seeing love and happiness on her face. This undying love and happiness has been instilled in me throughout my life, and is what I hope to instill in my daughter.
Now that I am a mother myself, I know this is a testament to my mother’s true strength in raising four independent, healthy, happy children. I now seek her advice and insight on a daily basis not only because she is my mom, but because she is my motherhood idol.
With my mother’s advice and guidance, I hope to build a relationship with my daughter similar to the one I have with my mom. We are more than just mother and daughter, we are best friends. On my first Mother’s Day as a mom, I feel extra special as I am not only being initiated into motherhood, but I have also introduced another little girl who can be cherished by and learn from my mother.