May 12, 2012

Motherhood Is...

I am an intelligent, beautiful woman. This is something that I like to repeat to myself often because it is too quickly forgotten during the daily battles that come with motherhood.

Becoming a mother for the first time introduced me to a completely foreign world. Having been around very few babies in my life, breastfeeding, diapers and swaddling were terrifying concepts. I read the proper books, registered for the must-have items and took the appropriate classes. Being prepared was my solution to calm those fears of inadequacy.

Yet on that warm January day as my husband and I exchanged a tear-filled glance upon hearing our daughter’s first cries I realized that nothing could prepare me for this moment. I became aware of how much love we had to share with this baby and it was clear we were going to be just fine.

 I am an intelligent, beautiful woman.

After months of failed breast-feeding attempts, I felt helpless sitting in a rocking chair in tears holding a screaming infant in my arms. I did everything the lactation consultants instructed me to do, followed every bit of advice from other moms and my baby girl still refused to breast-feed. I knew it wasn’t working but we kept trying in hopes that everyone else was right.

The day I listened to myself and ignored the world around me was the day all of our struggles ended. She was exclusively breastfed for over a year from bottles of expressed breast milk.

I am an intelligent, beautiful woman.

Six months later I was driven to the point of insanity as my days were spent rocking the baby to sleep only to have her wake up minutes after she was laid down. She was exhausted, not eating and we were desperate for any solution.

One day in desperation I lay on the nursery floor after putting the baby down for her nap. I sat with a timer, poised to jump into action the minute she moved. After reading advice from a book, I was determined to soothe her back to sleep before she could wake. I laid on the nursery floor for two hours like a crazed lunatic.

All along I knew what the answer was, but chose to follow bad advice instead of listening to my own heart. At the end of the day we did what we knew was right for our family. Our baby girl napped solidly and slept through the night from then on.

I am an intelligent, beautiful woman.

As I trudge through motherhood making inevitable mistakes, there is one reassuring constant. Motherhood is exactly what I was made for. It is a humbling, enriching experience that can sometimes make me forget what I’ve known all along.

I am an intelligent, beautiful mother.

No comments: