We are just a few short days away from Mother’s Day and I can’t help buy reflect on my first Mother’s Day 11 years ago. It seems like the time has flown all too quickly and the minutes of the day just drift away like they are non-existent. Looking back on what I’ve learned and what I’ve accomplished gives me a sense of pride. I always knew I wanted to be a mom, but I never knew how rewarding it would be for me and how much I loved this job with all my heart.
My boys are growing so quickly and I have learned after becoming a mother that sometimes a little acknowledgement, peace of mind and inspiration go a really long way. I wanted to take the time to write a letter to all moms – new, soon to be and those with years of experience. This is my Mother’s Day Gift to you and I hope you enjoy!
1. As much as we wish it would, time stands still for no one and father time ticks and tocks the days and nights away. While our days may be filled with challenges, they may also be filled with laughter and delight. Take the time each day to stop and think about the things you are grateful for. I keep a gratitude journal specifically for this reason. It allows me to reflect back on other days and remember the memories that we often times soon forget. Remember that each day is filled with some form of happiness… there is always sunlight at the end of a storm.
2. It’s okay to want a little “me” time. I’m still trying to grasp the concept myself, but at least now I have accepted that wanting some time to myself does not mean that I don’t love my children. It just means that I need a break sometimes. Even if this means you are gonna vegetate in front of the computer, online window shop and have a glass of Vino… so long as it gives you a moment to yourself – hey, that’s great.
3. Don’t feel bad about wanting to capture every moment on camera. Your children will thank you later, trust me. My three sons grew up in front of a camera and I snapped away at every moment and tried to capture as many memories as possible. Even with a camera attached at the hip, I found that some of their earlier years were missed because I was caught up doing other things. It’s okay to stop and tell someone you need to take a photo, it’s okay to capture the moment for your memories. Snap away and always have a camera on hand. You don’t want to look back at the past and realize you missed something because you were too busy with something else.
4. Each parent has their own set of advice for new or soon to be mommies. It can be difficult to hear sometimes and I know that I struggled with this (still do), for a long time. If it’s something you can use in your life as a momma, then incorporate it into your own. If you can’t use, do not worry – just move on and thank the person who gave it to you. Parents sometimes forget that each child is their own individual and what might work for one child, certainly will not work for another. Do not feel obligated to make someone’s advice work for you – even if they say it will and you know it won’t.
5. This one might only pertain to moms of twinnies… but needless to say, it had to be said. Please please do not tell a mom of twins (new or otherwise), that you know exactly what they are going through because your children are just 10 months or a year or so apart. IT IS NOT THE SAME. I won’t tell you how many verbal arguments I have gotten into with parents over this. Having two children exactly the same age (twins) is not the same as having a child just a year older. By the time you have your second child (or the child born a year after), your first child is already starting to feed themselves, talking, walking, etc. It is not the same experience as two infants or children the same age. Many can argue the fact, but as a mother of twins, it was absolutely difficult for me to deal with and it was the cause of MANY arguments with other people. Does that mean that you are less than I because I am a mother of twins – OF COURSE NOT, but they are not a comparison or similarity by any means.
6. It’s okay to splurge on yourself once in a while. I’m pretty lucky in that I have a husband that consistently reminds me that it’s time to buy myself something nice, otherwise, it goes on the back burner and I completely forget. Choose out something from your wishlist and if you can swing it, get it. Ask your hubby for a Sephora Gift Card (hint hint) and pick up that new perfume or lipstick you’ve been eyeing. The choices are endless and I want moms to know that it’s okay to want to spoil yourself once in a while. It’s too often that we forget about ourselves and are always thinking about others, so it’s okay to have a little treat now and then.
7. A child’s smile can warm your heart. But, don’t let that fool you… that doesn’t mean you have to give-in and give them anything and everything they want. Sometimes structure is key and I know it has been very essential in raising my children. There are many out there that will say you are being too harsh… but don’t let them affect how your raise your child. They are your children after all – not your aunts, sisters, mothers, brother from another mother… they are your children and you set the rules.
8. Your are a strong woman! It takes more than just physical strength to handle the job of a mom. You are not only strong physically and mentally, you are courageous, creative and a complete genius. Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise!
9. Before having your first child, no one ever tells you that it is a 365 day a year job, no days off, no weekends – no holidays… no pay. lol We don’t get a lunch break, no vacation time off and there is no worker’s comp either. It has made me appreciate my mom more after having children. While I knew that my mom was a very hard worker and she kept our family afloat, I truly had no idea what it was like until I stepped into this role. My mom also made it all work with less than half of what my family has financially. My siblings and I are all healthy and grown up and I am proud to have learned so much from my own mom.
10. This is an important one! After having children, sometimes we lose that sense of sexy. I know after having my boys, I gained twice my weight and I was not feeling very pretty. Gaining weight after childbirth is not the only thing that makes us not feel beautiful. Emotions are running wild, we’re tired, we don’t want to put makeup on and pajamas are our best friend. All these things add up to feeling frumpy and blue and that doesn’t even include the women who suffer from postpartum as I did. When someone pays you a compliment, believe them. For a long time my husband would tell me how beautiful I was and I thought to myself… “what’s wrong with this man? Who in the world is he looking at?” I still think that way sometimes. But when your husband tells you are your beautiful – believe him. This is not an easy concept for many and sometimes we just don’t feel beautiful. But beauty is much more than looks and a woman who can survive on two hours of sleep and no food in their belly and still be able to cook a whole meal for the house, pay the bills and make sure each child is happy and healthy – well… she has a beauty within that most only dream of having.
So, at the end of the day – we are here on this Earth because of our Mothers… well, our Dads too. Most of us are who we are because of these women and those who are mothers, well – we are strong, stealth ninjas with a heart of gold. At the end of the day, our lives are no longer our own and times can be tough, but there is one thing I know about being a mom… it is the BEST, MOST REWARDING JOB IN THE WORLD and I wouldn’t give it up for anything.
To all the mommies out there, new, soon to be and those that are experienced just know that YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! Wishing you all a wonderful Mother’s Day!