Motherhood by definition is the act of raising a child. When Patty asked me to do a post for this series I thought I would write something well put together and eloquent. Something that captured motherhood in all its perfection and glamour. Then I remembered, motherhood is not well put together. Motherhood is not eloquent.
Motherhood is certainly not perfect.
Growing up I always knew I wanted kids. I grew up in a big family and it was always something I saw in my future. I had a plan, and kids were a good five to seven years down the road. Well, thankfully, the plans we have for ourselves very rarely are what are best for us. So clinging to Proverbs 19:21 I left a nine-year relationship I knew was not right for our unborn child, and stumbled into this adventure called motherhood. Single motherhood.
Motherhood has been nothing I thought it would be, but just about everything I needed.
So here are a few lessons Motherhood has taught me – so far.
1. Be happy in the moment.
This is something I have to remind myself of more often then I’d like to admit. Sometimes I catch myself letting the silliest things upset me, which then changes the outcome of the entire day. Finally I asked myself, what do I want my son to remember today? My answer was simple, I want Jones to look back on the day and think, “we sure did laugh a lot”.
2. Enjoy every stage you are in, while you’re in it.
This is a piece of advice my own mother gave to me. This is a hard one, I know. Jones didn’t sleep through the night until he was 18 months old. When my mother told me, “It’s just a stage, one day you’ll look back and miss this.” I was exhausted and overwhelmed, so I did what every daughter does when their mother gives them advice on motherhood; rolled my eyes and did exactly what she said. I started looking forward to the middle of the night feedings, those special moments with just the two of us snuggling, rocking, and being still. And you know what – she was right, looking back I miss everything about that season of our life together.
Every stage is different and I want to remember everything. Like how currently Jones only speaks in third person. When Jones was born I started a monthly journal. Each time he does something I want to remember, I jot it down in my phone and then once a month I write it all down in his journal.
3. Stop trying to be perfect.
Like any mom, I want to make sure I am doing everything I can to ensure Jones has the best life I can provide. But sometimes I put too much pressure on myself to be perfect. One day as I was checking the labels of all his food to make sure he was getting the Recommended Daily Allowances, I realized I was being ridiculous and this mission for perfection was out of control. There will be good days and there will be bad. There will be days Jones eats a whole can of green beans with dinner and others he eats a can of bean dip. Sometimes the pool totally counts as a bath, other days we don’t even bathe at all. It happens. Life will go on. And most important, a few bad days doesn’t influence my ability to be a good mother.
4. Hold Him.
A friend turned me on to this heart wrenching blog post when I first had Jones and it was basically all the things you do for the last time and don’t even realize it. Well, one of them was the last time you hold your child. That hit me hard as I sat there holding my two-week-old son and it’s something I haven’t forgotten two years later. I made a promise to Jones then, that I would go out of my way to devote specific time just to him. We would eat dinner as a family every night. We would play super heroes just a little bit longer. I would read his favorite book for the millionth time and most importantly I would hold him, every chance I could. Because there will come a day, a day that neither one of us sees coming, that I’ll set him down and never pick him back up.
5. It’s really hard to be mom.
Being a mom is hard. Before becoming a mother I had no clue that being responsible for another soul would be so exhausting in every sense of the word. I mean I knew it wasn’t easy, but I assumed with a little training I’d have my son totally rocking this whole “kid” thing. It’s hard to have every single waking moment be occupied by another being. I sometimes miss the old Taylor. Selfishly, sometimes I miss my independence – but the moment I have it, I long to be back with the one who calls me momma.
6. It takes a village – it’s true.
I am fortunate enough to not only have my own family who is heavily involved in my son’s life, but also my son’s biological father’s family. Jones’ biological father has chosen a path that prohibits him from being involved in his life. I know one day Jones will notice that his father is absent but I am confident he will never feel forsaken. I have our families to thank for that, because they not only love Jones and myself – they love each other. When I think about how unique our situation is I can’t help but feel incredibly blessed. Jones has more people then I ever could have imagined who not only adore him, but also want to be part of his life. I can’t imagine what our life would look like without our village. If you don’t have one, get one.
Motherhood is not glamorous. It’s not perfect or easy. It’s not something you can figure out in a day, a week or even a lifetime.
What does motherhood mean to me? Undeserving grace and unfathomable joy.
Hi, Ya’ll. My name is Taylor and I am a Believer, tiny town dweller, and mother of a wild and lovin’ two year old named Jones. I am a recent graduate from the University of North Texas with a Masters Degree in Library and Information Science. Although I enjoy the work, I have recently taken a leap of faith and started my own company with one of my sisters and created The Boho Market. It’s a pop up indoor market in Dallas, TX! Come connect with me on Instagram!
Fun fact: While they’re no longer in stock, The tees the girls and I are wearing in my bio photo are from Taylor’s shop. See what else she has here!