Hey there, you handsome fella’!!!!!!! It is less than 3 months until you make your debut!!!!! Oh the excitement, the anticipation, the preparations…..it consumes me! I cannot believe it has been 5 years since our family had a baby…..my last baby, Brynlee. Nor can I fathom that I have been a mother for 7 years…it seems like yesterday, and at the same time a thousand lifetimes ago. Your mommy has given me some insight into aunthood, and a glimpse into the joys/tribulations that I will face stepping into this new role as your auntie. It is the most wonderful feeling knowing that I will get to help to shape/mold/love/guide you…..After, all my struggles to be a mom, finally getting my girls was all so bittersweet because it took so very long, and went by so extremely fast. Being a first time mom with Braelyn, I was offered so much well placed advice. It was all a bit overwhelming if I am honest with you. I mean, your cousins didn’t come with instructions and neither will you. The fact that I was going to become responsible for another human being was terrifying, thrilling, and all the do’s and do not’s from other moms made me feel like I was drowning in my own doubts about my ability. I listened, I tried to take in all their knowledge, their theories, and their experiences but it left me reeling, questioning my desires for myself as a parent.
Now, truth being told, Fidget, there were some hard truths that I wish that other moms would have bestowed upon my new found motherhood…….those unexpected things that sneak up and catch you unaware. I was told so much contradictory information, “You can never hold your baby too much,” to “holding your baby all the time will spoil them,” “Never let your baby cry it out,” to “crying will strengthen their lungs,” One extreme to another everyone had an opinion, “Co-sleep it is vital for bonding,” to “Do not co-sleep.” But the truth is, Fidget, most of the things that I needed to hear, no one told me. As moms, we have this code to only speak of the beauties of motherhood, and while they are all beautiful, they are also scary.
No one told me the earth shattering fear I would feel every single night that would awaken me to sneak into my baby’s room and feel her chest move up and down, or listen as her breaths came steadily in and out. I didn’t co-sleep which was a choice I had made before my long awaited miracles, but most nights I didn’t sleep at all. As a mom, you worry about every.single.thing………are you holding them enough, are you holding them too much, is it normal to feel like you cannot do this……..and the answer to that is YES, every single mom at one point or another, be it in the wee hours of the morning when you have barely slept, or the days when you are so sleep deprived you are barely making it through.Yup, totally normal. Those days when you are not sure when you last left the house, or wore “real clothes”, or for that fact, when you last looked in the mirror to brushed your hair.
Moms, tell you what you want to hear, they don’t want to frighten you……it is well meaning but the truth is, every little bit…well, it is frightening, Fidget. Now don’t think that doesn’t mean you are not the greatest thing that will ever happen to your mom or your dad……or your auntie…….but as a new parent it is scary, simply because you are loved so much, you are so perfect, that every parent fears they will flaw you by something as minuscule as deciding to allow you to self sooth at night instead of rocking you..
Motherhood is an oxymoron in and of itself. You want to see your child succeed, thrive, grow but each step is both intoxicating and heart-wrenching all at once. We are your advocate, we want you to meet your milestones but when you do it is one more step away from us. It is fretfully awaiting your first word to be mommy and then when you master it and scream it repeatedly in the middle of a restaurant or a conversation when you relentlessly repeat it over and over and over; we wonder why we pushed so hard to get you to say it………then you feel bad about thinking that……oh the guilt……who the heck left the guilt out. She will feel guilty that she is soooooooo needed and secretly wish that she had a moment of personal space but also moms are so grateful that you still need us. It is the battle of exhaustion when you cry out to us in the middle of the night for the one hundredth time but when we groggily pick you up it is worth it because even in our zombie state of mind your face rights the whole world.
As time goes on, you wonder as a mom, if you are hugging your baby enough, playing with them enough, and the list goes on. It is crying yourself to sleep at night because your toddler got the best of you that day by throwing a tantrum, refusing to eat their lunch or throwing it across the room, it is a million “mommy, mommy, MOMMY’s, a night when nothing seems to comfort you, and one of those times she lost her patience. But you know what, Fidget, that means you have a good mom, when she questions how every decision that she makes and how it impact her child. When I became a mom 7 years ago, I thought I was so prepared, I had all the answers……but I didn’t. The thing with parenting is that you learn as you go, you learn more from your child than any parenting book, and thankfully all babies are amazingly resilient. lol
So here is my advice for your mommy, and a few notes for you to take as well, my little guy! Your mom will be told several times,
- “Enjoy every single moment, time goes so fast.” To that I have a few adjustments…….first, no one can enjoy every single moment, that is way too much pressure. I mean really, who can enjoy seemingly endless sleepless nights, wearing spit up like an accessory, and those blow outs you will undoubtedly have at the most inopportune time….nah, probably not going to spark joy. Although, MOST times will be very enjoyable to the point of bliss so strong that it blurs every other emotion.It is also true that time goes really, really fast. That doesn’t mean as a mom you are supposed to have to catalog every single moment, although as a first time mom, that is what I tried to do and your mommy will do the same. My philosophy is take a lot of pictures, and make a lot of memories because as much as we do not want it to, time will pass quickly.
- “You are holding him too much/not enough.” Only your mommy will know your needs and sometimes she just needs to hold you. There is no set time, no perfect formula on just how much holding “spoils” a baby and besides a little spoiling is necessary. (This advice doesn’t apply to aunts……I will be holding you A LOT). Your mom will know, Fidget, when you are fussy and need her, and when you just need a nap.
- “You are feeding him too much/not enough.” Shaking my head at this one, pretty sure if she knows how to feed a barnyard of animals she can feed one wee boy correctly. No worries, you will not be starved, just ask Dallas.
- “You have to stay at home/go to work.” There is no right or wrong time to return to work, and working is in your mommy’s dna. Either choice she makes will elicit a bit of guilt. If she stays home she will feel like she could be working and buying you more of the things you want or she thinks you need. If she goes to work, she will feel like she is missing out on all the greatness of you.
- “You should/shouldn’t let your baby cry it out.” Well, Fidget, don’t hold it against me but there will be times that you just need to be fed, burped, laid down etc and there will be times that you just need to cry a little. It is alright to let you do a bit of fussing if you are overstimulated and mommy is at her breaking point when you are breaking the sound barrier you with your squawling. Braelyn, was never a crier, so I never had the struggle of letting her cry it out. If she cried she was hungry or tired…..usually hungry, she was a chunky little baby. However, your cousin, Brynlee had her share of “cry it outs.” I tried to comfort her when I could but other times to the crib she went so that I didn’t go crazy.
The advice goes on and on. But there are a few things that I will leave here for your mom. It is okay and essential to take time for herself. It will make her a better mom, more patient, more relaxed, and very happy to see you when she returns. She WILL feel guilty taking a night away, even though she wants a break, and she will miss you instantly. So, the rare night she gets away from your cute little booty, will no doubt be spent self-loathing and wishing you were home.
If she decides to go back to work, she will struggle leaving you at daycare or with a sitter. She will cry the entire drive to work after she drops you off. You might cry after her for the first little bit, and it will break her heart making her question if she is doing the correct thing returning to the job force. She will spend her day wondering what you are doing and what she is missing. But she works because she loves you, and hopefully auntie can be your sitter hint hint!
If she stays home she will feel like perhaps she should work so you can have more materialistically. It will tear at her heart wondering if she is making the right decision staying home with you. If she chooses to stay at home with you, however long that may be then she will be doing the greatest job a mom can do……just being with you 🙂 Whatever she does from here on out, stay at home or work, it will be done with a new purpose….you! There is no right or wrong choice. Motherhood is not a one size fits all role that we fill. It is a bunch of give and take, a bunch of happiness with a tinge of sadness, joy and sorrow, and each emotion is so much deeper than any one person could imagine!
You will break her heart, even though it won’t be your choice. Motherhood is a series of heartbreak and elation. You will do things that catch her unaware and she will respond with a lump in her throat along with tears misting her eyes. Her tired arms will silently beg for the day when you can walk but when you do, as she is cheering your clumsy legs to keep going, she will also be wiping the tears rolling down her cheeks. You will have separation anxiety where you will not want her out of your sight, which means she will eat, clean, and walk either holding you or with you clinging to her leg. She will pray for the day she can go to the shower without you screaming or following her in to the bathroom……but then the day will come that you are okay when she is out of sight and that will devastate her in a whole new way.
Your mommy is a “doer,” she does this, and that and everything in between….she doesn’t know what leisure time is, and wants no part of it, unless it is on the back of a horse (which seems like a lot of work to Auntie A, but what do I know, I cannot even saddle a horse lol), or an occasional day reading a book or 4……she is an overachiever and if she is going to use her time reading she must cram all the information into that “leisure time” that she possibly can. If she is sitting idly, oh me…..she gets stir crazy, and thinks of all the things she could/should be doing……I think that you will balance this out. There is nothing that is more of a pleasant distraction than a tiny baby resting in your arms….and when she holds you she is accomplishing way more than she could anywhere else.
“Mommying” is hard work…..it is blessed work, it is sacred work, it is the work that will mean more than any other career in her life. You, my little man, you will become her full-time job, and I have no doubt she will take the job of loving you very seriously….she may not know it completely yet but you are her entire heart. As a mom, I will say that there is nothing scarier protecting your heart outside of your body, but she will be the best at taking care of you……everything she does, she does it better than anyone that I know…..You will be her greatest adventure and achievement, after all, you know her love for you because you are the only one that has heard her heart beat from the inside of her chest…..so you know what a gift you were given for a mommy! I love you, Fidget!
#mommyadvice #notruerlove #auntwisdom,