Motherhood Lessons of 2017
It is the end of yet another year. We are truly thankful to be alive and to be moving on to another chapter. As we all know, motherhood is a journey. And with journeys, there are lessons. Some good, some bad, but always a learning experience.
Motherhood has taught us a lot so Delaya and I have decided to sit and reflect on the motherhood lessons we learned in 2017. And since you are our Besties, we want to share those lessons with you!
Julia's Lessons in Motherhood...
1. Motherhood Puts Your Negatives in the Forefront
You remember when it was all about you? Yeah, I vaguely remember too. A lot of times this journey can make you feel drained and tired. Another thing it does is show you the ugly things you don't like about yourself or maybe tried not to notice. For example, I learned that I do not have patience for others. Like the not enough patience to even save my own life kind of no patience. I truly saw how bad it was this year with Jayla being in the "try me" stage of life (you may know this as the "terrible twos").
I have also noticed that I have become a yeller. Truthfully kids will be kids, and although it is our job to instill discipline and make them respect authority, it is also our job to show understanding when it's just the moments when a kid is being a kid. Motherhood will show you all kinds of things about yourself. My issues are with patience and yelling, but another mother may realize she is selfish or standoffish. But we do not have to be stuck in these modes.
I intend to change these behaviors by not allowing my temper to get the best of me. It is truly something I can control with a little bit of work. If you are subscribed to our newsletter (which I'm unsure of why you wouldn't be) you saw that I've been working on anger with a book from Bible Study. It has helped me use a more caring tone even when Jayla isn't acting the way I want her to. It has also helped me to talk to her and get to the root of her temper tantrums. I have to remain calm and focused if I want her to learn how to do the same. Discipline is still happening, just in a different way.
2. Take it One Moment at a Time
This lesson was learned for the good things and the bad things. I have a bad habit of multitasking and usually where it is a pride and skill I love to show off, it really is hindering in the real world. See, "multitasking" had me playing with Jayla, but looking at my phone for other things I had to do. "Multitasking" had me truthfully putting work before paying attention to my daughter when she really wanted it or when I was making it a point to be with her. Even in the times when she is being "bad" I have to remember these happenings are just for a moment and they will pass.
So I've decided to change the habit and take one moment at a time. If I am playing with Jayla, she deserves my undivided attention. No phone checking, no email responses, no phone conversations. Everything has a dedicated time and place. Nothing is that important that it needs my attention all the time. I will be more strict with my time blocking and focus in the coming year. And when bad situations arise, I will remember it is only in that particular moment. It will pass and life will go on.
3. I Take Too Much
Momdom is hard. It's draining, it's demanding, can be neglecting of self, and challenges you every step of the way. Lord how I wish their was an accurate manual. I think every mom wants to be seen as a super hero, but even super heroes need help. I learned that I take on too much. I have this awful habit of wanting to do everything. Take on more and more and more. Then I end up getting super stressed. Why do I do it? In all honesty, I do not know. Maybe I like when I list off all the things I have to do with the cherry on top being I'm doing it all while being a mom.
I've learned this year that the burn out is not worth it! This mother has learned that handling it ALL is for the birds. So I will be saying "no" more often and showing up less. Those days when I just want to stay at home in my pajamas with Jay all day will no longer be thrown out of my mind. Hey, I'm still super woman, just gona take a little break when necessary.
Delaya's Lessons in Motherhood...
4. I will not survive without bettering my patience.
Yea, I just jumped right in there and ripped the band aid off. I’m sure that my motherhood has taught me more lessons within this past year but this is the main one that I NEED to focus on for my sanity and the positivity of the relationship between my daughter and I. But on a larger scale, I’ve learned that as a mother:
5. I am forever a work in progress.
Before I had a child, my patience was very good. I wasn’t phased easily by annoyances, solutions to problems came quickly and if all else failed, I would unhesitantly walk away from the situation altogether. It was a beautiful time but then my sweet baby girl came to turn everything on its head.
Now in my normal adult world where everyone makes sense, at least a good amount of sense, my patience is still on point. Where it wavers is when I’m dealing with my baby love.
As we know kids grow and develop regularly. This isn’t a new concept; it’s common and expected. My angel is learning more and more each and every day, and it’s beautiful and what not, but it also breeds unchartered territory for both of us because what that means is boundaries become tested on a regular basis.
I’ve repeatedly taken cable chords out of her mouth, have kept her from playing with electrical sockets, have cleaned tupperware containers off the floor daily, have stopped her from jumping to her death off of the couch and a plethora of other heroic deeds. All I get in return are tears, screams and tantrums because I ruined life she knows it. These are the moments where I need prayer and patience.
If you’re a mom, you might be a little puzzled right now and thinking, but those things happen a bajillion times every single day and I’m SOL if that gets to me and I’m only 18 months in.
Well I’m not SOL, my dear. This daily occurrence (annoyance) is how I learned the larger scale lesson that motherhood means I’m forever a work in progress. Within this past year, there were times when I acted unfavorably, like by yelling when I shouldn’t have. Yes, I’m a yeller too. But from these frequent occurrences, I can assess my behavior and how I displayed my lack of patience for Ava’s antics and then improve upon it for next time. Because we all know that there will be a next time.
My lesson is that I don’t have to get it “right” the next time around. If anything, I just have to try and not mess up as badly as I did before and that’s a great thing to know and to carry around with me.
And with that, we’ve survived another 365 days of motherhood! Yay us! With motherhood lessons in hand, we can walk into 2018 a little bit more confident than we were before. Hopefully.
If you've learned nothing else in motherhood, we want to stress to you that motherhood isn't perfect and it really shouldn't be. None of us know what we're doing and that's completely okay. If someone seems like they have it all together, they don't. You don't see what's happening behind closed doors so don't compare your motherhood to anyone else's motherhood.
Now, we want you to sound off in the comments. What was your biggest motherhood lesson in 2017? Was it rough one for you? What’s your outlook on 2018?