Before my daughter was born, I did a lot of eye-rolling when observing moms around me. It’s easy to pass judgment from the outside. But, when I became a mom, things got real.
Letting go of preconceived ideas in order to embrace the mom that I am has been humbling. Below are nine things that have taught me to never say “never.”
“I will not take my baby to ‘baby music class.”
- In my pre-mom days, sitting in a class with other moms singing hokey songs in goofy voices sounded like torture. I thought there had to be a more pleasant way to introduce music. Now I scour the Internet to find these classes – my daughter LOVES them. She beams when everyone sings “The Wheels on the Bus.” And the sillier the voice, the more she giggles, and I would travel to the ends of the earth to hear that sound. Thankfully, I only have to go down the street.
“I refuse to be restricted to a bedtime.”
- When friends with babies would make “dinner” plans for 4pm so they could put their baby to bed by 7pm, I thought it was ridiculous. Babies can sleep whenever and wherever, right? Not necessarily. But that’s ok! My daughter thrives on the routine of a 7pm bedtime. Late dinners are out, but happy hours are very doable. Plus, my husband and I enjoy the time to ourselves in the evening – even if we struggle to stay up past 9pm.
“I won’t succumb to escapism.”
- I used to skip right by channels with reality TV and think, “who watches this stuff?” Well, me. While I would love to devour a novel every few days and watch documentaries every night, I just don’t have the energy. By the end of the day, all I want is to zone out and watch people looking for true love on some tropical island, or dancing for witty and entertaining judges. I love it.
“I will never use ‘my baby is napping’ as an excuse for anything.”
- I was stood up countless time because a friend’s baby would be “still napping” and I never understood. “Just pack up your baby and go,” I thought. Of course, I now know that naps are holy and I will cancel all plans so that one can occur. It’s hard to convey to a non-parent just how important it is to have a well-rested baby. This is why moms rely on one another for companionship. We modify plans as often as we make them and everyone “gets it.”
“I would never give my dog away.”
- A friend of mine who had just had a baby was trying to find a new home for her two dogs. “I feel guilty, but it’s just so hard,” she said. I thought she must not love her dogs that much. But lately – while still couldn’t give him away – I have fantasized about “loaning” him to my parents. It is really challenging to juggle a baby and a dog who is in constant need of attention (and who wakes my daughter when he barks). I love my dog, but he went from being my baby to being my pet. And like my friend, I feel tremendous guilt over it.
“I will continue to dress fashionably.”
- I used to see moms in boring clothes and feel sorry for them. Fashion has always been important to me. But now my entire day is a workout and I just need to get through it. When getting dressed. I ask myself: “Can I wear the same thing as yesterday?” (yes), “What’s most comfortable?” (what I wore yesterday), “What’s least dirty?” (hopefully, yesterday’s outfit).
“My living room will not look like a daycare center.”
- I’ve walked into other mom’s houses and almost walked right back out. The amount of toys strewn everywhere made me anxious. How many could a baby possibly need? Well, it’s not about need. Buying toys for my baby brings me great joy. Restricting them to her room means we have to always hang out in there. And her playmat goes great with our couch!
“I will never dress my baby to look like me.”
- Pre-baby, if you had told me that I would end up dressing my daughter and I alike, I would have laughed in your face. Way too cheesy. Obviously, I was naive. The first time I dressed us in matching outfits, it was coincidence. The second time, not so much. It’s really fun having a mini-me.
“I will never talk ‘baby talk’ to my baby.”
- My brother also has a baby girl. When we were visiting I heard him speak in a cartoonish voice to her and it made me cringe. No need to talk “baby talk” to a baby, I thought. But then – one day – when I was watching a video of my daughter I heard my own voice in the background. I sounded just like my brother! I had had no idea. I’ve yet to accept it. Fortunately, she doesn’t judge.
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