Welcome back, dear readers, to this blog's newest feature: 3 things! If you're new to the blog, 3 things is a monthly feature, where I ask a group of people from different professions (and interests) the three things involving their area of expertise. The idea is to connect more well-known people with their fans or public and get to know them a little better. Because, we all know how renowned people can seem quite out of reach at times. But, hopefully, by reading this feature, you will learn that they're actually human beings just like us, with comfortable habits and obstacles in their lives and we might actually get inspired by their answers. Thought I'd do a mother-themed month in May since International Mother's Day is this month, so let's see what these mothers have to say on this subject:
Bianca Jagoe of biancajagoe.com
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DO WHATEVER MAKES NOW BETTER. When my son was a newborn, times felt so impossibly tough and I didn't know how my little family were going to survive. My sister in law said those words to me - "Do whatever makes now better" - and they really stuck with me. I guess it was because I carried a lot of 'mom-guilt' - I wanted everything to be perfect and I felt inadequate because things weren't perfect. Letting go of guilt and just making choices that made 'now better' made life so much easier.
BE MINDFUL AND PRESENT. I have always had issues with anxiety and worrying too much about the future and the past, but I feel like my son is constantly teaching me how to enjoy day to day life more. He and I take a lot of walks together and I am always interested to see what things catch his eye. I love noticing the little things he observes and the ways that he is experiencing and getting to know the world around him - it is really uplifting and it helps me to connect with him and feel more present. This would have to be one of my favourite things about being a mom.
DOCUMENT. All of those cliches about time and children are ridiculously true. I look at my son and I say "You were just born!". I like to write down lists of things he's been doing, words he's picked up, foods and toys he's obsessed with, things he's been doing that make me laugh. Just noticing these things isn't enough because I'll forget them with the passing of time - I have to write them down.I think taking the time to document things makes time slow down a little bit, makes me pay more attention and I get to reflect upon his development (and my own as a mom).
- I have to remind myself, just has Soren is learning to speak, play and grow...I'm learning how to be a mommy. Allowing myself to learn and grow and be okay with that is GOOD and purposeful. I will accept that I am a great mom and I will accept each day as an opportunity to grow within this new role. Of all the roles I've been honored to take on in life, being a wife and a mom have truly been the very best.
- I've never been more tired or happy in my entire life. I really need to get into tea or something with caffeine to get a little pep in my step! Or maybe I could just work on eating healthier and exercising?! ;)
- Treat yo'self days, girl nights, date nights, alone time nights are essential!! DO make them a priority!
Melissa Baswell Williams of Bubby and Bean
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- I am a very different kind of parent than I thought I'd be. For me, this was the biggest lesson. If you are pregnant (or in the adoption process) for the first time, you probably have a pretty clear idea in your head about how you are going to parent. I did anyway. And guess what? I ended up doing things a lot differently once I was actually experiencing motherhood. For the most part, I've done everything at least somewhat differently than I'd anticipated. Many things I've done completely differently. I could ramble on forever about the specifics with this. From how I would react to her right after birth to how I'd handle sleeping to when I'd stop breastfeeding, I've done almost nothing the way I pictured. So I'll just leave it at that.
- It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks about my (or anyone else's) parenting. I'm not going to sugarcoat here. Parents judge one another, and parenting topics can be very polarizing. I mean, you can probably just look at your Facebook feed for a couple of minutes and there will be some sort of parenting debate. Guess what?There isn't one right way. Period. There is only what works best for each child, each parent, and each family. And if someone is doing their best to be a genuinely good parent and someone else chastises their methods because they're different, that's really too bad - because if we all encouraged one another, regardless of parenting techniques, parenting would likely be collectively easier for everybody.
- It's not as hard as I thought it would be. I think I really built it up in my head that raising a baby would be almost impossibly difficult for me, so ultimately, it just feels much easier in comparison. First of all, I got pregnant later in life, and I spent my twenties and much of my thirties focusing on my career, traveling, and only worrying about myself. I had a long time to convince myself that my freedom would be all but destroyed upon becoming a mother. It turns out that, for the most part, it's actually (usually) easier than it is hard. Once I got used to the lack of sleep (and truly, I have just gotten used to it, because it's still there 13 months later), the rest has sort of fallen into place.