Stronger Together

One of my biggest pet peeves when I was pregnant for Brady was the amount of “ooh, you’re in for it now” comments we received from couples who were already parents.  The most common included: “just wait, you’ll never sleep again,” or “say ‘goodbye’ to having a life,” or “I hope you appreciated having hair, because you’re about to go bald from all the stress.”

I never really did know how to reply…

Hmmmm, thank you“?

Now granted, there is a grain of truth to be found in those comments.  I definitely have never been so exhausted in my entire life.  Just the other day, I was taking pictures of myself for this blog and realized that my eyes looked as tired as I felt.  Holy puffy eyes, Batman!  It looked like I had gotten into a fight with a blowfish… who won the battle and then decided to take up residency in my lower eyelids.

But still, despite how tired I am or how much better I need to be at making time for myself, I never feel the urge to shoot down an expecting mom or dad’s excitement over their soon-to-be-here bundle of joy.  I just don’t get that!  Because, quite frankly, these soon-to-be mom and dads are scared enough as it is.  They know they’re about to undertake the toughest journey of their lives.  They know that things are going to change and that sleep isn’t going to come so readily for awhile.

I mean, you just have to walk through a supermarket and listen for the screams, tantrums, and sudden outbursts of tears.

Their kids are usually pretty hysterical too.  😉

These moms and dads need to be reminded that it really will all be okay.  Really!  They will learn, and grow, and fall in love with a little human who is about to become their entire world.  And even though there will be many hard days, there will be so many more moments that are priceless, and precious, and beautiful.

And things will get easier!

The crazy thing is that the comments don’t stop just because you’ve given birth and been a mom for over a year. I definitely hear the “you’re such a new mom” comments a lot these days.  And my initial reaction is to try proving that I’m not acting like a new mom (even though I am a new mom).  So I struggle with my urge to wipe the shopping carriage with cleansing wipes, or to let Brady eat off the floor, or to wrap him in bubble wrap.

But here’s the thing…  I am a new mom.  And I’m only acting the same as all those other women did when they were new moms too (maybe with just a bit of extra silliness thrown in for good measure).

They know that a little dirt won’t hurt a baby or that a nursery full of sneezing kiddo’s won’t cause more than the common cold.  But as a new mom, you can’t shut off your terror of germs or hard objects or potential hazards (like anything with a hard edge.  Or anything that could be ingested.  Or – well – anything, really).  And although it seems silly to the more experienced, what you know in your head doesn’t go with what you feel in your heart.  And your heart wins every time.

This is why I choose to surround myself with women who are honest… but who also encourage and uplift me.  Being a mom is hard enough without other women telling you about how much worse it’s all going to get.  I’d rather focus on the positive and on how much I love being a mom.

Because I really, really LOVE being a mom.  There is nothing more beautiful, and amazing, and incredible!  And I’d really rather focus on that, whether it’s for my own life or whether I’m encouraging someone else!

As women, we really do need to learn to be there for each other.  Let it start with us!!  🙂

P.S.  To all of you new moms, it actually gets easier.  🙂  I promise!!!

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10 thoughts on “Stronger Together

    • I’ve honestly found that, despite the “it’s going to get worse” comments, it actually gets easier… 🙂 Sure, being a mom is never easy! Just like marriage takes work, so does being a good parent. But as Brady gets older, he’s been getting more independent. And now he can eat most of the foods that we eat. And he’s learning to play by himself, and to communicate, and to make us laugh. 🙂 I loved him from the newborn stage, but I love each stage afterward even more!!
      So when some women continue to tell me “it gets worse”, I just smile and think to myself, “If this is ‘worse’, then I’ll take it. Because I couldn’t be happier!” 🙂

  1. This made me feel lucky – as I think back on comments I’ve been on the receiving end of, most have been so positive and talk of the joy that comes from being a parent. I think you’re so right – surround yourself with the positive people! It makes the ride a lot more enjoyable.

    You’re doing awesome, mama!

    • That’s AWESOME that the majority of comments you’ve received have been so positive! That means that you really are surrounded by uplifting, encouraging women. I really believe that this is how it should be!! 🙂

  2. I can’t even tell you how much I love this! I’m not even pregnant and I’ve had people make negative comments to me about babies/childbirth/parenting. It’s crazy! It happened a lot with comments about marriage before Jimmy and I got married, too. I think marriage and parenting, among may things, are definitely what you personally make of it and the work you put into it! God blesses us with spouses and children and you’re so right in that we should be encouraging others to enjoy and love their blessings every day!

    • Oh, yes, I forgot about the marriage comments… You’re right, it does start then! I remember a woman I worked with used to tease me, because I’d end a phone conversation with Nate by saying, “I love you.” She’d say, “Just you wait five years! You won’t be saying that anymore!” Well, I saw her at the supermarket about a year or two ago, and I couldn’t resist going up to her and whispering, “I still tell my husband that I love him on the phone.” She laughed and officially thinks I’m too bubbly and a little crazy. 😉 BUT it’s so true! I still love my husband years later… and I maybe even love him even more now than I did then! 🙂
      “I think marriage and parenting, among may things, are definitely what you personally make of it and the work you put into it! ” That sentence you wrote is SO true! It all takes work, but – with God’s help – we can have success and view it for what it is: a blessing!

  3. You are so right, Nicole! I went through all the same comments and then some because he is special needs which made some of the comments not so nice. I’ve been a mom for 12 1/2 years now and it only gets better. My son, Tom is awesome don’t get me wrong we have our good days and we have our not so good days but over all there have been pretty good ones. I always say he was heaven sent because God chose me to be his mom. My son is contagious with his laugher so if you get too close you might laugh! lol I’m so glad God chose us to be mom and son!

    • I’m SO sorry that you had negative comments aimed at you. I have a family member who is raising two children with special needs, and I know that she too gets comments like that. (Which are often even more hurtful than the comments that new moms in general receive).
      Every child comes with their own set of challenges, and I know that moms of children with special needs have to pray there way through many days. It takes extra patience, determination, focus, and some fierce love. 🙂 And it’s definitely okay to have ‘those days’ and to vent when needed (goodness, I definitely have to do it at times). But I love that you wouldn’t change a thing and that you know that God hand-picked you to be the mom to your precious Tom.
      Being a mom is THE toughest job out there!! But then when our children make us laugh or smile, it’s suddenly all worth it! The beauty of it definitely outweighs anything else. And I think that’s why we – as women – need to encourage each other and pray for each other. If the women who have gone on before us only tell us about the bad, it can bury us in that mindset. But if we’re reminded that ‘this too shall pass’, and that we can make it, and that it really will be okay, then we’re filled with a new sense of hope and determination.
      Thank you SO much for commenting! You are going to be an encouragement to other women raising children with special needs… 🙂

  4. So for just a second I thought that was Sarah in the middle picture. You guys look a lot alike sometimes!

    Anyway, I am so glad that you are so encouraging to all your new mommy or mommy-to-be friends! What a blessing your kind words are to those ladies. I’m sorry you’ve had so many people be down on you about being a new mom. It’s been interesting to watch my friends go from sanitizing pacis that fall on the table with kid #1 to picking a paci up off the floor, wiping it on their jeans, and then popping it in kid #2’s mouth a few years later. It’s a natural progression for most people and it’s okay for you to still be parenting kid #1 the way that makes you comfortable. I have some friends who were super laid back even with their first kid and other friends who are still super over protective with kid #4. So parental personality definitely plays into it as well. But regardless where you are on the range, there is no need for anyone to say anything negative to you. It’s just not kind. Glad you are surrounding yourself with uplifting people! Love ya!

  5. I’m at 30 weeks now with our first, so most of the comments I receive are about labor and then not getting any sleep! There are a lot of negative/desperate messages about being a mom out there, but one of the things that I love about your blog is how positive it is! Thanks for the encouragement!

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