Ok mammas, I know we have all seen the Luvs commercials. You know, the ones that show the difference in the mom you are with your first and the mom you change in to with your second? I think a lot of us can admit that they are preeetttyyyy accurate. I mean, I can totally relate to the mom that hands her babe off to the auto shop mechanic and even the one that leaves the house with one diaper, a few wipes and a sippy.
I’ve been a mom for about seven years, but I gave birth to my first four years ago (more on the reasoning behind that here). As a new mom you have so many expectations and hopes of the mom you’ll be. I grew to become a mother that I loved. I never over-hand-sanitized or carried a suitcase of a diaper bag but boy oh boy was I on top of things. With my first, I was always prepared. I never left home without a perfectly packed diaper bag. Including diapers and wipes, a change of clothes, bottles, extra formula, diaper rash cream, paci, sunscreen, changing pad, and snacks….ha! and I said I didn’t tote a suitcase! I always had a stroller loaded in my truck, along with a pack and play and extra blankets. We had schedules and routines, ones that stuck. Naps and meals at the same time every day, bath every night, bedtime baby massage, baby mozart in the nursery every. single. night. I grocery shopped, with him! I planned meals and we cooked, good wholesome food at that! With my first, we were on time for everything. He never stayed with dirty hands or face and clothes were always on point. We went to dinner as a family and never had to leave because of an unruly baby. I made sure to always change diapers on a changing pad and frequently at that. With my first, I really felt like I had succeeded. I felt as if this whole mom thing wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.
A few years later, we found out we were expecting our second. Sure I’d heard all the talk of how being a mom to two changes from when you have your first, but I just knew this go ’round was NOT going to be different. Everything was going to be just as it was before. But sure enough, as kids do…they make a liar out of you every. single. time.
With my second, I was far from prepared. Sure, I never left home without a diaper bag…..with it only containing the necessities: diapers, wipes, and always one less bottle than I knew I’d need (such a risk taker, ha!). The pack and play was always MIA. Schedules and routines? Those were ancient history. Naps in the carpool line were our norm and baths on a regular basis slowly faded out of site. Now, their hair gets washed far less than I’d like to admit and a dip in the swimming pool suffices for a bath way more than it should. Grocery shopping, it happens…..around the time we are down to eating PB&J for dinner. We most definitely grab take out more than we should and doughnuts for breakfast are such a norm that one of Kellan’s first words was “doh-nuh”. With my second, we barely make it to school in time for the bell to ring. Their clothes are on point…like for Easter. In reality, their attire consists of nothing but a diaper or some mismatched something I forced them to put on before they went outside to play. Diapers are changed way less frequently than they should and potty breaks on the side of the road happen a lot (perk of being a boy mom, right?) I NEVER have a change of clothes, like ever.
Since around the time Kellan turned one, I felt this huge sense of defeat. I was weighing myself down with the terrible mom I thought I had become. Why in the world could I not be on top of my mom game? No matter how hard I tried, the stars never aligned. School projects were done absolute last minute….lunch money was turned in weeks late. I tried. Jesus, had I tried. Then it all came to me, Blake’s perfect post a few weeks ago nailed it. Like she had realized, I realized too after reading her post that I wasn’t a bad mom. Sure I was far from the mom I was with my first, but I was present. I was savoring all the ups and downs life had thrown at my while trying to successfully raise a toddler and an infant.
The best part of this post is how I feel today. Today I am 100% secure in who I am as a mother, on top of things or not. There are days that I am so on top of things I pinch myself and there are days that I am on the absolute bottom of them. Either way, I know that I’m present in every moment of my boys’ endless days. Today, I can read back over those differences up above and cringe a little, then laugh a lot. I think about the energy it would take to uphold being the “perfect” mother and then smile about the fact that I’m so content with being an imperfect mother. So content that I’m confident. I’m confident in all my imperfectness and am embracing it every single day.
Right now as I sit here finishing up this post, it’s 10:00 pm on a school night and they are all still awake. Running on the sugar from the ice cream I let them have after dinner and I’m loving every single bit of it’s crazy chaotic goodness. I could have fought tooth and nail to force them to bed ending the night with frustration and tears, but instead I chose my battle. I chose to step outside of what used to be my norm and spoiled them with a few extra cartoons and a game of hide and seek.