One of the hardest things for me to realize in motherhood is that I am not in control. For a type A, planner and perfectionist, this is a hard pill to swallow. I like schedule, routine, expectation and follow through. I feel safe within the boundaries of my routine.
I have to admit that I spent WAY too much time with my firstborn struggling for control. Struggling to get him to fit the mold of what the books, the other mamas, and the doctors said was normal sleep, behavior, eating, ect. Postpartum anxiety, depression, panic attacks and a complete mental breakdown is what it took for me to finally stop and rethink the whole motherhood thing.
One of the things in life I hate most is comparison, “should be’s“ and discounting who I was as an individual – so why was I doing this exact same thing to my little?
My actual reality was that I had a baby who was colicky and didn’t sleep. Feeding was an issue and although he was a happy baby, he spent majority of his days crying. The more I tried to force sleep and my idea of routine, the more exhausted I became.
When I stop and just take each moment as it is and admit that I don’t know all the answers, my motherhood becomes so much more peaceful. We are learning as mamas. Just as my baby needed to learn that sleep is actually good – I needed to learn how to let go.
Today, three years later, I have a 4-year-old (who still fights sleep) and a 4-month-old. And despite the older one having undiagnosed allergies until 18 months (which I often attribute the sleep issues too), my newborn has the same early bird tendencies. How in the world did I get 2 babies who think 4AM is playtime?! Unfair? Maybe. Reality? Yes. And the truth is for every moment I hate waking up before the sun, there is a woman longing to have a baby to hold – even that early.
When I stop forcing my control and ideas I find freedom. When I embrace the 4am wake-up call and choose to see my little baby for who he is, I get quiet coffee. I get time in stillness and time with Jesus. I get one-on-one with my little before the big gets up.
When we change our perspective from the “should” in our minds, we might just find that the actual is way better than the “what if.”
Just maybe God had a plan in all of this. Maybe its so I get sweet time with my little in the wee hours of the morning and sweet time with my big in the evening. Maybe its to stretch and challenge me as a woman – something to remind me daily that is not my agenda, but God’s story I am a part of. And maybe in these still early hours its where I can meet Jesus before the hustle of the world really begins. Just maybe it’s all a part of a bigger plan.
So today I am choosing to shift my perspective. To simply be present instead of searching for perfection. My motherhood journey and schedule may look very different than yours, but it is mine. It is messy and beautiful. It is oh so hard, but also so joyful. And I Am going to lean in with all of who I am, who God created me to be. I am going to simply show up in love, in grace and in expectations for all the joy and lessons my little ones will teach me.
This life really is not my own. It is Gods and there is a reason for it all.
So, let’s just be mama – let’s stop trying to control and shift our perspective. Embrace the unexpected and I promise you, you will find so much joy, peace, and rest. You too will be free.
xo - B