*Please note, this post is geared toward stay at home moms, since I can only write based on my own experiences. I know there are so many great working moms out there who also experience challenges transitioning into motherhood. Please know you, too, are not alone. Working, staying at home, or working at home… we all transition into motherhood in different ways. Again, this is geared toward stay at home moms, but if you are a working mom I’m sure you can relate to some of these feelings and experiences as well! Enjoy and thanks for reading!*
I wish transitioning into motherhood was easy. But it’s not. I was not expecting my transition from college to stay at home mom-hood to be difficult. But it was. Nobody tells you becoming a mother changes your life the way it does. Most people make the transition seem like the happiest experience ever, and frankly, this is mostly true. Motherhood is, in my humble opinion, the most beautiful experience a woman can ever navigate through, and it has truly been the most amazing experience of my life. I want it to be clear I DO NOT REGRET becoming a mom. BUT it is also the hardest life change I have ever experienced. And I think this is something we tend to overlook nowadays. New moms aren’t prepared for the transition to motherhood.
With social media, we mothers often try to show everybody the BEST parts of our day, every day. We post picture after picture of our adorable offspring smiling and laughing and playing and hugging us and …heaven forbid we post a picture of our child CRYING. Then, after we post our best shots and most special moments, we scroll through everyone else’s photos and, maybe without even noticing, compare ourselves to all the other moms out in social media land.
We see how happy they are, how clean they are, how talented and beautiful they are, and of course, how adorably happy and well-developed their children are. We see these photos, and think, am I the only one who feels… alone? Am I the only one who feels like I can’t measure up? Am I the only one who feels a little bit afraid? Because, you see, stay at home motherhood is sometimes lonely and often messy and let’s be honest, usually scary!
As we transition into motherhood, we often go from jobs and school and social lives to staying at home alone with a little baby. We put all our goals and dreams on hold for just a little while to give all our attention to this precious child. Because, believe it or not, they NEED us. We all of a sudden have a HUGE responsibility, and we have to do it from our own homes, alone. This sometimes causes us to feel isolated. In the beginning, we feel like we can’t leave because of naps or sickness, or blowout #4… or just pure exhaustion or fear. So, we sit there on the floor surrounded with toys, staring into the messy abyss we call our family room, and hope we can clean it up by the time we go to bed. We feel alone. We love watching our baby learn and grow and play, but we feel a little bit guilty that we get bored sometimes and we feel guilty for wanting more. On top of that, we feel scared. Sometimes the responsibility just seems like so much. “Can I really do it all?” we think.
What’s more, we sometimes play into the stigma that stay at home moms sit at home and do nothing all day, even though we know that misconception is BEYOND false. We know we are constantly working hard, rocking the baby, making sure they are fed, cleaning the house, running errands, cooking meals, and even trying to serve people in our spare time. But still when people ask what we do, we say, “I’m just a stay at home mom.” Just?! JUST?! NO! YOU ARE A STAY AT HOME MOM! Say it with pride!
You are doing great! You are doing marvelous! You are taking on the most important work in the world - raising a child who needs YOU as their mother, teacher, and friend. You, like many MANY other mothers are sacrificing a major chunk of your life to be there for your child, and that is AMAZING.
And I am here to tell you it’s OK. It’s OK to feel sad and alone and scared sometimes because it’s normal and something most of us go through in transitioning into the biggest, best occupation of our lives.
While the transition is hard, it is also AMAZING. It really does get better and better every day.
As time goes on, we start to figure it out. We start to make more friends and we start to venture out of the house more and more. We start to trust our friends with babysitting, we figure out how to take a shower and eat a healthy meal, and we learn to let go a little bit. We join groups and we start to utilize our talents and passions in different ways than we did before. We start doing things to keep us going, to help us be HAPPY. Take me, for example. I started a blog. Other moms work out, others paint or bake or cook, and others write letters and call their friends. See? We find ways to have FUN!
We start to understand the beauty of motherhood and we become STRONGER. We start to realize that we don’t need to be super successful or famous or perfectly organized or constantly photo ready to be happy. We learn to find success, purpose and REAL value in raising our babies. We learn to find fame in the love of our family and friends. We learn to feel organized and clean one step at a time and we learn to accept the spit up on our third dirty shirt of the day... and still feel beautiful. Believe me, it’s true! You can and will BE HAPPY.
The transition takes time, but it is so beautiful. So, new mom, know I am here for you. Know you are not alone. Know it is ok to think the transition to motherhood is hard because it is! Know you are contributing SO MUCH value to the world. And know you will learn to enjoy this experience more than you ever thought possible! I know for me, I feel pride in my work every time I see Lexi smile and hear her full belly laugh! Even after all the hard work, THIS makes me undeniably happy, and you can choose to be happy too!
See You Next Post!
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