On My First Mother’s Day

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I feel like I should have something poetic or even profound to say on my first Mother’s Day. But in honesty, I am overburdened with too many words, too many thoughts, too many emotions to thread them together in a coherent message. The best way I seem to express myself these days are through soft tears that water up my eyes when I take a time out to think about the past 8 months of my life. 

Perhaps that is motherhood’s way of keeping you sane. You are so busy with all of the changes – the diaper changes, the laundry changes, the dishwasher changes, the growing baby that changes daily that you don’t have enough time to reflect on how you have changed. 

The daily life as a mother is so heavy. I’m constantly balancing life as a mother, as a wife, as a daughter, as a friend, as an employee, and as a woman. Every day I feel overwhelmed. There have been many times where I’ve questioned my ability to be a good mother, many times when I just wanted to give up and stay in bed all day or take the longest shower of my life while the baby screamed in the other room. 

But I did what mothers have been doing for centuries. I took a big breath and kept on going.

Kept waking up every three hours. Changed a diaper 5 minutes after I just changed the last. I sacrificed showers and dinners with friends and time with my husband to care for a baby who seemed to do nothing but eat, cry, and poop. 

You just keep moving. 

The magic of motherhood sneaks up to you in those mundane moments. It happens during that 4 a.m. feeding when you can’t keep your eyes open and you think you will never sleep again, but then the baby smiles at you for the very first time.

It happens when you’re changing your 10th diaper for the day but then the baby rolls over and giggles at you.

It happens when you’re glued to the couch pumping more milk for when you will be apart while working and the baby starts to crawl and looks up at you with so much pride and excitment.

It happens when you are lying awake in bed full of anxiety but then get a whiff of the little newborn, heavy in sleep, lying on your chest and just feel so alive.

Motherhood is not for the faint of heart. But, love is all around, even in the middle of the night when you feel nothing but alone.

Just keep moving, the love will surprise you when you least expect it, coming at you full force, fueling up your heart for another day, surprising you and changing you in the most profound way.  

 

Make Good Choices and Other Advice From My Mom

words of advice from my mother  My mom is my best friend. 

A decade ago that statement would have made me cringe. As a teenagar my mom was my mom. She was my biggest critic, making me second guess my choices constantly. She was a person to keep secrets from, to roll my eyes at, and to groan about with my friends. After any sort of disagreement or hormonal temper tantrum I’d stomp upstairs, slam my door, and cry, “You don’t understand me! You don’t care how I feel!”

Then, just as quickly as backyard bbq’s and sun burned shoulders revolve into cozy scarves and raking leaves, I stopped seeing my mom as my mom. My teenage female hormones dissipated, I went away for college, and almost overnight she transformed from being my mom into being a person.

advice from my mom, mother's day

Her stories, lessons and words of advice were more relatable. I now listened with a more serious heart, knowing that these words were coming from experience, from love. I learned to lean on her more as a friend and to let her lean on me in times of need as well. 

I reflect on those times where I swore she didn’t understand me and see that, in reality, she understood me all too well. Who else could know me better than the woman who shaped me into who I am, who has stood by me since my first heartbeat in her womb? I’m grateful for her criticism, her rules, her boundaries, her stories, her advice, her desire to let me learn. 

I’m still learning.

But I know that I can’t imagine a day without her in my adult life.

happy mother's day advice from my mom

Yes, of course she taught me all the things mothers are to teach their children: how to bathe yourself, how to tie your shoes, how to have good manners, all those basic survival tips. But she has given me so much more. She’s given me a positive and lifelong mentor for all arenas of my life. How to be a good friend, a good wife, a good mother, a good employee, a good human being.

I see her or talk to her nearly every day and can’t imagine not. I call her up frantically for advice on anything from cooking to relationships, to helping me choose which dress to buy. We share the ins and outs of our friendships and our family issues. And I hope I’m as good of a friend to her as she is to me. 

Countless times a day I find myself listening to her voice in my head, guiding my decisions. From our days of reading Charlotte’s Web in bed to dealing with mean girls at school to my fist boyfriend and to planning my wedding my mom as been shaping and molding me into the best woman I can be. 

In honor of Mother’s Day I wanted to share some of my favorite words of advice from my Mom:

Make Good Choices

To this day my Mom says this line to me as I’m leaving for a weekend or big event. Every time I left the house has a teenager or even in my twenties my mom would kiss me and shout this over my head as I trotted out to my car. Back then I’d roll my eyes as I’m driving away thinking, “What does SHE know about my choices? I ALWAYS make good choices!”

No Katie, you don’t. I can think of MANY times where you didn’t make the right choice. And my mother’s guilt was always in my head. 

Isn’t this what all mothers hope for their children? That they raised them well enough that they know when to do the right thing out in the real world? That against the odds they will stand up and know when to make the RIGHT choice?

It Takes All Types

My mom would always say this whenever I was being critical or judgemental of anyone that was different or “weird”. And she’s right. We all work together to make this world work. The world would be incomplete without the anti social science guys and the stuck up mean girls. Yes even that weird old man that we see every weekend at the market without any teeth that is always humming and talking nonsense. Acceptance was always a priority in our home. 

If You Don’t Have Anything Nice To Say, Don’t Say Anything At All

Oh how I wish more people would hear my mom saying this every time they say something mean about someone or something or just plain complain. Focus on the positive. Don’t say mean things just to be mean. 

Be A Good Friend

Even when your friends aren’t being good friends. Even when you feel like all you are doing is giving. Even when it’s not the “cool” thing to do. My mom always pushed me to be kind first. 

Get It Done Today

I’m a procrastinator, always have been. Yet, whenever I listened to when my mom said, “Just do it and get it over with” I never regretted not putting off a project, errand, or annoying task. Why waste time mulling over having to do something when you could do it, get it over with, and move on to something you actually want to do?

Always Be On Time

My mom is NEVER late. She makes her scheduled commitments a priority. This shows people that your are dependable, loyal, and committed to the date. Now most of the time I’m always on time (except for work, somehow I manage to be late for work). But, with always being on time comes the horrible fact that you’ll be completely annoyed whenever anyone is late to meet you. 

And on a less serious note: Nude Underwear is Always The Best Choice

Okay, Mom you are correct. Even though I still prefer pretty colors and patterns, nudes go with everything and are discreet and classic and remain hidden under most fabrics and colors. (They also remain hidden under pale pink bridesmaid dresses at my wedding, but that is a story for another time and place).

What can I say? Mom, you’re always right!

Mom, on this Mother’s Day and on every other day I hope you know how much I respect and love you as both my friend and mother. Thank you for being the best role model for all my relationships. I can’t wait to see what else I learn from you in the future. My heart will always belong to you, forever entwined, since our first moments together. 

words of advice from my mom

 What have you learned from your Mother?

xoxo Katie