22 November 2013

Do We Ever Really Feel Like "Experienced" Moms?!

I stumbled across an article earlier ... and couldn't help but read it. 

15 Things Experienced Moms Really Want to Say to New Moms. As a Mom of two, I had to see what they were trying to say. 

What's funny ... was how easily I could relate. To EVERYTHING! 

I remember being that first time mom, even though some days, it seems like it was so long ago. {Four years is a really long time in toddler-hood, folks!} 

I remember!

I remember feeling like I had to get dressed and do my hair and my make up any time we left the house. I remember being so worried about letting S eat anything in the car for fear of a few crumbs that may, or may not, ruin the interior of the back seat. 

I remember worrying about everything I was, or wasn't, feeding her. Did she have enough of the right fruits and vegetables? Were her snacks healthy enough? Did she really need that many snacks each day? Or was I simply "spoiling" her by giving her so many opportunities to eat? No matter how good for her they were. 

The point is, with my first, I tried to do everything by the book. What book? I'm not really sure ... because I can attest to the fact that there is no one tell-all book on motherhood. No two kids are alike, and no method will work the same for any two children. 

By the time L came along ... I still felt a bit like a "new" mom ... but noticed that I was starting to let things go. 

I no longer put the baby in the bouncy seat two feet away from me with toys so I could wash the dishes while bouncing him with my foot. Instead, I laid him down on a mat with no hazards nearby, told his 2 year old sister to play with him and read to him, and washed the dishes in the kitchen. Within ear shot, but not in the same room. 

Neither of my children died. 

I carry snacks of all kinds in my purse, and now think nothing of busting out some cookies or a granola bar, or even a mini chocolate bar, to toss in the back seat of the car when both kids are SCREAMING that they need food. I know they are only hungry because they were more interested in seeing who could win the staring contest rather than actually eating their breakfast. I don't bother to say "I told you so!" 

Neither of my children are malnourished ... or obese. 

The interior in my car?! It's now been upgraded to leather. Baby wipes get that seat clean from ANYTHING. And what mom doesn't carry wipes with her?! I will have teenage children and will still have baby wipes -- those things are great for everything

Safe to say ... my car isn't picture-perfect showroom quality. But it gets the job done!

And as for those snacks? I've learned one thing. 

My kids have come to "expect" a snack daily ... regardless of the fact that L typically naps until 4 or 430 most days {I was blessed with a good napper in that boy!} and we eat dinner between 5 and 530pm. Does that mean that I may give my kids exactly what they want for a snack? If what they want is a dumdum lollipop, sure. Not every day ... but quite a few days, if we have them. My reasoning? 

If my kids were to eat a snack at that time of day, regardless of how good or bad a food it is, it leaves them less room for their balanced, homemade dinner. And if they aren't eating much at dinnertime, the chances of them waking up in the middle of the night because they are super hungry are going to heavily increase. 

My almost two-year-old still doesn't sleep through the night on a regular basis. I'd like to increase my chances of getting more than 2 solid hours of rest before he first wakes up. So sue me! 

Some days, I straighten my hair. Put on a pair of earrings. Some nice AE ballet flats. A semi-fitted shirt and some mascara. Other days, my jeans are being worn for the 3rd day in a row. {They feel so good and broken in by that point!} I usually don't notice the smear of day-old peanut butter, or a kid's booger, on the pantleg until we are halfway through the store. If it can be scratched off, who cares? I got up, brushed my teeth and put on a bra. 

Sometimes, you can't ask for more than that. 

I guess what I'm saying is ... I wish I had known a lot of this before. I held myself to such a high standard with S. I felt like I had to be this perfect mom. This cookie cutter, picture perfect person. But you know what? 

There is no one perfect kind of mom. There is no one mold from which we all need to be cast. Our kids are not going to feel neglected because we let them play independently for 15 minutes while we take care of some chores the next room over. They aren't going to become malnourished because we choose one snack over the other. And they aren't going to feel any less loved because we throw on a baggy t-shirt and some yoga pants that morning, either. 

To them? We are the picture of normal. The picture of perfection. 

To them?! We are the picture of motherhood. And theirs is the only opinion that matters! 


  1. Sometimes I still feel like I have no clue what's going on! LOL
    I think we'll need to upgrade to leather. Our car is such a mess after just a week!

  2. I don't have kids but I carry baby wipes everywhere with me haha!

  3. I'm still in the new mom phase and totally neurotic about everything. Glad to hear I'll eventually relax, but I'm not sure it's something I can help at this point!