This is ALL I have to give….
When reading the different blog topics this week, as I got to this particular one I found myself realizing that lately I have said these exact words. “This is all I can do.” “I am doing the best I can.” “I am giving all of myself.”
As a new mom to a beautiful 6month old daughter (Lydia) I am still trying to figure this mom thing out. Some days are better than others. Some days I feel like I am doing great and others I feel like I am not living up to the expectations of a great mom. In a “social media world” where the best of everyone’s lives are all that is shown, it is hard to keep from making comparisons. With Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest the pressure to be this “super mom” is real! For example… professional infant pictures, beautiful monthly pictures as your child grows from birth to a year, beautiful magazine looking nursery, crafts with your infants foot prints and hand prints, beautiful DIY artwork for nursery, homemade baby food. The list goes on and on. Then on top of that you have the opinions from different mothers who have been there done that as well as opinions from other new moms. Breastfeeding vs formula, cloth diapers vs regular, organic non chemical sunscreen vs water babies, pampers vs Huggies, homemade baby food vs Gerber, Orajel vs natural remedies, cry it out vs picking up, Johnsons baby lotion vs Burts bees. This list could go on and on as well. When you are a new mom trying to figure out a simple routine as well as get some sleep… how in the world are you supposed to keep up???
I have to admit I finally got to my breaking point the other day. My neighbor who was at the pool with me (who meant no harm whatsoever) mentioned to me that I should not be putting Water Baby sunscreen on my daughter but instead the Botanicals baby Suncreen which is organic and has no chemicals. At this particular point I had found myself in these similar situations more often than not and unfortunately instead of just thanking her for her suggestion I instead said “this is all I can do!” “I am doing the best I can right now.” This was also said in a very irritated voice. I felt terrible! It had nothing to do with her! She was trying to be helpful, but since day one I have been told daily by different people what I should be doing. Everyone’s opinions different. My daughter has three holes in her heart and needed to gain weight quickly when she was born and I unfortunately did not produce enough milk to fill this need, which on top of everything else on the list left me feeling inadequate. I have lately felt like having children creates more of a competition and judgement between moms instead of a support and comforting time which in result just adds more stress to a time that is already stressful.
As a stay at home mom my husband and I had to adjust our lifestyle and budget in order for this to be possible. Therefore there is no spare money laying around to pay a photographer to take professional pictures or money to create a pottery barn nursery, or in some cases no extra money to buy brand name formula and instead getting store brand. But again I am doing the best that I can.
It wasn’t until I sat the other night rocking my daughter and singing to her that God spoke to me. I felt him saying THIS is it! These are the moments that are most important. LOVE. The love I give my daughter. The moments I am present and spend with her. The time I put in to caring for her. That I teach her who God is and help her to have a relationship with Jesus by seeing this in my own life. Work harder on setting a great example and teaching her about what is important, instead of trying to fill these worldly mom standards. So what if she grows up on formula and doesn’t have professional pictures of herself as a newborn? She will have pictures taken by me that show her the unconditional love that her father and I have for her. She is growing so quickly and I know these moments will be memories soon so instead of trying so hard to be super mom I am going to instead live in the moment and cherish each second with my daughter, focusing on what is actually important. I know I will fail her at times and make mistakes. I will not do everything right but neither does anyone else. I will ask forgiveness when I mess up and keep working on being the best mom I can be. It is a learning experience and a true gift from God. With God by my side I know I can handle this mom thing. I am beyond blessed to have the opportunity to be Lydias mom so my prayer is that more moms start supporting each other instead of constantly comparing, judging and outdoing. That is why I thank God for the group of woman in my Proverbs 31 Online Bible study who help me to realize that no one is perfect. We all fail as moms but we are in it together and through Gods Grace we ask forgiveness and get back up! This is how it should be!
Here are a few pictures of my imperfect family. We are learning more and more everyday but through it all thankfully we have Gods love and love for each other!