Wednesday, March 26, 2014

It Doesn't Always Come Naturally

Being a mom doesn't always come naturally.

This kid is awesome!
There is a revolutionary statement for you. However, it's true.

I grew up in a family with ten kids, and I was on the older side of things. I learned to change diapers at a very young age, entertain siblings, and help them stop crying. Not to brag or anything, but I'm really pretty good with kids.

I thought motherhood would be the same. I imagined that they would hand my baby to me, and I would instantly be the World's Best Mom. I figured that I would know just how to take care of my baby, and my life would just instantly be perfect.

I may never had uttered these actual words or even thought them consciously, but the reality still came as a shock. In the hospital, after a long and tough delivery that ended in a c-section, my baby was handed to me. Even having grown up around kids all my life, the thought that popped into my head was, "What do I do with this?"

They had to help me with breastfeeding, because it doesn't necessarily come naturally. In fact, they have a whole video that they show you before you leave the hospital that teaches you the proper technique for breastfeeding so that you aren't in pain all the time. Even though Kevin latched on right away and was an incredible eater, it still took us some time to get his mouth positioned right so it wasn't super painful every time.

The longer I'm a mother, the more I realize that I don't know anything. Being a sister was so easy. I could comfort my brothers and sisters during the day, but at night I got to return to my own bed and sleep (when I wasn't reading). I never really understood what happens during the night for my parents.

These last couple of weeks have brought a new kind of challenge to our home: my milk supply is no longer adequate for my baby. For a very long time, Kevin would eat foods in small quantities, but he was really getting most of his nutrition from nursing still. However, recently he would nurse and nurse and still act hungry. I finally realized that he needs more than just milk. It just isn't cutting it anymore.

So, I have been scrambling to find things that he will eat. Feeding a toddler is difficult. Something that they like one day is gross the next day, and vice versa. I made him macaroni and cheese with hotdogs, and he loved it...or at least, he loved the hotdog part. He wouldn't touch the noodles, and if I tried to sneak them into his mouth, he took them out and put them in my mouth.

He loves ramen, but that isn't healthy to eat every meal, even when I put vegetables and meat into it.

I think that this is one of those things that I assumed would come naturally and that ideas for feeding my toddler would be a snap. Life is so much more complex than that.

It doesn't always come naturally to put this incredible little soul's wants and needs before my own. It doesn't always come naturally to put my life on hold and temporarily give up my career to stay at home and be a mother. Sometimes it's hard to not be earning money. It doesn't always come naturally to have an unending supply of patience and love, especially on days where he's a little bit crazy.

However, it is worth it, and I'm learning. I'm learning to be a mother, and every day I hope to be a little better. Kevin is a great teacher, and as I learn, other things come naturally.

I may not be a perfect mother, but I am going to give it my best shot. If I mess up one day, I'm determined to do better the next. Stubbornness does come naturally for me, and I am determined to be the mother than Kevin and our other future children need!

Motherhood isn't always easy, and sometimes it's frustrating beyond belief, but there are moments between the frustration that are unforgettable. The first time your son wraps his little arms around your neck, squeezes as hard as he can, and then gives you a big kiss is one of those. Kevin has been doing that lately, and it makes my heart melt every time.

The in's-and-out's of motherhood may not be natural, but loving my son is.

And love makes all the difference.


  1. This is beautiful! It's true: the mechanics of motherhood don't come naturally all the time, but loving the little person sure does.

    1. Thank you for your comment! There are times when they are very frustrating, and other times when you just want to hold them forever. The latter times make up for the former.

  2. Thanks for the warning! :) No, I really appreciate your post, and it's good to know that everyone has their doubts and difficulties when it comes to family.

  3. Grig: I repeat, 'I'm lucky to have you, and so is Adam.