Stereotyped Motherhood Myths I Believed
Life is full of expectations and goals.
We see something and assume our experience will be the same or similar.
I assumed I would never become a mother because I saw that life and wanted nothing to do with it. I was just fine with the idea of being a cat mom.
Fate decided otherwise.
Stuck on the stereotype of motherhood, I knew I would never fit the mold.
I’d hoped a switch would turn me into a “mom,” and instincts would take over. It’s not that easy. Motherhood is nothing as I’d imagined it would be.
My body would “bounce” back.
The thought that your body will snap back and be the same as it was 9 months prior to growing a human inside of you is absurd.
I held onto my pre-baby clothes for over a year.
Before my daughter was born, I was convinced I had one of those bodies that could “bounce back” to my original size. All those before and after photos of moms showing their belly then showing their baby, I thought that could be me.
My daughter’s colic made going for walks near impossible. I couldn’t take her to the gym, so I did my best to do “baby workouts” while holding her. The last few years were a struggle to get back into shape, but I have come to realize I should not have put so much stress on myself to look a certain way.
Our journeys are all different.
Breastfeeding was easy
As I stood in line at a grocery store with my baby bump, I witnessed an incredible moment of top-shelf motherhood.
The woman ahead of me had her baby in a sling, a simple infinity scarf type of construction, and her little one began to fuss. Before I could blink, she had shifted her baby, popped out a boob, and the baby happily began to breastfeed — all while effortlessly concealing everything. She was able to pay for her groceries at the very same moment!
I thought that’s gonna be me.
I never even used a breastfeeding cover.
My daughter’s tongue is tied, making it short, and she had difficulty latching on to my breast to feed. On top of that, distractions compromised her ability to stay on as she was interested in all the happenings around her.
I only breastfed sitting down, boob 100% out, and everything showing while I shoved my nipple into my daughter’s mouth and prayed she stayed on.
The “mom switch” would flip.
On the drive home from the hospital, I started to cry. I thought to myself. This is it. The mom switch has been flipped.
Nope, just hormones.
For the last three years, everything has been a whirlwind of trial and error. I still don’t know what I’m doing.
“Keep the baby alive” was the focus of year one.
Year two was “keep the baby alive,” the mobile edition. Making sure she didn’t fall off anything too high at the playground or walk into traffic.
It all sort of bleeds together.
“The days are long, but the years are short.”
― Gretchen Rubin
Playing would be fun.
Babies and toddlers learn best through playing. I think we can all relate. We only really want to learn something if it interests us.
I bought a bunch of cool toys for my daughter to play with, books we would read, and activities to do together.
I can’t say it wasn’t fun in the beginning. My daughter would watch as I built towers with blocks and molded things out of playdough. Reading through an entire book took some time as she lost interest after the first page.
Advice for books: make it sound fun. Animate and change your tones.
Anyway, playdough is a pain in my ass. Little crumbs get everywhere, and none of the colors stay the same. Most of the tubes contain the same color of dark greyish-green with spots of bright blue or red.
Blocks and other parts of toys and puzzles go missing no matter how hard you try to keep it all together.
And don’t get me started on paint.
Patience has been my number one word throughout my parenting journey, not only with my daughter but with myself.
Nothing will be perfect like in a hallmark movie. Stickers will show up in odd places, and — no matter what you do — there will be at least one mark on the wall.
I can honestly say I don’t know what I’m doing, but I’m doing my best at whatever I’m trying to do. I listen to the advice given by other mothers but, the truth is every child is different. I take their words and adjust them to our situation.
There is no motherhood mold.
There is no child mold, either.
We create our own world within parenting. If I had tried to be a picturesque parent, I would be miserable. It’s best to be who you are, and the rest will fall into place.
This post was previously published on A Parent Is Born.
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