Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Reflecting on my first year of motherhood

My baby girl is one year old this week, and so my emotions have been all over the place! I have written a letter to her, sealed it, and will be giving it to her when she is older during a special life event - marriage, having her own child, graduating college. In that letter I included all my hopes and dreams for her future, and so that is a private gift between her and I. I also thought it would be nice to write down some of my reflections from my first year of motherhood, to look back on in the future. This post may be all over the place as a result.

Thinking back over this past year, the only thing I can think is wow. So much has changed in what feels like so short of a time. Motherhood has been different than I expected, but in the best way possible. I have never been more exhausted, physically and emotionally, and I have never been more in love. More in love with my child, more in love with my husband, more in love with my life. There are so many moments I know I will remember and cherish for the rest of my life. At the same time, it wasn't easy.

Luckily, over time I learned love outweighs perfection. I was reaching for some lofty goal of being the "perfect mother". There is no such thing. I know for a fact that I am the perfect mother for my child. I am the mother she needs, and her smiles and kisses tell me that. My only goal before I had my daughter was for my children to go to bed every day knowing they are loved, and I can happily say that so far that appears to be true. I am proud of myself for that.

Love also needs to be evenly distributed. Being a stay at home mother means that I wake up to my job, and I work until I go to bed. At least in this past year it did. I lost myself at times, and I am so grateful to have a husband call me out on that and help me try to find a balance. I am more than a mom, I am a wife, and I am my own person too. I founded this blog as a way to nurture myself and my own passions, and am glad I did. Taking time for myself each week and using this as a creative outlet has made me feel like me again.

This past year has shown me how amazing my family and friends are. My family - both my relatives and my husband's - have been there for us many times. I have friends both old and new who have helped me more than they can imagine. With every kind word and gentle push when needed, I have grown as a mother and a person. I am happy that our relationships are even stronger than before.

Baby girl, if you ever somehow run across this know that I am a better person just for knowing you. I wrote that in my journal at two months pregnant, and it continues to be true. You are the light of my life, my most precious gift, and I feel and see God in you daily. I am not sure what I have done to be so lucky, but know I never take it for granted.

Eric, you are my best friend. Thank you for being my partner in this new phase of our lives. There is no one I would have rather embarked on this adventure with but you. "Yours was the first face that I saw. I think I was blind before I met you." I see you now more clearly than I ever have. Thank you for being my partner, and walking with me hand in hand.

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