What I’ve learned about motherhood

I’ve been addressed as many names in my life: Shannon, daughter, granddaughter, girlfriend, fiancé, wife, aunt, sister-in-law, niece, cousin, friend, and coach. But my most recent title, and perhaps my most honorable, is mom. I still smile when I hear someone refer to Bridget as my “daughter” or me as Bridget’s “mommy.” Being a mom is something I imagined since I was five years old playing “house” with my cousin, Erin, to my curly blond-haired baby doll named Bridget (seriously, my first baby doll was named Bridget).

I’m still new to my role as mom; only a year in, but I’ve learned a lot about motherhood—and am still learning something new every day. In honor of Mother’s Day, I thought it would be fun to share some of those nuggets of “wisdom”:

The physical part of childbirth is horrible. Anyone who told me differently was either lying or on drugs.

Getting to hold Bridget for the first time made it totally worth it.IMG_0182 - Copy

Don’t spend money on newborn clothes.

It’s important to keep a journal (or blog, as I’ve chosen) because it’s easy to forget what you’ll want to remember.

It’s okay to feel a strange sense of accomplishment when bottles are washed and prepped for the next day.

I’m glad I reduced my TV show repertoire to three. Time is scarce and my DVR couldn’t have kept up.

It’s acceptable to swap the parenting book for a leisurely read. My mommy mind needs a break every once in a while.

Speaking of mommy mind…I sometimes feel like I lost my old, normal, dependable mind. I’ve made up words such as “combinded” (i.e., combined) and forgotten things I’d never have before.

Daycare is expensive.DSCN1133 - Copy

6:00 AM is sleeping in.

10:00 PM is my bedtime and there isn’t much that gets in the way of it.

That bedtime applies to weekends, too, because so does Bridget’s “sleeping in.”

A video monitor is a must.

When I walk into a room, people are more excited to see Bridget than me, and that’s okay.

Holding my sleeping Bridget ranks near the top of my list of the best things in life.

You’ll eat meals so fast that you barely taste them. That’s if you remember to eat at all.

Don’t be afraid to ask other moms for advice.

Most strangers I engage in conversation with feel inclined to tell me about their children. I listen, enjoy, and hope that is me one day.

Don’t lose your sense of humor. It will keep you laughing when all you want to do is cry sometimes.

I couldn’t name a recent blockbuster movie.

Make sure you get in front of the camera sometimes, too.DSC_0408 - Copy

It’s difficult to not post every cute picture to Facebook. But, resist the urge, if only to keep some of the sweetness to yourself.

There’s nothing on my phone that’s more important than being truly present when I’m with Bridget. 

I know every word to every song on every toy we own. Embrace it and sing along.

Never leave the house without Cheerios.

I don’t know what I would do without Brian. Words cannot describe the amazing husband and father he is to our family.

News stories hit closer to home as a parent.

There are not enough hours in the day. No matter how creative I try to be with time, there just aren’t enough hours in the day.

Working mom guilt is an unfortunate reality. Since I can’t change it, I try to focus my energy elsewhere.

Story time doesn’t always quite pan out as you picture. Keep reading anyway.DSC_0267 - Copy

Baby Center is a mom’s bible.

You don’t get to see or talk to your friends nearly as much as you wish. True friends will understand.

Bridget’s smile could turn around any bad day.

It’s true what other moms say…you don’t get to go to the bathroom alone very often.

Dates may not always be dinner and a movie. Enjoy the time anyway.

Being a mother makes me appreciate my mom even more than I already did.

Pinterest isn’t nearly as cool as it used to be. It’s just a reminder of all the projects I’ll never get to.

You’ll find yourself on the other side of a crying baby in public. Be prepared for, “Well someone’s not a happy camper” comments.

I am thankful for friends with babies close to Bridget’s age. I’ve talked my dear friend, Kim’s, ear off at least once a week. 

I’m amazed at what I’ve learned to do one-handed.

And atop any item on this list…

…being a mom is a true blessing. Be sure to thank God for it every day. 

Edited

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