Three Weeks into Motherhood

Walking into our first pediatrician appointment for Amelia on day three of her life was scary.  I had a diaper bag stuffed with free samples of who-knows-what, unopened wipes, and back up clothes that were two sizes too big for Amelia hanging on my shoulder.  I felt phoney.  I couldn't even figure out how to adjust the shoulder strap on the bag so I was wearing it tight on my arm and stuffed up my armpit.  When the lady at the front desk asked the name and date of birth of my daughter I paused on the word 'daughter' and hoped she didn't notice.  I have a daughter.

How did this happen with me feeling so under prepared for motherhood?  I spent more time worrying about what to pack in my hospital bag than what it would be like to be a mother of a daughter.

I guess I thought when the time came, I would just figure it out.  What I didn't realize was how incredibly depleted I would be.  And how the lack of sleep and the toll of labor would impart permanent dark circles under my eyes and leave my mind in an even foggier haze than the 9 months leading to this point.  My world had been rocked by a 7lb 1oz person.  I was in love and confused and overwhelmed.

At the deepest most vulnerable level I felt (and feel) inadequate to be a mother. I'm only three weeks into being a mom and the title of mother is like wearing a underwear that is too small- or too big.  Either way I'm getting extra fabric bunching where it shouldn't or I'm wondering if my crack is getting longer.  Some days I need more margin in my life to deal with a newborn and other days feel like I'm sagging.  

But regardless of my mood in the moment, I've come to hang onto a few truths.  In the (almost) three weeks of Amelia's life, I've learned:

To remind myself (or a good friend reminds me) that I'm the mother of this baby on purpose- not by accident.  That, for some reason, God decided to put Amelia with Brandon and I.  And that makes me feel a little more confident.  

The goal of being a mother isn't perfection, it's being whole and teaching a little girl to live wholly.  

I'm still me and I can still do things that help me be me.  Today I baked banana bread and went on a walk.  Real life still happens. 

Being a mother is less about living up to my self-prescribed expectations and more about providing a safe place for Amelia to be Amelia.  

I'm allowed to have hard days.  And I'm allowed to cry when it's hard.

I won't have motherhood figured out by tomorrow.  Learning how to be Amelia's mom will take time and patience.  

I have to be gentle with myself and rest. 

Oh- and the contents of the diaper bag are overrated- Amelia will survive regardless of how well I pack (or don't pack) back up wipes.

Happy mother's day to all the hot mommas out there!


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