Today’s writing prompt from my friends over at For the Love of Writing is “Ways I am Nailing Motherhood.” Even the prompt made me laugh because: I am so not nailing this. The last thing I nailed was the giraffe print above when I finished the baby’s closet/nursery. I took a hammer and I nailed it. Other than that? Notsomuch.
Yet in adding kid #2 to the mix, I do feel more confident. More at ease. Less freaked out that I might break the baby by trying to put a onesie on him, less worried that forgetting my prenatal vitamin for one day means he will never get into a decent college, less concerned that every fuss or cry signals the end of the world.
So how am I nailing motherhood these days?
I am worrying less.
My house is messier.
My preschooler is getting snuggles.
My newborn is gaining weight.
My husband and I have had a handful of conversations that didn’t end in one of us dozing off mid-sentence.
Our family made it to church two weeks in a row, and one of those weeks I nursed a fussy baby in the church kitchen without melting down.
I have melted down a handful of times but I’ve just let those meltdowns happen. Adding another person to a family is overwhelming, and tears will come. I’ve cried and napped and eaten a cookie or two, and then the feelings have passed.
I have said YES to tons of help. My gut reaction is to say, “No, we’re fine” when people offer meals, errands, assistance, and love. But with this baby I’ve said, “YES!” Yes, we’d love it if you’d bring over pizza. Yes, I’d love a cup of coffee. Yes, dinner would change our life. Yes to a few moments alone with my Bible. Yes to vegging out to Survivor while nursing. Yes to coffee. Yes to LOTS of coffee.
I’ve said no to things. No to making it to MOPS two weeks postpartum, even though I really wanted to be there. No to guests who want to stay more than an hour and don’t offer to bring food. No to feeling guilty for giving my preschooler an extra post-nap episode of Daniel Tiger (or two… or three…). No to feeling guilty for asking my mom and my husband for help, for lunch, for an extra load of laundry. No to worrying about my postpartum body and to making early plans to whip it back into prepregnancy shape. No to feeling bad that the living room isn’t vacuumed and the floor isn’t swept.
In this season I’m nailing motherhood by giving myself permission not to nail it. Because who needs two kids under four and all that pressure? Not me.
For you moms out there – how are you nailing motherhood (by not nailing it) these days?
3 thoughts on “Ways I am Nailing Motherhood”
I love your list! LOVE it! I remember the pressure for perfection I put on myself when I had two in diapers. It was ridiculous! I was insane, unhappy, and not a fun person. This place of letting go in order to embrace the beauty of motherhood is a really great place to be. I’m glad you found it earlier on your journey than I did! Happy Mother’s Day, Courtney!
Thanks, Kelly! Grace is a beautiful thing, isn’t it? It’s still a struggle some days, but others I embrace the messy mercy and just go with it. Happy (early) Mother’s Day to you! 🙂
Self-compassion!! Preach it! And Grace – for ourselves, for others and for our limits.
Your gift of encouraging is a great one to receive – thank you!