This blog series Encouragement for moms all comes from our newsletter Empowerhood. Each week a mom shares an experience throughout their motherhood journey that changed and shaped them as a mama. Are you ever curious how moms get to where they are? Why are they the parent they are today? I know I am!
Every single one of us has a unique story that can help, and inspire other moms going through the same thing. Empowerhood was created to take the shame out of topics not talked about in our society, imperfect parenting, and unrealistic expectations. Power packed with knowledge and lessons learned! Connect with moms all over the world, be encouraged, and know you are never alone. Motherhood is HARD and we are all in this together. Sign up here to receive these inspiring stories every Monday morning.
Encouragement for the week
This we have Jessica Laing being featured. She has a 6-month old little boy Ben, and pretty much everything went wrong from the day he was born. Jessica’s expectations were far from reality from a difficult childbirth to hard times postpartum. Her perspective is incredible, take her words of wisdom with you every single day as we all tackle obstacles that come our way. “Expectations lead to resentment.”. Enjoy ladies!
I had imagined and prepared for my dream birth months leading up to the day my baby was born. I envisioned a calm, dark, peaceful birthing room with my midwife and a beautiful water birth. Well, I’m here to tell you that almost NOTHING about motherhood so far has gone the way I “envisioned…….”
I was handed my beautiful baby boy, in a hospital, after a long 26 hour labor that ended with a vacuum extraction by an OBGYN (not my midwife), in a room full of medical professionals standing in the corner. Almost the complete opposite scenario of the one I had planned. Instead of enjoying the moment of meeting my son, I couldn’t stop thinking how “it wasn’t supposed to be like this.”
The next month was a blur. I came home with a minor infection, got sick 2 weeks postpartum, and realized rather quickly that breastfeeding was not going as I had imagined. I had read all of the books,blogs and instagram posts I could. I made it my mission to get my hands on all the information I could while I was still pregnant. I was ready for anything….or so I thought.
Nothing was going my way.
My son had a hard time latching, he would cry frequently while eating, I mean like REALLY cry (isn’t food supposed to make babies happy??), and never seemed satiated. Thankfully we found out that he had severe lip and tongue ties and were able to get them released, but you can probably guess I did not expect my breastfeeding journey to involve that hurdle. Again, I caught myself thinking “it wasn’t supposed to be like this.”
To top it all off, we learned many weeks later that he had fractured his clavicle during birth. This explained his refusal to be put down on his back to sleep, the endless screaming while changing his diaper or clothes, and overall unhappy demeanor. So, needless to say, the first 6 weeks of my motherhood journey were full of things no blog, book, or instagrammer could have prepared me for.
Stick with me, I promise there is a positive outcome..
One day my husband kindly reminded me, “expectations lead to resentment.” A light bulb went off when I heard this. He was not saying I shouldn’t have goals, or expect my life to be happy and full. He was reminding me that before our baby I had mastered living my life one day at a time without romanticizing what it could, or should be like. I expected to come home with a beautiful, healthy baby, and start living the blissful newborn life we see posted all over social media full of cute onesies and cozy sleeping babies. Instead, I felt like my world was crashing down around me with each week bringing a new problem I was unprepared for.
Looking back, I now realize that my “world” was not crashing down, but that I was disappointed motherhood did not look or feel how I “expected.” I read somewhere once that when we stand at the finish line of one season and the start of the next, we normally just race through without considering what we learned from the one we just completed. I needed to look back on life before my baby and figure out what I was doing differently that prevented me from feeling happy.
Accepting help is its own kind of strength.
My expectations, research, and preparation caused me more harm than assistance. All of the reading set up expectations in my mind of how things were supposed to look. We tend to think the more we know about things, the more control we will have. How did I end up so informed, yet feeling so out of control? I did not need another book , another blog, or another resource . What I needed was to let go of my pride and ask for help. I needed to admit that I did not have control, and that I did not know what I was doing.
They say that ‘accepting help is its own kind of strength.’ It can be especially hard when you’re dealing with postpartum hormones, sleep deprivation, and quite possibly the biggest life change we will ever encounter as women. But, I promise you, it is SO WORTH IT. We tend to think that people will be burdened by our requests for help, but really, most people WANT to help! Once I slowed down, removed my expectations of what motherhood was supposed to look like, and asked for help, my anxiety slowly began to fade and I started to feel like myself again. So next time you feel out of control, or lost in the depths of motherhood, don’t go to instagram or a book for advice. Instead, pick up your phone and ask someone for help. Give someone else the blessing of helping you!
If this blog encouraged you in anyway, please comment below, and share with a friend. The smallest hope can seem like everything when you are going through hard times. Join Empowerhood to receive all of these stories, and to be the first to hear newly released podcast interviews.
Our mission is to give you all the encouragement and knowledge to get you through your hardest days, know you are not alone, and give you the confidence to live as the mom you’ve always wanted to be. Don’t you ever wonder how someone got to where they are today? I absolutely LOVE hearing each story and understanding the why behind the women. I hope you do too!
Empowerhood is brought to you by Flourish Everyday Coaching.
Learn more about founder and Coach Megan Vandevanter. Megan is a Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant, and Women’s Health Coach. She specializes in children ages 0-8 years olds, and predominately coaches mamas, whether they be postpartum or have children going to college. Finding yourself within motherhood is HARD. “Health is all we have. Finding your energy again after having children, and having your needs met, allows you to show up as the mom you want to be”. -Megan