“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see” – Henry David Thoreau
This is one of my favorite quotes, because it speaks to me so deeply when it comes to motherhood and parenting.
I was texting with a group of my close friends just now and one of them made a really nice comment toward our friend that recently had a baby. She told our friend how she sees that she has really adjusted well to motherhood and how she can see that she’s enjoying and embracing life. Those words really tugged at my heart.
All five of us are all mommies now and in different seasons of motherhood and we each experienced that first year (and years) so differently. And the words enjoying and embracing life got me thinking about my own experience.
For my first year of motherhood I felt so completely lost and alone and unbalanced and like a little girl that had stepped through a door out of curiosity only to find that she’d rather go back to where she was comfortable and familiar – but she couldn’t. She was here. And each step and experience was so unfamiliar and scary. That was me. I had many moments of loving and enjoying being a mom, but I was also filled with so many moments of feeling my emotions all over the place. Then just as I was adjusting we welcomed our second baby. And even though I had the experience from the first, the second baby brought on exhaustion, sleep deprivation, awful nursing pains and new challenges to a whole different level.
I realize now that all I could see was the unfamiliar and the lack of control I had in my new role. Like when you’re jumping on a trampoline and you’ve gone too high and too fast and now you’re being tossed all around without a clear vision of where you are going and where you’re going to land. I wasn’t looking at the beauty of motherhood, I was only seeing that the person I was before having kids was (supposedly) gone and in her place was someone I didn’t know and that each day I looked to her wondering what she would do or how she would react.
And now here I am, our oldest ready to turn 5 and our youngest at 20 months and when I saw that text with the words “enjoying and embracing life” I thought to myself…yes, that is me. I am there. I am enjoying being a mom, my husband, my life, my family, this woman that I am. I can finally see really what is there.It doesn’t mean that I am void of scary, unfamiliar moments, but I don’t feel alone or lost anymore. A bit scared, sure! I’m a mom, it comes with the territory.
I feel like in the last few months I am finally opening my eyes and really seeing and enjoying what is around me and where I am at.