I've been trying to think about what I wanted to write about when it came to mother's day, this year being my first. I've read a zillion posts on the blogs that I subscribe to, beautiful, thoughtful posts that I wish I had written with such grace and eloquence.
I could write about how motherhood has been nothing but surprise after surprise. I truly, had no idea. And all of the well-meaning advice you get cannot even begin to explain or prepare you for the truth sheltered under the word "mother," a word that sounds so round and good and safe and sweet. But that word also holds grit, and fear, and insecurity, and frustration.
I could write about heart-bursting love, about feeling an incredible bond with your baby from the moment you laid eyes on him (I didn't) and how you feel flying high on hormones and pure joy at what you brought forth into the world (nope, didn't experience that, either. it came, much later.)
I could write about my own mother, our ups and downs, how strong and beautiful she is, how hard a long-distance mother/daughter relationship can be, how she frustrates me, how she says she doesn't read my blog anymore because laying my insecurities bare makes her feel sad. And how it makes me sad that I should ever feel like I need to censor myself, or not write something that means a lot to me, because I am worried that it will upset my mother. But that is another blog post. Or really, like 10 blog posts.
But I think the pulse of the past 7 months has been this:
If there's anything I've learned (and am still learning, as a new mom), it's that only I know how to be a mother to my son. Not my friends. Not my doctors, not my family, not even my own mother. Though I do respect and value their guidance, when it is requested or needed.
Trust that everything I'm doing is exactly right.
Trust that my baby is safe, loved, and nurtured.
Stop reading so many articles, aimed directly at the heart of my insecurities.
Stop worrying that I am screwing him up for life.
Don't read "advice" books. Everyone thinks they are an expert. They are not.
Follow my instincts. They are all I need.
So that is what I want to carry around in my heart, as a mother. I never thought that those first few months would shake me up so much. I never thought I'd feel so nervous about every move I made. But now I'm done. I've got this. At least for now, at this stage. I know it will probably evolve and change as my son grows and changes. But at this moment in time: I'm a loving, powerful, smart, caring, incredible mother.
And I know it.