Intentional, Professional Motherhood

I’ve recently stumbled upon this wonderful blog of Beth Hendrickson, author of Belle Squeaks. In one of her posts on BlogHer, called Hope for the Stay at Home Mom (a must-read post for my fellow stay-at-home New Mammas out there), she suggested this book called Steady Days: A Journey Toward Intentional, Professional Motherhood by Jamie C. Martin.

How I wish I've stumbled upon this book sooner! Lord knows I need it.

I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for almost a year now. And though there are marked improvements in my ways of mothering, I still can’t help but feel like a novice most days (a TRUE New Mamma, inside out!)

That’s really not great, considering my son is almost two.

I guess there would always be new things that come up, new experiences to face, and new lessons to be learned. I get that. But just like in the business world, I feel like I have to be educated to better my craft (with said craft being MOTHERHOOD, no less.) Just like in the working world, I need to be able to KEEP UP with my mothering (that is to say, be able to keep up with myself). In short, I want to be an intentional, PROFESSIONAL New Mamma.

Coz Lord knows I am doing quite a few things wrong…

– Like how Miguel is still sleeping on our bed (and the three of us have gotten so comfortable with this arrangement that none of us are making any efforts–for now–to move him to his room and in his own bed).

– Like how we have no established routines, except if you can call naptimes at 6 PM and bedtimes past midnight a routine.

– Like how I envisioned our days to be on some kind of normal schedule (I even created a family schedule for us!), but somehow we’ve just been on a non-schedule schedule.

So I have this book on order through Amazon. And I can’t wait to read it!!!

IT probably won’t fix/solve what I’ve listed above (which I’ve learned to embrace in lieu of frustration).

But I’ll take any insight I can get.

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Thoughts on My Upcoming Second Mother’s Day

I’ll be celebrating my second Mother’s Day in a few days. That means my son Miguel will be two before I probably could say another “peek-a-boo,” which, by the way, does not really quite entertain him as much as it used to anymore.

Like many Moms out there, I can say nothing has flown so fast–yet at the same time, so slow–than what transpired for me the past (almost) two years. I thought motherhood would be as easy as a walk in the park, that I would be a natural at doing this Mom-thing. I admit to even once posting in a (pre-Facebook) social networking profile that I had wanted to have eight, yes, EIGHT kids some day. Fast forward to the present with me now having one child, and I don’t even know if I even want HALF of that number of kids I had originally envisioned to have, or half of that half.

I know it sounds like I am questioning my mothering prowess right now (I may be, in a way). But it’s more than questioning, really. It’s more of admittance. Yup…that’s what it is. Right now, I am admitting to the world, that I. Have never been. So stumped. In my life. As the day. I became. A Mom.

It’s tricky business, motherhood. At least for me, and has been since Day One. It’s something few Moms care to admit (to themselves and to the rest of the world), but it’s true: Motherhood is no walk in the park.

I was looking up the dictionary for a better word to describe motherhood instead of business (because that just makes it sound like it’s work), and I found the word vocation (That’s VOCATION, with an “O,” not to be mistaken with “VACATION” with an “A,” because…away from work as I may be, I am NOT on vacation–even though our frequent trips might make you think otherwise.)

I immediately thought to myself, yup…that IS what motherhood is, vocation… a calling. I was right in the “calling” part. You know, like how nuns are called to sisterhood, priests to priesthood, so are moms to motherhood…a LOT of thought goes into it before you actually consider it (for the first time, or the nth time). So a calling it certainly is. But guess what? Vocation is, in fact, also described AS work.

vo·ca·tion

/voʊˈkeɪʃən/

–noun

1. a particular business or profession; a calling.

2.a strong impulse or inclination to follow a particular activity.

3.a divine call to God’s service.

So yes…MOTHERHOOD is WORK. And a heck of a LOT of work it is, as I have discovered the past almost-two-years. I think very few mom wanna-be’s (and I mean mom wanna-be’s in a good way; i.e., those who want to or are trying to get pregnant), and very few FIRST TIME mom-to-be’s, realize just how much work is involved in being a mom. I know because I was there. I knew it would be work. But I didn’t realize it would be this much.

I wish I could say I have a stellar mothering resume like I do professionally, but the truth of the matter is, I am a novice. A beginner. Someone with no prior experience. Unlike in my resume, I cannot say I am “a quick-learner in a fast-paced environment” on this one, because, as I have learned, experienced motherhood takes time. I am a turtle in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment. Sure, it might be easy figuring out how to diaper and make bottles, but then there are a million-and-one other things to be learned (what soothes your child, what makes him tick, what foods to feed him, what makes him allergic, what time he should be in bed, what bed he should be in, what medicine works when he’s sick, what doesn’t. The list goes on and on. And on). And just when I think I have things figured out, or I’m making progress in being a Mom, something always brings me back to square one, or something new comes up.

In no way do I mean to discourage mom wanna-be’s or mom-to-be’s out there. All I’m saying is… if you’re gonna do this, make sure it’s really your calling. Go back to the word, vocation. If you think you’re going to 1) LOVE motherhood like it’s no one else’s work, AND 2) If you have a strong, deep-rooted, UNSELFISH desire to care for another human being, AND most importantly 3) if you KNOW God is calling you to be a MOM, then I’d say you’re ready.

But then again, nothing will really ready you for motherhood until you have that baby in hand. But at least you can say you’ve set your mind and heart for it =)

I’ve learned quite a GREAT deal the past two years–and I know there would be more lessons along the way–but below are just a few of my thoughts for this Mother’s Day:

1.  Everything about motherhood is a test in patience–from the moment that baby breathed air, to his first cry, first tooth, first steps–it IS all about how patient you are. The longer your patience, the more rewarding it becomes.

2.  Someone told me shortly after giving birth that a happy mommy means a happy baby. Wrong. It actually works the other way around: A happy baby MEANS a happy mommy. That means putting that baby’s needs before your own. That’s not to say you neglect your own needs for nice clothes, make-up and sleep, it simply means making sure that the baby is well taken care of (clean, dry, and fed)–that he’s comfortable AND satisfied first–before you seek your own comfort and satisfaction.

3.  It will save you a lot of grief and frustration (I know because it took me quite a while to learn this) the sooner you accept that your way is not the only right way, it just means there are other means to achieve the same end result.

4.  It’s okay if your baby is on a schedule (and quite ok too if he’s not). It’s all about how you manage things and what works for your family.

5.  20 months post-partum is the magical time around which everything feels back to normal.

Happy Mom’s Day Fellow Mammas!

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