Everyday lives of the Meabon Household

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Mother's Voice - Lisa

I don't know what I would have done this last year without long talks (and texts) with my friend Lisa.  Lisa's son, Field, was born two months before Harper with a congenital heart defect.  My heart broke for Brad and Lisa when they learned this news but they have handled it with such grace.  I have no doubt that The Big Guy put us in each other's lives with specific care.  While our children's diagnoses are very different, we understand what its like to have a child that's had to come into the world fighting.  And now since they are buying a house around the corner, they're about to be our neighbors!  I grew up on Sinclair street with a plethora of kids running from house to house.  I can't wait for Harps and Field to have this same friendship.

Motherhood is Not About Being Perfect

When my very good friend, Brooke, asked me to be a “guest blogger” and write something about motherhood on her blog, I was honored and excited.  Then I sat down to write and felt overwhelmed and unsure of myself as a mother.  I am not perfect, so what should I write about?  Do I have any good advice to offer?  What do I know about motherhood that others don’t?  As I asked myself these questions, the word unsure kept coming to mind.

As a new, first time mom, I spend a lot of time questioning myself.  Am I doing the right thing?  Am I feeding him enough?  Am I talking to him enough?  Is he happy?  It’s a constant guessing game as I learn daily how to be a better mom.  Right after we had our son, Field (who came with some challenges), I remember someone asking my husband what it was like to be a new parent.  He described it by saying it was a very steep learning curve.  His answer was very true and so very honest.  But as the mom, I felt like I was supposed to already know these things.  I had a hard time admitting that the learning curve was steep, because I felt inadequate that I didn’t know all of the answers right off the bat.  Wasn’t I supposed to have some innate ability to know everything about being a mom?
My very first day as a brand new mom.

I think the topics of uncertainty and perfection are important for moms to discuss openly.  We shouldn’t expect ourselves or others to be perfect and to know all of the answers and we need to be open with each other so we don’t feel alone.  We are all learning and as soon as we figure out one stage in our child’s life (whether they are a baby or an adult!), it’s time to move on to the next and learn a new mommy skill.  It’s ok to not know why the baby is crying or to forget to change a poopy diaper (but trust me, once they are past the newborn/breastmilk stage, your senses will remind you.:)  It’s ok to not know how to help your adult child when she is hurting.  It’s ok to admit that you need help and heaven forbid, it’s certainly ok to make mistakes.

One of the first newborn days at home

Moms are SO hard on themselves and this is often one of my biggest challenges.  I want to have it all together, know all of the answers, and look good doing it!  But that’s not reality and it’s perfectly ok.  (Don’t even get me started on the many outfits I changed into daily when my son struggled with reflux.  I quit trying to look “cute” very early on!)

With my 4 month old...just starting to get the hang of things
 The best advice I have ever heard about motherhood is to love your child, smile, and relax. 

Celebrating the big 3-0 with my family

Give yourself permission to make mistakes and don’t strive to be perfect.  Being a good mom is awesome!  Being a perfect mom is impossible! 

Loving on my sweet boy before his surgery

Hurting so very deeply, but continuing to love on him after surgery

So, my point in writing all of this is to challenge moms at every age and every stage, to give yourself credit (and a break!).  You don’t need to know all of the answers, you don’t have to be perfect, and it’s ok to ask for help.  And to take even one step further, admit that you aren't perfect to other moms.  Help each other feel less inadequate.  Love, smile, and relax...and your child, at any age, will be better for it. 

All smiles at the beach this spring

I have to remind myself of this very often but I love the relationships I've formed with other new, honest moms.  It's true and genuine and so very comforting. 

Enjoying my precious boy

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mommies out there. 

We have the best job in the world, so let’s sit back, relax, and enjoy being good, but not perfect, moms!     


Pineapples and Pickles said...

Whew, tears are rolling down my cheeks. Lisa, I understand every.single.word. you wrote. As much as I'd like to say I'm sorry you've felt that way, I can't. I can't because I am so glad to know I'm not alone. Thanks for your honesty and thanks Brooke for sharing the words of these exceptional mommies.

p.s. Preston and I need to plan a trip to San Antonio very soon to see/meet you guys.

The Brown Family said...

Wow... you could have not said it more perfectly. I was nodding my head repeatedly while reading your entry. You need to stop and give yourself a HUGE pat on the back for realizing so early as a mother this concept that perfection will get you nowhere but to a place of stress. And that place isn't what's best for your sweet son and husband. I am beyond excited to have you living in our neighborhood and can't wait to get to know you better!

Tootle Family said...

Honest people. :).

Tootle Family said...

My name is Jessica, and I just baked two batches of cupcakes and then remembered I forgot the eggs. I am not perfect.

Lisa this was beautiful and so honest. I love learning from honey people.

Anonymous said...

Great post, Lisa! Just this morning I read this quote:

"The most important thing she'd learned over the years was that there was no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one. "
-Jill Churchill

Thank you for sharing such thoughtful post!