Motherhood: A 3-Month Update
Updated: Nov 12, 2021
For those who don't know, the past year has been a whirlwind of life-changing events and milestones.
In the middle of a pandemic, I've graduated from college, started my career, gotten engaged, and, oh yeah... had a baby.
That last one is probably the most life-altering one yet.
In the last three months, I've been tested in more ways than I can count. Having a baby is not just filled with diaper changes, long nights, and comforting cuddles. It's also filled with body changes, mental health changes, and a complete re-evaluation of your identity.
After having my daughter, I realized that I was trying to find my "old self" when really, I had a new identity. I was not just Daizha anymore; I was a mom, a partner, an employee, and so much more. I often thought my new identity just had to be motherhood, and that's it, but I am so much more than that.
It's hard to remember that you exist as a whole person without a baby. I'm not just a mom; I'm still me, but who I am also look different.
Here are a few things I've learned about myself and motherhood over these last three months:
1. It's okay to miss your "old life."
I felt guilty in the first few weeks after having my daughter for wanting to have the ability to shower in peace, get a full night's sleep, and go on a date without worrying. I wanted to go out with my friends, facetime people just to laugh, and run to target without trying to change a diaper in a questionably sanitary bathroom. I thought to myself, "I'm a terrible mom for not loving every moment of this sweet little human's life." But, I realized that it is ok to miss my former life and the things I once did. I just gave birth (which is a life-altering experience) and then was given a new life to take care of literal minutes later—your body changes. Your heart changes. Your whole life changes. It's okay to not feel happy and joyful about everything.
2. Motherhood is a journey, not a destination.
I read every parenting book, website, blog, Instagram story, and pamphlet known to man while I was pregnant. I thought I would be prepared for almost every scenario when it came to being a mom. However, you don't just wake up and become an expert on a tiny new person. They are learning who they are; you are learning who they are. They will change, and you get to witness all of that. It's all about the journey. That's what makes parenting beautiful.
3. Self-Care is the best care for you and your baby.
The first three weeks of my daughter's life. I did not take care of myself at all. I didn't eat three meals a day; I didn't sleep; I didn't even get out of bed most of the time. I quickly found out that if I wanted to be any good to my baby, I had to take care of myself. I had a very rough and long recovery post-partum, and I had to come to terms with the fact that even though I was a mom, I still had to put myself, my relationship, and my needs ahead of other things sometimes so I could be the best mom for my baby.
Basic needs like eating, showering, using the bathroom, and changing clothes should not be considered a form of self-care. You should prioritize things that make you happy to pour into yourself truly so that you can pour into your family.
4. Cherish the moments, even when the phases of your baby's life seem neverending.
This is self-explanatory. The nights and hard moments feel like they will last forever. But one morning, you wake up, and your baby is laughing, talking, and trying to scoot out of the house. Cherish all of the moments. There are stages to the bad times and good times. Take in every single one.
5. Give up the idea you're going to be the perfect mom. You won't be.
There is no such thing as a perfect mom. But I know that I am the perfect mom for my baby. I have to remind myself of that every single day. Even when I cry in the shower, or I sleep a couple of minutes longer, even when I hear her starting to cry. I was designed to be her mama. That makes me the perfect mom for her.
I could write a million more lessons on Motherhood, but I'll leave it at these five. I hope it helps a new mama out there to let you know you're not alone.
Peace & Love, D