Last week, I took all three kids to the local aquarium. We spent four hours roaming the floors staring at fish, watching the trainers feed the seals, and even petty the jellyfish. We left happy, tantrum free, and with a new found love of under water creatures.
Five years ago, I would have never imagined myself in this situation. I was terrified to leave the house when my oldest was born. I feared that she would cry out in public and immediately all the attention would go to me. It was as if I had a huge sign on my forehead that said “Inexperienced First Time Mom” and everyone was aware of it. That fear kept me inside most days. Unless I had my husband with me or my parents, I wouldn’t leave the house alone with Harlan.
Looking back, I know all of my fears are completely justified. I was the first out of all of my friends to have a baby and everything was completely foreign to me. That’s why when I successfully take all three kids out on an adventure on my own, I give myself a pat on the back.
Those fears that once kept me locked inside are now no longer. If one of my kids cries in public, the stares no longer bother me. I just focus my attention on my children and their needs at that moment and take care of the situation. It’s not about worrying about strangers, but worrying about my children and myself.
Parenthood is a complete learning process. There’s no manual that gives you the answers to every single problem. Each day in my journey of motherhood has been completely different. The moment that I start to get comfortable and think I have things figured out, they throw me a curve ball and it’s a new lesson for me. That’s the beauty of motherhood. It’s constantly evolving and with that so are we.
I was never a truly confident person until I became a mother. With each child, I become more and more proud of myself and the accomplishments I’ve made, both big and small. I’m happy with the person I am today and I’m even more happy with the mother that I’ve become. So the next time you achieve something in your motherhood journey you’d never thought you could do before, give yourself a pat on the back. You deserve it.