Motherhood is quite a humbling journey, isn’t it? From trying to conceive, to watching your body grow and change while pregnant, to labor and delivery, to then trying to raise happy, well-adjusted kids — it’s a daily rollercoaster ride with many opportunities to grown and learn. I realized the other night, as I nursed my 3rd baby to sleep, then held him in my arms 30 minutes past the time since he had fallen asleep, that one of my biggest lessons I’ve learned as a mom is to never say never. I had once proudly proclaimed that I would never nurse my babies to sleep because they needed to learn to be good, independent sleepers. Three children later, this is just one of the many examples of how I’ve eaten crow as a mommy. But it doesn’t start or end there; read on to see a list of all the times I’ve eaten crow in the last 8+ years.
– Before I had my first child, I said I was never going to leave my career to stay home with her. I loved my job too much, and she needed to grow up to see a strong working mother as a role model. Then she was born, and I realized how hard it was to actually leave her. I’ve worked full time, part time, and been a stay-at-home mom throughout my time as a mother, and although each situation worked for us at the time, I learned more than anything, you can’t predict how you will feel about your baby until your baby is actually born.
– Before I had my first child, I also said I was only going to breastfeed for the first 6 months of her life. I have now breastfeed for a year-plus with each child. Again, I should have never made claims about motherhood until I was actually a mother.
– I used to say I was never going to let my babies nurse to pacify themselves, or nurse on demand. That changed when the third child came along and it was sometimes easier to just let him nurse, than try to console a screaming baby while helping two older children with homework.
– I once said I would never cloth diaper. What a pain, what a mess! I have now been cloth diapering for almost a year, and I can’t believe I never considered it with my first two.
– I once said I would never rock my babies to sleep, and never nurse them to sleep in the middle of the night. I was once a very strict “sleep trainer” and firmly believed babies needed to fall asleep on their own. I now nurse Hayden to sleep almost every single day because, I just enjoy the peace and quiet we share together, apart from the craziness of the two older kids. Our house is loud and busy most days; setting aside nursing time before naps and bedtime is my way of spending special time with Hayden. I also know he’s my last baby, so I need to get in some baby snuggles as much as I can now.
– I once said I would never bribe my kids with treats. That all changed the first time I took a toddler and preschooler out to dinner. Lollipop anyone?
– I once said I would never have a third child, and obviously that’s my biggest “eating crow” moment. Baby number 3 is almost one year old, and I can’t imagine life without him. He has completed our family in a way I never thought was even possible.
So do you have any major motherhood lessons you’ve learned along the way? And have you ever had a humbling “eat crow” moment as a mom?