To encourage myself and other young moms out there I’ve decided to write what I’ve learned in my first six months as a mom of two. I don’t claim to be an expert at motherhood. Honestly, I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing most of the time, but I’m learning day by day to be more confident as a wife and mother. So what have I learned in the past few months?
Lessons As a Mom of Two
1. Sleep when you can.
I don’t think I’ve slept through the night in the past two years. Make that now, two years and six months. I know you’re thinking I should sleep when the baby (or I guess I should now say babies) sleep, but this has to be one of the most difficult things for me to do. Add a two year old to the mix and sleeping becomes downright impossible. In this first month I had taken so many impromptu naps it’s not even funny. But I have learned that in order to be the best for my children I have to be well rested. I can’t feel bad for doing what I need to do in order to function.
2. Be confident in your decisions.
I’ve always struggled with confidence. The struggle creeps in daily now that I’m a mom. It’s easy to doubt your own decisions when it comes to raising a child. Family members tell you to do things this way or that way but I’m learning to smile politely, say ok, and go back to how I want to do things. Here’s the thing: God created me to be TJ and Ella’s mom. He wouldn’t have done so if He didn’t think I could do it. What does that tell me? Be confident in the way I’m raising my children. I can only do what I believe is right, and I can’t let the opinions of others influence me in a negative way.
3. Tantrums will happen whether you like it or not.
TJ is exactly 2 years and 1 week older than Ella. Yes, their birthdays are only 1 week apart. TJ has done a lot better with handling being a big brother than I could have ever imagined, however, tantrums have become a part of our daily routine. If I nurse the baby, he cries. Tell him no, he cries. If I walk to another room, he cries. You get the idea. When I think about it from his perspective though, I honestly can’t blame the kid. In a matter of a few hours, his entire world changed. We went from a family of 3 to a family of 4. He went from an only child who was able to enjoy mommy’s undivided attention all day long, to a big brother who has to share mommy with this tiny person who eats, sleeps, cries, and poops. I’m learning through this though that just because my child has a tantrum or two (or three), doesn’t mean I’m a bad mom. He’s learning, just like I am, how to cope with the changes in our family dynamic and it is okay.
4. Don’t Be Afraid To Leave the House
Easier said than done. By the time I get everyone dressed, fed, bags packed and loaded into the car 3 hours have passed or so it feels. Getting a two year old to cooperate with you is hard enough, add a newborn to the mix and…you get the idea. But for my sanity, getting out of the house has been a must. My mother is of the mindset that a women who has had a baby needs to stay in the house for 6+ weeks to avoid the dreaded confinement cold. While I’m not saying to go crazy and take a vacation across the world, a walk outside or trip to the grocery store is okay sometimes. Staying inside and not trying to return to somewhat of a normal routine is a recipe for depression. My babies need a healthy mom to take care of them and getting out of the house has helped me maintain my sanity for them.
As a new mom of two it seems like I can’t go an hour without saying “Lord, help me.” God knows all about our struggles. When I’m doubting myself as a mom, I find comfort in knowing that my children are a gift from God and I was chosen out of all others for them. Wow!
This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9 (NLT)
What have you learned as a parent? I’d love to hear in the comments below and if you are a mom of two, share those lessons too.