This is Day 14 of our series on “Surviving & Thriving with a Newborn” — part of the 31 day writing challenge hosted by the Nester. Every day in October I’ll be sharing a tip about how to make the most of and enjoy the sleep-deprived newborn days. For a list of all the posts in this series, click here.
With my first child my life revolved around our daughter. Because I demand-fed her and nursed her every time she cried, she was my constant companion — day and night. She even accompanied me to Bible studies. I felt like a prisoner.
In that moment you become a mom, the world tells you two opposing lies:
1) You must put your children first, above your own needs and the needs of your spouse.
2) You need to find an identity apart from your children and husband.
Wow! No wonder young women aren’t wanting to start families! There’s so much confusion about what a mother’s role should look like.
I’m not going to tell you demand-feeding is wrong, but it didn’t work for me. In those two years, my social life was nonexistent. Who wants to go to the movies with a 1-year-old? I felt lonely and isolated. Even though I’m not an outgoing, overly social person, even introverts need time to unwind and get together with friends.
So when child #2 came along, I knew some things had to change — for my sanity. Lie #1 was forcing a wedge between my husband and me, and I felt like my identity resided solely in my daughter. Not cool.
With child #2, I followed a more logical feeding schedule as opposed to every time she cried, and she got into a nice routine that allowed me to leave her to go to the store, attend Bible study alone (yea!), and even go on dates at night with my husband. Can we say FREE—-DOM?! Don’t get me wrong; I love being with my children, but everyone needs a break now and then.
The point of this post isn’t to tell you how to mother your child but to give you the liberty to mother how you feel led and how works best for you. You’re the mother. Don’t compare your child with someone else’s. Don’t look at how another mom’s doing things and think she’s got it all figured out; she doesn’t. Go with your gut. Hone in to your motherly instinct. Be careful not to share too much with other Mamas unless they’re specifically asking for your advice.
Let’s be supportive of each other, Mamas. We’re all in this mothering role together, no matter how we’re doing it.
What has given you the most freedom in your role as a Mom?
For other posts in this series, click on the button below.