Lessons Learned From 9 Years of Motherhood
Today marks 9 years of motherhood for me. Today is my baby girl’s birthday. I look back on the past 9 years and can’t believe all that has happened- in both of our lives. I know many of you out there are just starting out as parents- struggling just to get a shower or a full night’s sleep. Some of you, like me, have kids that are beyond that but having new struggles as each stage of childhood unfolds.
I wanted to share a few things I’ve learned in the past 9 years as I reflect on how much I’ve grown as well. Warning: It’s about to get all mushy up in here….
Personality is Revealed at Birth
This is one of the most interesting yet confusing parts of getting to know your new little human. They really are born with a personality- wether it’s Grumpy, Sensitive, Happy, Curious, Old Soul, Textbook- they are born that way. Period. What I see often with new parents is a desire to make their child be a certain way. You just can’t. And you shouldn’t. Don’t try to fit a square peg in a round hole. Rather, slow down and take the time to get to know what kind of peg you have. Your life will be so much easier.
When Lily came out of the womb, she had wide soulful eyes. She’d been here before. She was quiet and observant. She’s been that way ever since. She has big beautiful hazel eyes that are always taking in the World. When she was younger she was very timid. She rarely cried or asked for anything, and it’s always taken her some time to warm up to new situations. This would often confuse and/or frustrate people she came in contact with. Just like all humans are unique, so are all kids. We’ve got to honor that.
Here’s where things got interesting and tested me and my Ego. Lily has only told me she loves me maybe once or twice in 9 years. She is not verbally affectionate. And for about 6 years that tore me up. I made it be all about Me and what that meant for me as her mother- that she must not love me or that I was a terrible mother. But as I began to become more self-aware, I realized it had nothing to do with me and more of a part of who she Is. My Love Language is Words of Affirmation. Hers is Quality Time. (You thought that stuff was just for your Romantic relationships, huh?) When I stopped making it about ME and let her be who she is, things got a lot easier and our relationship changed. Every night I still tell her I love her, and every night she asks me to snuggle with her for a bit as she goes to bed. She wraps my arm around her and I know, in my heart, that’s her way of telling me she loves me.
I’m a Better Person Because of Her
Lily has an incredible memory. She must have been an elephant in her previous life! Sometimes I can’t believe the things she remembers- a lot of them I wish she didn’t. This has been a real game changer for me over the past few years. I always used to think my Integrity was in check, but rarely do you have someone who will call you out when it’s not. Enter Lily. This girl keeps me in line. She will let me know if I am not doing something I said I was going to do. It can be frustrating at times- I find myself making excuses or defending myself, but it has taught me that excuses are bullshit. If I say I’m going to do something, I need to do it. Period. This has spread to other areas of my life as well and has helped me grow personally and professionally.
As Lily enters into the Tween years, I have become acutely aware of how I speak about certain things- mostly my own body. I’ve never been happy with my body and have always looked at it with a critical eye. Now I may be critical of myself but it’s way less than in the past, and it’s certainly not in front of her. I know she is always watching me, always listening, and thus figuring out how to navigate issues based on what I’m showing her is ok or not. This also goes for how I treat people, how I speak about them, and how I interact with them. Even though her father and I aren’t together anymore, I speak very highly of him and we interact with each other very easily and cordially. Same goes with the guy who gave me the bird when I accidentally cut him off while driving. Lily and I had a long talk about Road Rage and how a finger gesture can be really mean (and laughable)! Our children watch us like hawks. Let’s teach them, by example, how to interact with the world in a kind and loving way.
To finish this out, I want to publicly say how proud I am of the person my daughter is becoming. She marches to the beat of her own drum, is confident, kind and courageous, and her laugh lights me up. I’m so glad she chose me.
Happy Birthday my sweet Lily Bird.
A. Strength: Turkish Get Ups
- 4R/4L 3R/3L 2R/2L 1R/1L
- (Use a weight that will allow for perfect form but is still challenging)
- 10 Pushups between each set
B. Conditioning: Set a timer for 30 seconds on/30 seconds off for 4 rounds. This will get your through the following movements once. I use Round Timer.
- KB Swings
- Double Unders/Single Unders
- Air Squats/Goblet Squats
- The goal is to move through each movement at a high intensity that is appropriate for YOU. Remember, you work for 30 seconds then get a 30 second rest. Use the rest time to take deep breaths, bring your heart rate down and recover.
- Beginners will complete 3 rounds
- Intermed./Advanced will complete 4-5 rounds
- If your belly is in the way, do Sprawls instead
- If you would like a heavier weight for the air squats, use a KB or DB