That Mother Lifestyle

5 Lesson I have Learned Being a Parent

As I am nearing a new stage in life….being a mama of three. I wanted to take the time and look back on my parenting journey so far. My husband and I have begun talking through this next stage in life for us and how having three kids will change the dynamic in our home. As excited as we are to meet our 5th family member, and start this next chapter…. we are proceeding with caution so to speak. We know there will be challenges and new things that will come up that we have not faced as parents quit yet. I have put together a list of the 5 lessons I have learned so far being a parent. Trust me, there were lots and I really had to narrow my list down. But these are the ones that either stood out to me the most, or I knew other parents could possibly relate to. Enjoy! 

  1. You will change – and I’m not just talking about your body.

Even if you can’t fit into those fav pairs of jeans the same, revel in the fact that you’re not the same person you were before becoming a parent. Believe it or not, but you actually become a better version of yourself. You move forward, embrace it, love it, grow with the emotions and new feelings you experience. Because from here on out you are no longer the same person you were, and it’s all good I promise. Your kids help you grow, learn, and mature more than any other person ever will. The evolution I have experienced becoming a mom when I wasn’t ready at all and people doubting I could do it,  to fast forward to this pregnancy and I’m married to the man of my dreams, with all the support in the world. The lessons keep coming and are entirely new and refreshing. The change was scary at times but once you embrace it, you will find yourself being completely in love with parenthood and who you become. 

  1. Try not to compare yourself to other parents

I think this is a lesson I’ve struggled with a lot and also I see other parents struggling with too. It’s so hard nowadays, especially with social media and the monster that it can be at times. But it can also be a refuge, especially in parenting, knowing some other mama out there is going through some of the same things you are. Just try to remember that we never fully know someone’s story, so it’s best to just focus on our own families. How we are choosing to raise them, the pics we choose to post of our home, kiddos, etc. everyone does this whole parenting thing differently and our babies are all different! And we experience pregnancy, postpartum, etc in completely different ways! That is truly a blessing in disguise, we can all relate on some level with each other as different as each of our journeys are. So next time you find yourself scrolling though your feed and you start getting in a bad funk because of some perfect pic you saw of a family or clean styled kids bedroom on another parents feed, just let it bring you motivation or remind yourself of the silver lining moments we get to go through in parenthood that make being a mom or dad all that much better and have us all in our feels. 

  1. No books, research, or advice will prepare you

Kind of a relief right? You can’t test out parenting, or do a sample session and think ok I’ve totally got this. You just gotta do it all the way. All we can do is take it day by day, learn as we go, and we are the ones that get to create our own parenting styles. How amazing is that? We don’t have to do things how our parents did, or how a book says, or how another mom or dad says. Each family is different, and we will get to choose how things go that work the best for us. There truly has been comfort in this for me knowing that being a good mom means doing what is best for my family. There’s no mistake I can make, or test I’m going to fail if I choose to do something differently than what is out there written in the “parenting for dummies” haha I mean this has been a lesson that I truly feel grateful for! Sure I still call up my mom to ask her what to do in some situations or ask for advice but it’s nice because I know she may have a different perspective than what I was thinking of, or a more rash decision. I know by calling her, I won’t be using a lifeline to call a friend to make sure I get the answer right. There truly is no way to prepare for parenthood, the sleep deprivation we all experienced after a night out partying is nothing like the sleep deprivation you feel when you are actually in it, it’s pretty hardcore. To the point of hallucination…lol seriously, there’s nothing like it that you’ve experienced before. There is no right way to go about parenting, there’s only the way that works best for you and your fam. 

  1. It’s not just about me

This can be a hard one for some new parents to swallow, but life is no longer all about us. We put the needs of our kids above our own on the daily. We love them and want to be able to give them all the things we never had. There are certain things we just can’t do anymore without involving our kiddos or thinking of them first. I have learned that those super cute shoes I want or a trip I really want to go on has to get put on the back burner for now. I’ve learned to fight those urges and realize there’s more to life than me and my wants. I’m not saying I don’t give myself a little tlc every now and then but the big things…things I could have easily done before becoming a parent and not even think for a second about. Over time it becomes easier to change your thinking in that instance, because now we have little humans we have to consider and think about constantly. And once you take the focus off of yourself, you will be able to see the kind of life you truly want to live. I know, cause I’ve done exactly just that,  and it’s been nothing shy of amazing. 

  1. Expect the unexpected – always!

What a big lesson, this has been. There are so many highs and lows when it comes to parenting and they don’t stop. With each kid comes new things that come up that you gotta deal with that you may not have with the first. Something that seemed so easy with the first kiddo can be way harder with the second in ways you haven’t dealt with yet. Anything from your breastfeeding journey, to potty training, to milestones, to how each kid sleeps, the changes and different challenges you can face with all of these, and more is endless. The lesson here to learn is to just live life, enjoy the craziness and learn from it. This is our chance to learn under pressure and use that fight or flight intuition. This is the beauty of the challenges we will face as parents, things pass and you learn. You are always on your toes and ready for the next crazy thing to happen! And if you’re not ready, you will be the next time something comes up and you’ll be more prepared. 

So here you have it guys, 5 lessons that really have stood out to me lately that I have related to.  And as I grow in my parenting journey and we welcome our third kiddo, I’m sure the lessons will change and evolve. How beautiful it is that as a parent we get to experience so many lessons in life we may never have, if it weren’t for our kids. It has kept me feeling humble from the get go, it makes me appreciate life and look at things so much differently. I no longer see my glass half empty, it is always half full.