It’s been five and a half years since I’ve entered this journey of motherhood. Now three kids later, some would call me a veteran. I’m the mom that all of my new-mom friends call when they need words of encouragement or advice. It’s comforting to know that they trust me enough as a parent to come to me to seek my opinion.
With three kids, you quickly learn and start to get an idea of what comes next with each stage of your child’s life. You use those tried and true methods that worked with your first with your second and third. Nothing comes as a shock to you anymore. Nothing phases you. You’ve been in the trenches for so long now that it’s hard to think of life outside of motherhood. The confidence that you lacked with your first is now so full that you laugh at anyone that questions your parenting skills.
But even with all of this confidence there also comes a bit of laziness. Not that I strive to be a lazy mom, but having more than one child brings on exhaustion more than I’ve ever imagined and sometimes it’s just more convenient for me to take the easy way out.
But doing what’s easy at that moment isn’t always what’s best for me or my children in the long run. While I have so much more confidence in myself as a mom, I still think of those times five years ago when all of this was all fresh and new to me. There is so much I’ve gained in these five years, but there are also some things that I’ve lost along the way — and I’m hoping that I can get them back. Complacency in motherhood has gotten the best of me and I want to go back to some of that “new mom” mentality I once had. Looking back, the “new mom” me could teach the “veteran mom” me a few things:
Diving into the little moments
When I was a new mom, I’d return home from work after picking up my daughter and we’d lay on the floor for hours playing with one another. Social media wasn’t important, email wasn’t important, everything else could wait. It was just the two of us on the floor playing. A lot has changed in those five years, including my dependence on technology. Rather than being 3/4 of the way there for my children in any moment, I want to give them all of me, just like they deserve.
Recording the milestone
I used to write down every single milestone my oldest made. If she got the hiccups I’d write it down. While I’m good at keeping track of the major milestones for all three of my children, I want to remember the little milestones they make. Those firsts I know I won’t remember five years from now, but I’ll love looking back on. Like the first time I was able to put my daughter’s hair in a ponytail or when my son colored with a crayon on a piece of paper. These moments are such a beautiful part of motherhood, they deserve recognition, even years from now.
Getting in front of the camera with the kids
I have so many photos of myself with my oldest daughter when she was a baby, but looking at all of my photos recently, it’s all of my kids. I love having them, don’t get me wrong, but I’d love to see me in them too. I need to put away some of my insecurities, purchase a selfie stick, and get in there with them in those moments so that they don’t grow up thinking that I was absent from all of those times.
Taking my time
Stress can get the best of me, especially with three kids. And with all of that stress I find that I will sometimes rush things throughout my day. When I was a new mom, I wanted to make sure everything was perfect. The bottle had to be at the perfect temperature and bedtime was thoughtfully planned out and executed. Maybe it was a little extreme, but I’d like to get back a part of that and rather than rushing through life with my children each day, slow down and enjoy those moments. Yes, even the tantrums. Every stage is so temporary and I’ve already learned how quickly our children can grow, seemingly right before our eyes. Why not take the time to enjoy it all?More On