There’s no shortage of motherhood advice, whether you want it or not. First time moms, especially, are searching for it nonstop. Check out one of my very first post-baby blog posts — you have no idea what you don’t know until you’re in the thick of it.
And while some advice may be unwarranted or not wanted (thanks random lady at the grocery store), there’s one piece I hadn’t heard until just the other day — so I wanted to share it with you.
I was listening to the podcast, “Inspired to Action” with Kat Lee and her guest was Mandy Arioto, who is the President & CEO of MOPS, International, when Arioto mentioned a parenting expert she spoke to who gave her this advice. Honestly, the specifics of who said it don’t matter (she didn’t say who it was anyway) because it’s what she said that hit me. Of motherhood she said:
“Navigate your kid’s childhood with the expectation that you are gonna love it…when you can navigate the world like that…when you just have the belief that I’m gonna enjoy this season, then that’s what’s actually going to happen.”
I see so many articles online, memes, websites, what have you that talk about how hard parenting is. It is hard, don’t get me wrong, but I think it puts an expectation of fear and dread into people unnecessarily. For example, I have seen multiple pieces lamenting the hardship of adding a second child to the family.
As someone who is thinking about that in the near future (no, I am NOT pregnant!), it really has put a negative vibe of fear in my heart. But similarly, I saw pieces about how hard it would be to have a newborn, and honestly the fear was all for nothing. I’m aware that I adapted to motherhood easily and that I’ve had, by all accounts, a pretty easy baby (of course I’ve never had another one so I don’t really know).
However, I think this word “expectation” in the quote advice above is SO important!
We all know the power of the mind and while we should be realistic, we should also choose to expect this time in our lives is going to be wonderful. And even though I have fears about adding another child, what is a better hard than being a Mom and raising another little person? What is life if all you do is try to avoid hard things? Especially the hard things that are the best things?
Expect that it will be hard, but that it will also be wonderful — and keep the focus on the second half. I don’t think any of the moms writing the opinion pieces don’t love being moms, but sometimes I think the message can get lost in the list of “10 things to know about having a newborn or a second child or a third child.”
It’s not easy to set your mind right in the midst of chaos, work, mothering and busy-ness but make a conscious choice expect that you will love this time. And you probably will.
Wonderful advice (and I’m a big Mandy Arioto fan)!
And don’t stress over adding a second. Yes, the first several weeks (months?) are so, so hard. It feels like you have four times as many children, not just two. But seeing the boys together now – how sweet they are with each other, how much they teach each other, and how much AJ already adores his big brother – affirms that it’s all wonderful and worthwhile.
Thank you…I just have to say “get through 3 months” and then I’ll at least be used to life with two! Thanks for reading 🙂
This is lovely advice. My kiddos are 20 months apart – and it is absolutely perfect. Hard as heck some days, and the laundry seems to have quintupled – but it’s amazing. And actually, my younger daughter was this unicorn who slept through the night from the day she came home from the hospital… which since my son never slept longer than 2 hours til he was 7 months old, my husband and I say we earned it!