This past week has been the TOUGHEST week to date of being a momma. I absolutely love being a mom and it is what I've always wanted to be. When I was a little girl, when someone would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would say, A MOM! DUH! I attribute that to having an amazing momma myself, plus being surrounded by loving aunts that were like second mothers to me. Being a mom has been the biggest blessing in the world.
But I think what often goes unmentioned is how tiring, frustrating, and hard it can be, especially for us new moms. I have never questioned my decisions as much as I do now. I always wonder "Am I doing what is best for Emma? Will this ruin her? How do I set her up for the best life EVER?" And of course the forever-repeated question:
“IS THAT NORMAL???”
But what God is continually teaching me is that Emma is His, and He has entrusted my husband and I to raise her and care for her, but ultimately, I cannot be anxious about every single decision I make regarding Emma. That's no way to live, and that is not the recipe for a happy and healthy momma.
Emma's sleep habits have been awful the past few months, and especially this past month when she started waking up 10+ times per night and not taking naps throughout the day. She was always tired with swollen little eyes and could not get to sleep as hard as she tried. So my husband and I finally decided to get her on a better routine during the day, put her down for her naps and night sleep at the same times, and give her more structure. The poor girl has been dragged around by us for months, to every event or day away, with NO regularity to her day. I know how well I function with structure, and of course babies need it even more!! But getting her on this new schedule and routine has been SO emotionally draining for me. Being a mom is hard, but sometimes, you have to do the tough things.
Do you know how many times I've contemplated binging this past week? SO many times. Do you know how many tears I've shed instead? SO MANY. But, I am proud to say, that I have chosen the foods that make me HAPPY. That I know serve me and make me a happy, healthy, and whole momma, and that don't make me fall apart. Because life is stressful enough without adding the stress of making unhealthy food choices into the mix!
Eating healthy this past week has made me an even better mom to Emma when times are tough and both of us are getting used to a new routine. Imagine if I had thrown my self-care out the window during this week? I would have been more stressed out, which in turn makes her more stressed out (ohhhhh that mommy-baby bond is strong!) and that would have made it even HARDER for us to implement the new principles we are following.
My desire in sharing this is for all you moms out there to know that taking care of yourself IS NOT SELFISH. Getting my workout in every morning is not selfish. Eating healthy foods and cooking at home while Emma watches Netflix for 20 minutes will NOT ruin her, will make me a happier and better fueled momma, and will give her MORE security in her day. And no matter what stress you and your family are going through, make sure you are taking care of YOU too.
So many moms come to me and say that they could never workout or eat healthy because of their kids. Ladies, it should be because of our kiddos that we DO THESE THINGS! You can do it, you deserve it, your kids deserve it, and your family deserves it.
So yes, while there are days where I may accidentally skip a meal or over-eat at another because of the stresses of day to day mom life, I am proud to say that I've stuck to my happy, whole eats amidst the stress and changes, which I would have used as an excuse in the past. And this has given me a calmer, and more positive outlook on this new stage of parenting and the learning and changes that go along with following a new routine.
To all those stressed out moms out there, take some time for you today, move your body to gain those endorphins, eat foods that nourish and fuel you, so that you can be that happy momma that you know you are. Oh and find some mom friends you can vent to...like me! We all need that ;)
Have a happy Thursday, everyone!