Lessons Learned from 2014: Compliments of Motherhood
Today marks the last day of 2014, so naturally I spent today’s run (YES, I ran today! WHOO HOO!) reflecting on the lessons I learned this past year. I realized most of the lessons I learned (*ahem* and am still learning) over the last 12 months have been learned in the deep, dark, scary trenches of motherhood. I thought I would share a few of the nuggets of wisdom I gleaned this year with you guys.
- Things don’t matter. People do. I’ve always enjoyed indulging on nice things. And then I had a baby. And then I watched all my nice things die…and not just a quick death either, but a slow and painful death. My Pottery Barn table has teeth marks in it…and the teeth marks aren’t from my dogs. Atlas went through a phase where he loved to chew on the wood. Not.even.joking. My clothes are used daily to clean up messes not limited to; dirty mouths, runny noses and spilled milk. My dry clean only clothes are in a pile labeled “Not to be worn until 2020” – at which point, I’m hoping they will have gone out & come back into style. My fancy throw pillows have been defiled in ways I’m not yet prepared to discuss. I now know why my grandmother covered her furniture in plastic when we came over as kids. It wasn’t because she was tacky. It was because we were uncivilized little monsters. So this year when everyone kept asking me what I wanted for Christmas I really couldn’t think of much because the truth is, I’ve learned that things don’t matter. So many of my things have been ruined, but I couldn’t be happier because I have my family and my family has their health. The nicest things don’t make for the nicest life. It isn’t the designer table, but the people that sit around it that make a house feel like home.
- People give crap advice. Only listen to your mom. Now that I’m pregnant, I can’t tell you how many people have told me, “Sleep now while you can. You won’t ever sleep with 2 babies.” I got that advice a lot when I was pregnant with Atlas too. Here’s a little FYI for all you folks who like to hand out unsolicited advice like the above. You can’t store up sleep! I could hibernate for a month and still not be prepared for the sleepless nights that come with a newborn. There is no savings account for sleeping. You can’t stockpile it. The reality is your body does what it has to do and you survive. My mom said it best, “Having 2 babies under 2 will be hard, but you’ll survive, just like everything else in life. Remember it is a season and it will pass. You won’t have babies forever.” That’s sound advice. Ignore everyone but your mom…but please, keep reading this post. Obviously my unsolicited pearls of wisdom are the exception.
- Don’t judge, lest ye be judged. I was the best mother you ever met…until I had Atlas. I could tell you exactly why my child would never throw a fit in public and how he would eat brussels sprouts for breakfast (because I said so, duh) and how he would always be dressed impeccably when we went out to the grocery store…and…and…and…if you were a mom you would have had every right to ***** slap me had I ever said any of those things to your face. Because I was obviously an idiot. Just the other day Atlas and I were in Whole Foods and we got into a scuffle over who would hold the carton of eggs. The scuffle ended with a dozen eggs cracked on the floor and my 14 month old in a puddle of tears right next to them. If you didn’t hear the carton of eggs hit the ground, you most certainly heard the sobs of my child. Everyone was staring. I was that mom. I could see the people judging who had obviously never attempted grocery shopping with a baby. And I understood where they were coming from because I used to stand in their shoes and judge the mom with the demon possessed child in the supermarket. But now my kid was the one who was acting possessed and as I think back to the baby I used to judge I realize they were actually more human than I realized. I owe a lot of moms an apology. These days when I see a mom in a supermarket with a 4 year old mouthing off, I don’t judge. I smile and nod and say a prayer that Jesus will help me when I inevitably get to that stage of parenting.
- Marry someone who will walk through the difficult seasons of life with you.
This is unsolicited advice for all my single friends out there. Don’t just marry the guy that you have a blast with on vacation and who makes you laugh over a fancy dinner. Marry the guy who will see you through your darkest hour. After finding out I was pregnant with our second little treasure, I went into a pretty dark place. I may or may not talk about this in more detail down the road, but for several weeks I suffered from HG (extreme morning sickness/nausea/vomiting) and as a result I became very depressed. You don’t get sick days when you’re a mom, so I had no choice but to continue caring for Atlas during my sickness and it took a huge toll on me mentally. I got to a point where I just couldn’t get sick one more time. Mentally. I was done. I just hit a wall and it was like I stopped functioning. I was barely existing. But Dave hung in there with me. He made meals. He played with Atlas. He bathed Atlas. He walked dogs. He encouraged me. And he didn’t judge me. He didn’t judge me for losing heart. He didn’t judge me for being angry and crying. And that meant more to me than he will probably ever know. 2014 taught me how lucky I was to marry a man who not only provides for our family and cares for me, but truly lifts me up when I’m down. If that advice doesn’t suit you, then I will suggest you marry rich. I assume you can’t go wrong with that route either, although I can’t say for certain.
What did you learn in 2014?