I guess I’ve been one for sappy motherhood posts lately. A weekend alone with the kids + Nana will do that to me, as I spent 4 days away from home with my crew and my Mom! I didn’t have the internet, and tried staying offline as much as possible, which made me feel VERY present [and ready for an internet-computer break when we got home on Monday].
SO, last time I talked about ways in which I want to become a better Mom. And today I’m talking about the biggest lesson motherhood has taught me, so far. I say so far because Joey is 3.5 years old so it’s not like I’m a seasoned veteran at motherhood. In fact, I would consider myself still a novice. Yes, I’ve had three newborns, babies, and soon-to-be toddlers. But after texting with a friend who is about to have her third baby, I started reflecting on each of my children and here’s what I came up with:
Everyone is born as an ORIGINAL….
And so far, all of my kids are carrying-on with life as their own original self!
- Labor was 30+ hours long
- Joey slept the entire YEAR after he was born [just kidding, but he was by far my sleepiest, cuddliest baby]
- He had his first ear infection at 4 months old- only sign was a high fever [seriously, this baby never fussed]
- At 3.5, Joey loves Ninja Turtles, swimming, karate, learning about all kinds of animals, pushing his dump truck, building elaborate train tracks, being Dad’s helper with all things building, maintenance, and more, and asking Mom 500+ questions a day
- He’s persistent, kind, and by far one of the most thoughtful children I know [not just because he’s mine]
- Labor was 8 hours long
- Anthony was wide-eyed as soon as he was born, and hasn’t stopped screaming, talking, making his presence known since [I think he was colicky his first 6 months of life]
- He had his first ear infection at 3 months of age- signs were NOT sleeping or eating well- and had tubes placed in his ears at 18 months of age
- At 2.5, Anthony loves dinosaurs, being big bro’s little shadow, throwing and kicking any ball in sight, his sheepy [a little blankie that looks like a dog but he calls his sheep], eating whatever Mom is eating, and reading books with Dad
- Anthony is strong-willed, passionate, and a FLIRT!!! Seriously… oh and a the cuddliest toddler I know [when he’s not yelling at me]
- Labor was 7 hours long
- Lily has been an alert, pleasant, SMILEY baby
- She had her first ear infection at 4 months of age- signs were not eating well and high fever
- At 9 months of age, Lily loves following her brothers’ every move, smiling at anyone that will make eye contact with her, wrestling with Anthony, taking Joey’s trains when he’s not looking, refusing any liquids but breastmilk, and making a mess of Mom’s folded laundry
From spending time with a variety of children [babies and toddlers] and moms, reflecting on my own children and factoring in MY personality and interests, I can tell you this about motherhood: everyone is their own person. Everyone is different. And accepting these differences will make this world a better, more accepting place. You would think 3 kids from the same stock would get ear infections at the same age, time, or heck, have the same symptoms. But NOPE. They are different. There’s Mom’s CLUE!
We are all individuals, there is no one like me. Like Ted. Like Joey, Anthony, OR Lily. A good friend reminded me this past week that toddlerhood is the age where our children are molding themselves. They are learning to be in their own skin, and honestly, they DO NOT CARE what people think of them. They are learning that their uniqueness is special, and those special qualities can help them be the best version of themselves for years to come.
I remember my Grandmother telling me once, “I don’t want to be perfect. I’d be the most boring person in the world.” I laughed at the time, thinking she was [and still is] a spitfire. But her words make total sense. While it’s easy to compare your babies sleep schedule with your neighbor’s baby, your child’s eating habits with the kid that eats sushi, or your post-baby body with an Instagram sensation, just remember this:
Be yourself: Everyone else is already taken. – Oscar Wilde