There’s no way of knowing what kind of mother you’ll be. Before August was born, I had all these ideas about how I’d approach his first year.
1. Will make all his food by hand!
2. Will breastfeed exclusively for the first year!
3. Will avoid too many toys and gadgets!
4. Will consider cloth diapers!
5. No screens for two years!
Eight months later:
2. Breastfed for three months.
3. House is full of crap.
4. YEAH, RIGHT.
Even with the best intentions, it was comical how quickly I fell from my first-time mom pedestal. We all want the best for our babies. We all want them to be healthy and happy. And it turns out, no book or expert can tell us exactly what our babies need, because everyone’s experience is COMPLETELY different.
In my more desperate moments, I had a couple laughable Google searches. A few highlights:
“baby chewed on dog toy should I be worried”
“is my baby allergic to me”
“how long can a person survive on 3 hours of sleep”
“what does green poop mean”
“how often should my baby be pooping”
“what does normal baby poop look like”
“how to get over the fear of your baby choking”
Talk to any mother about the expectations she held for herself before the baby and how they’ve changed since becoming a mom and she’ll give you an earful, with some hearty belly laughs mixed with a tinge of nostalgia and reflection.
At some point, all of us realize that the best thing for our family means turning away from the rule books and opinions and the advice you didn’t ask for, and instead focus on trusting your gut, your life experience, and your love for your child.
Mom really does know best. And while no child is born with a set of instructions, each experience is different, and as parents, we have to trust that we are doing the best we can for our children; that I’ll be the best mom that I can be for my son.
Motherhood is a process, a sisterhood, a badge of honor. And no mom is alike, just as no baby is the same.
Sometimes it is filled with joy and other times it is filled with doubt.
The more I talk about these feelings and thoughts with other moms, the more I realize that I’m not alone in worrying about doing things the “right way.” And when I do follow my own gut, sometimes I fear other mothers will judge my decision. My friends who have children agreed.
I started asking myself why we felt this way. What was it about being a mom that made all of these confident, successful women question their choices and instill doubt?
While wrestling with this question, I connected with the team at Dove about the launch of their new skin care line, Baby Dove. I’ve been a fan of Dove for a long time, their lotions and soaps are gentle and were a godsend during my pregnancy. I knew that this new skin care line would be gentle enough to care for August’s skin.
What also excited me about this partnership (aside from the fact that it is available at Target), was Baby Dove’s #RealMoms campaign, focusing on trusting your instincts. This has been one of the hardest things for me to let go of, the insecurities of doing things the “right” way. This campaign is focused on reminding moms that there is no “right” way to be a mother, you need to trust your way.
Motherhood is a huge part of who I am, but it’s not all of my life. For me, part of trusting my way is to make sure that I’m caring for myself. Taking time to have a cup of coffee with a friend, connecting with other moms, growing my business. Aspects of my life that are still very important to me, and make me who I am. Part of the reason I wanted to work with Baby Dove, was the ability to share these insights with other moms that might have these same concerns about doing things the “right” way. I want to create the reassuring content that I needed during my time of self-doubt, and use Wit & Delight as a place for other moms to feel safe about sharing the good times and the bad times, without judgment.
I’ll be sharing with you, my own experiences along with my conversations with other mothers from all different backgrounds and experiences during this milestone filled the first year: the first smiles, the tears (his and mine), the first time I got peed on and laughed so hard I peed. This “Note to Self” series is a reminder to trust your way. You’re doing great.
Ed. note: This post was sponsored by Baby Dove. The compensation received in exchange for placement on Wit & Delight is used to purchase props, hire a photographer, write/edit the blog post and support the larger team behind Wit & Delight.
While compensation was received in exchange for coverage, all thoughts and opinions are always my own. Sponsored posts like these allow for the development of additional dynamic content to be produced, unsponsored. Thank you for supporting our partners!
BY Kate Arends - April 18, 2017
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.