As I sit here watching my soon-to-be-a-toddler take his wobbly first steps, I'm reminded of my early days as a mom. I felt unbalanced, and proceeded with caution. Sometimes I would do really well, other times I felt like I would crash and burn. My son is much more confident and balanced when he has a guiding hand to hold. He can run all over the place with my support. New moms do so much better with support too. There were so many loving, experienced mom friends who took may hand and said "You got this, keep going, it is so worth it."
Here are some of the lessons I gathered about new motherhood from my new walker....
1. Accept the support, long enough to gather my balance, and then trust my instinct. Sometimes I absolutely need wisdom from others, but sometimes I just need to proceed with what I know to be best for me and my family. It may be different than the way my mom or mother-in-law did things, and that's okay. When I feel weak or at a loss, it's so valuable to have hands to hold. But at some point, I'm the mama to my kids, and I can do this. It's a cycle, and I'm so grateful to have a community of moms to pick me up time and time again.
2. We learn a little at a time. My little guy takes a few more steps each day... soon he will be a pro at this, and running around after his big sister. That doesn't mean he won't ever fall again, but the skills increase with each attempt, each fall, each stretch of steps. We are the same way as new moms... we just keep learning and growing through our mistakes. We will never be perfect, and that is okay. Skinned knees and heartbreaks can be healed with hugs and kisses. Grace means that we can still know we are good moms, even when we have bad days. We can get up, regain balance, and try again.
3. There's no need to take it so seriously. My son doesn't get discouraged and depressed when he falls down. If he gets hurt, he takes a minute to cry, then he goes about his day. Sometimes he even jumps right back up and tries again, but not always. As moms, our hard days will happen, but we get to decide how to respond. Will we choose to stay in that anger, shame, sadness, jealousy, loneliness, whatever? Or will we feel it, and then let it go? Everything can feel so big and serious when we are in the early days of raising little ones. When you fall, I want to encourage you to take a minute, allow yourself to feel it, but then keep going. In the big picture, those hard days are just a tiny part of a beautiful story.
If you need encouragement, don't be afraid to reach out a hand. There are moms all around you who are a few steps further. We would be happy to hug you and say, "You got this, keep going, it is so worth it."