Things I Understand Now that I’m a Mom

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the strange thing about parenting is that you can read all the books, watch all the videos and talk to all the people but one doesn’t fully understand it until one is in it. the other thing about parenthood: you have no choice but to go all in.

it’s sort of like skydiving. you can watch videos or hear what it feels like via other people but you won’t know what it’s truly like until you are free-falling from the sky (and you most certainly have to go all in).

skydiving isn’t for everyone. in fact, i have never been and have zero desire to experience it. i am choosing to sit out that adventure. however, i know people that will do 30 jumps in a week and my husband can’t wait for his next skydiving adventure.

the same thing goes with becoming a parent; it’s not for everyone and it’s okay to have zero desire to experience it! it’s a choice and it most certainly is not for everyone.

i spent this past sunday morning pondering parenthood, since my husband took atlas so i could sleep in (#mothersday). it wasn’t until i become a mom that i better understood when parents talked about sacrifice, frustration and joy.

here’s what i used to think about parenting before i became one:

  • it’s your favorite thing in the world
  • kids don’t really cost that much
  • your own child will never gross you out
  • spending all day with your child is super fulfilling
  • caring for your child energizes you
  • it can’t be that hard
  • there is some weird and intense bond between parent and child

here’s what i have discovered in my 8.5 short months of becoming a mom:

  • you don’t like your kid all the time (the love is there on some level though)
  • you need some dough for a kid (diapers are expensive)
  • you sympathy gag when your child gags
  • you need adult interaction at least once daily
  • you are completely exhausted. always.
  • it’s f$!*ing hard.
  • that bond is true and intense

this mother’s day made me ultra appreciative to my own mama. of course dads come into play big time but it is truly so much more demanding of the woman when it’s a biological child (i can’t speak to foster or adopting so kudos to you parents in that realm). not only did pregnancy take a toll on my body, i birthed her and that required healing. then i am the one that sustains her via my body right from the get-go (more on that later).

my mama and me

motherhood is truly one of those things in life where you cannot fully grasp it until you are in it. i am grateful to have a village of support around me as i continue to learn about becoming the mother i want to be. i am grateful for my MIL who raised up an amazing son who i get to call my husband and for her continued support in my motherhood journey.

thank you to my own mama, who is an incredible woman! turns out a parent’s job is never done. the amount of support, encouragement and help she continues to give me in this new chapter of motherhood is vast.

happy mother’s day (which should really be every day) to all the moms out there, including those wanting and waiting to become moms! motherhood sure isn’t for the faint of heart and it is hard to understand what this means until you are in the thick of it!

what is something your mom instilled in you?

14 Comments

  1. Penny

    May 17, 2017 at 11:36 am

    great picture of the 3 of you. good and important subject and advice you wrote about. i always enjoy these dicussions you write about. thanks. penny

    • chelsea

      May 26, 2017 at 12:47 pm

      i always appreciate you reading, penny 🙂

  2. Audrey

    May 17, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    This is sweet, Chelsea. I feel like you’ve progress through different levels of motherhood (including a hellish level) to get where you’re at today. I’d say that gives you a lot of experience, even if you’re only 8.5 months into this forever-journey of parenthood. It definitely looks good on you and Mr. WS! I’m glad you’ve got such a strong village- and that they’ve moved even closer to be with y’all!
    Hope you had a happy first mother’s day!!
    Audrey recently posted…A Daily Dose of Laughter

    • chelsea

      May 26, 2017 at 12:49 pm

      thank you audrey 🙂 it has certainly been quite the journey and i am glad it really does get better! i suppose i should also say that not everyone experiences the same level of hellishness i did too 🙂 it was a great first mother’s day, thank you!

  3. jenniferhastonsays

    May 17, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    Great post! I just said to my husband– This is f#%^^# hard, and she’s not even talking (back) yet– My mother of choice- her best advice to me EVER “Begin as you mean to continue” e.g. If you want to eat meals at the table as a family, start now, so later it’s already a habit.

    • chelsea

      May 26, 2017 at 12:50 pm

      oh man – when that back talking starts DEEEEP BREATHES. i like that advice when it comes to parenting – that’s great. begin as we mean to continue 🙂 i shall keep that in mind. thanks for sharing jennifer!

  4. Elyse @ Just Murrayed

    May 18, 2017 at 7:25 am

    These are seriously sweet words, Chelsea. I’m glad you’ve survived the crazy newborn stage to be able to really enjoy motherhood! I heard a really great quote about motherhood that I think sums you and your experience up really well, “Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had, and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed.” I’m sure you doubt your abilities to mother, but you’re rocking it Chelsea! Glad you have a village to help raise Atlas!
    Elyse @ Just Murrayed recently posted…Date Night Rules

    • chelsea

      May 26, 2017 at 12:55 pm

      oh how true that quote is, elyse! thank you for sharing. i am also so thankful for the village around us. although you aren’t near family – when the time comes, i know you will build that village for you all! that’s exactly what my mom did for herself since she didn’t have family nearby. now i love 3 amazing women as ‘aunties’ 🙂

  5. Vivien

    May 18, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    What a great post! I agree a parent’s job is never done. My mom always quoted the saying (translated): if your kids live to 100, you’ll worry about them for 99 years. This is minus the “one year” they aren’t born yet, but I think I would worry for that one year too. I believe it’s *bleeping* hard, and I admire those who take the plunge!

    This past year I really felt my eyes opened with gratitude with how my parents didn’t always follow society’s rules and raised me to find my own “right” way. Even with cooking. I’ve had friends tell me stories of how their moms tried to show them “the one” way to cook something. My mother’s philosophy? I could use every utensil in her kitchen to find a way that worked best for me to make a single dish…but I better put all the dirty dishes in the dishwasher afterwards!
    Vivien recently posted…And the winner of the Division Contest is…

    • chelsea

      May 26, 2017 at 12:58 pm

      ha! i am like you because i definitely worried for that year before she was here too but that quote from your mom is trueeee. your mom sounds amazing. what an amazing thing to give you as a child (and adult) that there are many means to end. that makes me smile and is a great reminder that i want to do that for atlas too! thank you

  6. Christina @ Hugs and Lattes

    May 19, 2017 at 9:36 am

    It’s so funny how easy we think motherhood is until you actually become a mother. I guess I have a vantage point of being the oldest of 6 kids + all our friends have babies, so I see how freaking hard it is and I’m like nooo thanks not any time soon. You’re an awesome mama, though, and you rock that! My mom definitely instilled in me the desire to be hospitable and have a servant’s heart. She also gave me my abilities to pull a serious guilt trip and the inability to lie without giggling and being hangry. . .
    Christina @ Hugs and Lattes recently posted…a Literary Bachelorette Party

    • chelsea

      May 26, 2017 at 1:03 pm

      i am soooo glad you have that vantage point, christina! i know way too many people that are like ‘well it’s what you do! get married, buy a house, have a kid and then another…” yeah no. i cannot tell you how vital the 8 years we were together before i was pregnant then a parent have been for surviving (and then thriving) parenthood! glad you are in no rush! enjoy the time as the two of you!

      your mom sounds like a fantastic woman and dammit that hangry thing ain’t no joke!

  7. Sheila

    May 19, 2017 at 10:40 am

    My mum taught me so much … some of which I am only realizing now. Thrift, independence, resourcefulness, and that I can do anything. Her best role modelling happened in my teens when she chose to quit drinking and left an unhealthy relationship, instilling in me that it’s never too late to make big life changes.

    • chelsea

      May 26, 2017 at 1:04 pm

      how great that you are able to recognize these things even if it took a while, sheila! those are SOLID values she instilled in you. she sounds like a very strong woman and i am so glad she was able to quit drinking and get out of that bad relationship.

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