Settling into motherhood

I feel like I am slowly coming into my identity as mother. Eleanor is almost two and a half and it’s just settling in.

When Eleanor was first born, I struggled with this part of my identity. I hated giving up what I wanted to do for her. I struggled with still being young and wanting to fit in with my friends who didn’t have kids but I just didn’t, not like I used to. When Eleanor needed me to nurse her to sleep or comfort her and I had to choose that over other things, I really really struggled.

I’m noticing that I’m more okay with giving up things for Eleanor. Like on Halloween, we went to a little party and Eleanor got scared and was overwhelmed and we had to go. I felt totally fine doing what we needed to do for her. I’ve learned that she is sensitive and needs to be comforted well and not pushed too hard. Or this afternoon, she was nervous and anxious about taking her nap, so I laid with her until she fell asleep and I enjoyed it.

I know some moms might think this is crazy, but I didn’t always enjoy that. I wanted Eleanor to be super independent and I really needed my time. And don’t get my wrong, I still do but I am also slowly accepting my role as mother. And it feels good. It feels good not to fight it or struggle with it.

I’ve been cherishing moments so much more lately – like the simple fact that she adores me and wants to be with my 24/7. She stands right next to me when I’m cooking or peeing and I used to feel smothered. But when I can take a breath and appreciate how quickly this will pass, how she will soon be independent and "mom" will be embarrassing in some ways and she won’t want me around as much. I want to completely embrace those moments where she absolutely needs me and wants me around. I’m the first person she wants to see in the morning and the last person she wants to see before she falls asleep. What a gift to be that person for her.

If you’ve been following my motherhood journey at all you know I have not always felt this way. I’ve struggled, doubted and at times wished motherhood away. It’s an identity that takes time to settled into – years even. And every mother is different – we cannot compare.

There is no perfect way to do motherhood, I am learning. I will make choices and regret them. I will question if what I am doing as her mother is what’s best for her. I will get angry and have to ask for forgiveness. I will become more and more aware of my humanity – with all of the brokenness that unfortunately will fall onto my kids – along with the goodness – my gifts that make me the mother that I am. My only hope is that they learn it’s okay to be broken and human along with celebrating all the goodness within themselves and learn to do this all with grace. And I hope I continue to learn this too.

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