5 Very real lessons motherhood taught me this year
1. The agony of motherhood does not go away; it just switches into something else.
As my 1-year-old son finally started sleeping through the night, he also learned to break things, to treat the car seat as the ultimate devil, to breastfeed like his life depended on it and not to breastfeed at all for a day, or two or ten. He also learned to say, “No” to any question — even if it’s not a yes or no type of question, like "Why are you crying?"
2. Even as a mother I am still sexy.
I am still fun. I still love to go out for drinks with my friends and for fancy dinners with my husband. I even developed something mothers don’t usually develop after becoming mothers: a love for fashion. Blame it on scanning Instagram for cute toddler outfits.
3. The mind of a mother is very different than the mind of a non-mother.
A mother’s mind is a mind that thinks of others, feels with others, understands others and cooperates with others. How else would you explain a mother’s remark like, “He’s just sleepy,” to a completely raging, crazy, screaming and angry toddler at the supermarket?
4. Motherhood is more enjoyable with a supportive partner.
My absolute biggest joy is seeing my partner and son playing together. Nothing compares to seeing the happiness and laughter on my baby's face, especially when I am not the reason behind his laughter. Seeing and enjoy his happiness from the outside doubles the joy. This year I realized why it takes two partners to create and raise a child. This year, I appreciated partnership in parenting, and I am so happy I did.
5. I shouldn’t judge myself so harshly.
I love my son unconditionally and I need to understand that he has his own personality and temper. I will make mistakes, and I will learn. One can not know the right way to do every single thing. At the end of the day, I cannot be a nutritionist, teacher, therapist and doctor for my baby. Parenting is not black and white. There is no one right way to do things. I can just try my very best to figure out how to be the best mother to my son. As long as I love my baby, try to provide a nurturing environment for him to reach his fullest potential and try my best to help him avoid danger, then I am a good mother.
This year has been tough as hell. I have cried more than I had hoped, I have doubted myself more than I should have; but in the end, I have triumphed. I have learned that I am a damn good mother. I won’t let myself think otherwise.
2016, here I come: stronger, more determined and more hopeful. This year I will hear a yes.