I wanted to write about this when Luke turned four in March or on Mother’s Day but found that I had too little to share or too much to share. But last night, I had a light bulb or “a-ha” moment. I think this sums up how I’ve been feeling lately. And hey…Luke is still four so this post still applies. Let me know what you think. What is one thing have you learned about motherhood that you would want to share?
1. MAKING THE MOST OF EACH MOMENT
We’ve always wanted to have more than one child. So in the beginning, I figured if I didn’t get it right with Luke, I can make it right with the next child. This is probably true for people who tried to do everything right for the first child but kinda slacked with their second child. (Well, that’s what some of my friends have told me, anyway.) But going through secondary infertility, I’ve realized that I may never get a second chance. I’ve come to realize that I need to make every moment with Luke count, outside the home as well as inside the home. To be present and mindful. Put my phone down (I blame social media). These first four years have flown by and I sometimes I want to go back in time to do more. I’m not saying that I’m always on my toes at each moment because I admit, there are days that I’m mentally tired from work or just need to rest. But I do try to plan our “adventures” not only for him to enjoy but for all of us. In the past year, I’ve made the conscious effort to put my phone and camera away, to be in the moment and to give Luke my full attention. I’ve come to realize that he’s happiest when I’m 100% there. He doesn’t care about the pictures, just me listening to him and playing with him. And this is also why I love bedtime. Before he goes to bed, we sit and talk about his day (what he learned at daycare, what made him happy, who he played with). I’m getting teary-eyed thinking about it.
2. DO YOUR OWN THING
It’s easy to get caught up with the things other moms are doing. And it’s hard not to compare or feel like you’re not doing this motherhood thing the right way. But a few years ago, I decided that the only way I can make me (and my family) happy is to do it our way. Luke didn’t have to be in all the music classes, sports classes or play at certain parks that people were talking or buzzing about. I wanted to give Luke the whole city living experience. I think it was about the time I was really getting into Instagram, which really inspired me to get out the house and explore the city and share what we did or saw (including finding doors and walls for Luke to stand in front of). We had a lot of fun discovering the city as a family and I got the opportunity to improve with photography. In doing so, we have so many fun memories to talk about and look back upon. Including meeting some fun friends.
3. You can have it all, but not all at the same time
I knew that after we had Luke that I still wanted to work and wanted to be a good mom. When I returned to work, I found that my drive to advance my career wasn’t the same anymore. I still want to progress but not at the same pace as before. I still want to work but realized that my time with my family is more important now. My priorities have changed but not my goals. I still want to advance in my career, have a social life, manage a blog with good content, improve my photography, and hopefully publish a photography book one day….BUT, I know I can’t do that all at the same time. I would never accomplish anything by trying to fit it all in and it would certainly take time away from my family (which is the most important thing). I just need to prioritize what’s important now and get to the other goals later. And hey, I didn’t even add that I want to be a good cook. LOL! Charlie and Luke will have to endure with my sub-par cooking for a long time. But I’m fine with that.
4. A NEW APPRECIATION FOR YOUR OWN MOM
My mom came to help us with Luke when he was first born. I’m so very thankful that she did because it gave her and Luke the opportunity to bond. But most importantly, it changed our relationship to another level. I found a new appreciation for her. I’ve always admired her for everything she has done but now I “get it” or at least I thought I got it. I couldn’t stop telling her how thankful I was and how she’s so important in my life and always has been. When she left, we hugged and cried. Because for the first time, I understood what she went through and the depth of love she has for me. Just like the love that I have for Luke.