Who taught you how to be a mom?
A few weeks ago I was talking to one of my friends, a friend who isn’t a mom yet. She had all these questions about nursing and latching and all things related to breastfeeding. I breastfed ONE baby and suddenly I became an expert for her. Whew chile–the pressure of it all.
In the moment I was excited to share my experiences with her. She was bought in to me as an authority on breastfeeding and maybe even motherhood. I was only months in the game but birthing a child somehow gave me an elevated experience status. Here I was laying down the law that I compiled from other mommy bloggers supplemented by my real life experience. We were texting and I was caught up in sending serial text responses like, “here girl, take this and this and this.”
Then she interrupted my four paged letter with, “Oh wow I clearly have no maternal clue.”
But honestly, NEITHER DID I. I’m a know it all by nature, so I had all the words: tips, best practices, stories, dos and don’ts. But I didn’t have a clue. There was of course an instinct that sort of kicked in when my son arrived, but that could be the same instinct that tells you to get out of the street when a car is coming.
She didn’t realize it, but her text knocked me off my feet in a way. Just months before this conversation I had no clue. So I told her, “You just learn as it happens.” Because the truth is that none of us are experts on motherhood or parenting. Even the woman from 21 and counting had to learn new methods and approaches as she popped out child after child after child.
You just learn as it happens. And that is the honest to goodness truth. There’s no book or talk or online training that can prepare you for becoming a mother. No one can sit you down and tell you, “here’s how it is,” and then suddenly you know what to expect.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good Mommy Blog or a book to tell me what to do. I still Google things as they happen like “does a low weight percentile mean my son will be short” and “should I go to the hospital if a jar of peanut butter fell on my son’s head.” I of course call my mom for everything I can’t find on Google and to verify what I do find there. She is my source of truth.
We ALL do these things. No matter how much you know about being a mom, there’s always more to the puzzle. I’m pretty sure it never really ends. And if you legit just don’t know anything about being a mom–that’s OK too. Don’t get discouraged just because it looks like other mommies know more than you. We are all learning as things happen. We get what we need as we need it.
Just like when that car comes speeding down the street, your instinct will kick in right at that moment. Then suddenly you’ll know what to do. Or maybe you don’t move fast enough and you get hit. Now you know to get out the way next time.