Social media is awesome, I mean I have this blog, it’s social, and I think it’s awesome. Although, there are fine lines, boundaries, and walls you need to create to protect your sanity….on a daily basis.
As a mother, I put myself and my motherhood out there a lot. For one, I needed the support and love when my son was in the NICU. Also, it’s just who I am. I’m not a closed book, I’m very open. I accept and love peoples’ words of wisdom. But, I also know when to tune it out, and as a mother, I’m finding that more and more what works for one mother, doesn’t work for another. Especially in my case with a preemie infant, sometimes I feel like all rules are out the window, and for the most part, I’m winging it!
You know the words I do listen to? The mothers who DO get it, the ones whose kids AREN’T perfect, the ones who know there is a struggle, and the ones who know that every single baby is different, mine included. The real, raw, fighting mothers who admit that having a newborn is HARD. The ones who have walked in my shoes and can recognize that my needs might be different, because Parker was born two months early, or more importantly because every single baby has their own needs. I knew it would be hard being a mother, but it’s the HARDEST thing I’ve ever done, and of course, the most rewarding.
Sometimes I struggle internally, because I never know when my child is “supposed” to be doing something. He was born two months early, so his milestones aren’t the same as the next baby. Personally, I think some milestones he’ll hit early, and some late, and you know what, that’s actually NORMAL.
I also struggle with a schedule, or lack of one. What may be good for one mother, and their baby, isn’t necessarily good for myself and mine. My child has been alive for three months, but is technically only one month old gestation. In addition, we reversed time when I started exclusively breastfeeding at his due date, which I was then also advised to not even attempt a schedule, and for me, that works. I do love somewhat of a routine, and can’t wait to get my baby on a “little” one for both of our sanity, but my baby isn’t your baby, and my hours are quite unique. I crave a tiny schedule, but I also happen to think it’ll happen on its own natural time, not something forced.
I also truly love all the information out there these days. Guess what, I can’t even stay awake to read any of it?! I tried before Parker was born to read, but I still don’t know how a full time working mother, with a new home can find the time. So all I can do, is do. I trust my gut, and my baby’s needs, and I do. I ask the mothers I trust when I need help, and I’m not afraid to ask, because most of the time I do need help. But, at the end of the day, it’s always my decision, it’s always YOUR decision, as a mother.
There wasn’t social media when I was a kid, and for sure there were books, but mother’s instinct is there for a reason, and only two parents truly know their child. Even a pediatrician, we need them and trust them, but again, only the parent(s) TRULY know their child.
Will I regret not taking others’ advice? Will my kid turn out to be a gremlin nightmare if I don’t? Nope. My kid is a NICU kid, and all I care about right now, is that he’s eating, peeing, pooping, and growing. Every single day is a new day. Every single day I learn more about myself as a mother, and my son as a baby. Some days are GREAT days, some are hard as hell and I can barely even find time to pee! I hope to get somewhat of a routine down in the future, but I also hope to be open to living too. That’s just me.
Then there’s survival mode. I personally have a no judgment zone policy when it comes to being a mother. My baby was on a set schedule in the NICU, was bottle fed with pumped milk, and then I come in two months into his life, take him off the bottle, and onto my breast exclusively (with one bottle at night with dad). His sleep pattern kind of sucks, but he’s surviving, growing, and nourished, and that’s all I can care about and do. I chose to be a mother. I chose and fought hard to put someone else first. Yes, it’s the most difficult job in the world, and the newborn period is extended for me, but I’ll do whatever it takes to maintain my sanity at night, and my child’s. That’s truly, all I can do.
So for the other mothers out there who feel sometimes powerful, and sometimes helpless, and whatever feeling there is, they are all justifiable, they are all yours to own. There are really no rules to the game of being a parent, each one must make their own. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ll stick my son on my chest in the middle of the night so I can try to get a few hours of sleep. I’ll be the first to admit that breastfeeding is INSANELY hard, but I’m dang proud of myself for doing it. I’ll also be the first to admit that my kid is NOT perfect, but he’s a dang superhero in my eyes, and that’s really all the confidence I need.
How do you get through your times with social media and parenthood? Do you trust yourself, or do you get persuaded by others? It’s a battle for sure, but as always, you have to take in what you truly respect, and throw out the rest of the garbage…..as you would do with anything.
I’m making my own milestones, the ones that work for me. One day at a time…
Namaste, and Rock On!
“Remember, anxiety is contagious, but so is being calm”……