Thoughts on Motherhood: Two Years In

what-ive-learned-as-a-mother   My baby turned two in March, and I find myself wishing every day that time would slow down. Life of a mom, right? He is truly the sweetest, most friendly little boy, and he’s such a blessing to me. Most of the time, I think he teaches me more than I could ever teach him! Which is funny, since he doesn’t even talk much yet.

Even though I’ve only been a mother for two short years, and have many years of learning and growing to come, I feel like I’ve learned so much in these two years. I wouldn’t trade the time I have with him for anything, and with Mother’s Day coming up, I’m feeling nostalgic, I thought I’d share a few things I’ve realized two years into motherhood.

I’ve realized . . .

. . . That most of my cups of water will have floaties in them. Even if we have the exact same beverage, Jack always prefers my cup instead of his. I don’t know why — his sippy cups are much cuter! I’ve found that using a cup that isn’t see-through is usually the best course of action

. . .  That toddlers are more receptive to things around them than I think people give them credit for. Jack understands so much. He is always imitating things we are doing and saying, and he seriously has a memory like an elephant.

. . .  That toddler kisses are the best, hands down. Sure, they might be super slobbery, but they are oh so sweet.And I hope he never gets too old to give his mama a kiss.

. . . That on the days that I feel the worst, Jack can make everything better. Whether I’m feeling sick, or just bummed about something, he seems to have this sixth sense that I’m sad, and he gives me extra cuddles, or says, “kay mommy?” He has such a sweet spirit, and I’ve felt that way since he was born. I believe he’s destined to do great things!

. . . That I’m so grateful I chose to marry someone who is not only a wonderful husband, but a wonderful father. Before I married Forrest, I knew that he was a great guy, and that he liked kids. However, every day when I see him interact with Jack, I feel infinitely grateful that I have such a supportive, hands on spouse who is always putting Jack’s needs above his own.

. . . That sleep is for the weak 😉

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. . . That Jack is so strong. In his short life, he’s gotten ear tubes, had two colonscopies, and an endoscopy, and had more blood draws than I can even count. He’s so brave, and I’m so grateful that, despite his health problems, he’s still the happiest child I know.

. . . That kids are sneaky and smart. Jack is always coming up with little schemes to try and get what he wants. For instance, when he wants a candy or treat that he knows he’s not supposed to have, he shows me, gasps (hands over his mouth and all) like he’s discovered the most amazing thing ever, and then offers me one. And if I take it, he feels that means he’s allowed to have one. Oh, and don’t get me started on how he already has started trying to play Forrest and I against each other. When one of us says know, he goes right to the next parent (even if we are right next to each other.)

. . . The funniest people can’t talk much. That there’s nothing better than hearing “Love you mama” Even when we’ve had the hardest day, and my patience has been stretched about as thin as it possibly can be, I honestly can say I go to bed every night, feeling so grateful for the opportunity I have to be Jack’s mom. Your food is never your own. Kind of like the water thing.

. . . That no matter how old I get, I still need my mom and dad, and appreciate all they did for me so much. I don’t think I was truly able to understand (and probably still don’t, to an extent) how much they love me. I mean, I think about how I would do absolutely anything for Jack, and I feel like my heart has just walked outside my body with him since he was born. And I can only imagine that’s how most parents feel about their children.

. . . That Thomas’s friends on Thomas and his Friends actually have names — and I know all of their characteristics (Thomas is the cheeky one . . . James is vain but lots of fun!)

. . . That going out to eat is a lot more pleasant when we go somewhere that has some kind of food right away…like chips and salsa. When we take Jack somewhere, that’s pretty much a requirement if we don’t want him trying to escape until our actual food arrives!

. . . That Daniel Tiger teaches all the great lessons in life through song. WHy else would we sing the songs constantly throughout the day?!

. . . That I’m more patient than I’ve ever been before, but I still have so much more patience to gain. Kind of ironic, right? I remember thinking I wasn’t going to be a very good mom, since I don’t have a lot of patience, but it felt like as soon as he was born…so was a lot more patience within me! Yet I still feel like on some days, I’m stretched to the very thinnest I can go. Yet after that, I seem to have gained a little bit more.

. . . That it’s okay if your child isn’t eating only organic…and it’s okay if they are! I think as a parent, in most situations, you should do what you feel is best for your child. Doing the best you can is almost always enough.

. . . That God does exist, and loves all of his children. I can’t explain it, but when Jack was born, I felt the presence of a loving Heavenly Father so strongly, and I knew with more surety than ever of His love for me and for Jack. When I was pregnant, and already during Jack’s life, there are times where I felt truly buoyed by Him, and the Savior, when no earthly power could help.

. . . There is nothing else I’d rather be doing at this time in my life. I believe that the influence of a mother on a child’s life is greatest in those first few years, and I am so grateful that I’m able to be with Jack all the time. Being a mom is the hardest, most tiring, and oft times frustrating thing I’ve ever done, but it’s by far the most rewarding. I can truly say that every night when I go to sleep, regardless of the day’s events, I pour my heart out in gratitude to have the opportunity to raise the little boy that I am.

And finally, I wanted to share a quote that I absolutely love. It’s one that I keep on a sticky note on my computer all the time, and that I want to print off. Whenever I see it, it reminds me of what a great duty and responsibility I have to raise my son, and that even when it’s so hard, and I want to just throw in the towel for awhile, Heavenly Father is there, every step of the way helping me. I first heard this quote in this talk about children from Quentin L. Cook when he quoted Rachel Jancovick. I made it a printable in case you want to print it off, too!
Motherhood is not a hobby

 

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9 Comments

  • Does your blog have a contact page? I'm having a tough time locating it but, I'd like to shoot you an email. I've got some suggestions for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great site and I look forward to seeing it improve over time.
  • This is such a great post Katie! I really love how you emphasize what children do for us. I think sometimes we focus so much on what WE have to do for them, that we forget how many wonderful things children teach us and help us better ourselves.
    • Thank you Katelyn :) I completely agree -- it can be tempting to just focus on what we do for our kids. I definitely believe Jack was sent to our family to help me be a better person though. You're a great mom -- I think your kids are very blessed to have you!
  • Great post! It actually makes me feel a lot better about becoming a mom sometime in the next couple years; I've been fretting about it.
    • Thank you Michelle! I'm glad it made you feel better. It has definitely been a journey to get to the point I am now (I have another post I'm working on about how my pregnancy was not a very good experience) but it's all been worth it. I've seen pictures of you interacting with your siblings..you'll be a wonderful mother someday :) We really need to get together soon (and not just say we are going to haha)
  • I can so identify with you Katie, because my little monkey turned 2 in Jan. I didn't know our kids were so close in age! Most of these things will continue to apply even into teenage years. I have a couple teenagers as well and the patience continues to be stretched each and every day!
  • Beautiful Katie!! And isn't it attractive seeing your hubby play and interact with your kids.... ;) Congrats on the first two years!! I seriously think it just continues to get even better.

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