When I was a new, first time mom, my mom came and stayed with me for a week as we got adjusted to this new little being who now controlled our life. It was such a gift to have her calming presence and her wisdom during a time that I was very overwhelmed and very emotional. I remember crying so hard as she drove off for home, wondering how I was ever going to do this on my own.
My mom has always been a role model to me, even in the years when I didn’t want to admit it. But with her many hours away (although thankfully always a phone call away), I knew I was going to have to figure this whole motherhood thing out for myself. And the task seemed so daunting.
Thankfully at that time in my life I had a family away from my family. I had grown very close to a group of women from our church and they became my sounding board for every possible question and concern I had in those early months and years. They were all seasoned moms. I actually shared my pregnancy with two of them but while they were having their third and fourth babies, I was having my first. It was so comforting to know that anything I was experiencing they had most likely experienced many times over.
The friend I grew closest to at that time was my dear friend Stephanie. We became the kind of friends that talked hours a day and then dropped by later that afternoon (unannounced of course) to finish our conversation. I cannot count how many hours I sat on her couch or in her backyard while her older children played.
I distinctly remember one time when Lily was still very much a newborn and we had an exhausting afternoon together where it seemed there was nothing on planet earth that I could do to make her stop crying. I was low on sleep, even lower on patience and at the very end of a short rope. Not knowing what else to do, I put Lily down in her crib, crawled into the fetal position on the floor and began to sob. I just knew I was a horrible mother incapable of consoling her daughter and incapable of holding it together.
I managed to pull it together enough to call Stephanie and ask her what I should do. I will never forget her calmly saying into the phone, “Just leave her in her crib for a little bit and regroup. It is okay to fall apart. It is normal.”
Those words were a life preserver for me when I was drowning. It was honestly the first time that I had realized that all mothers get overwhelmed and it didn’t mean I was a bad mom. Looking back that seems so simple and silly but at the time it rocked my world. What a gift those words were to me in that moment.
I cannot tell you how much my life was impacted by having moms surround me when I was unexperienced and overwhelmed. They spoke so much grace into my life. The internet and media would lead us to believe that there are mommy wars over everything from vaccines to daycare to breastfeeding. But in my real life, I have rarely seen anything but mothers lifting each other up, encouraging each other and offering so many, “yes, me to!!” moments. It has allowed me to parent from a place of confidence rather than one of questioning every last decision I make (although, let’s be real, I do that too). The moms I call friends make me feel unstoppable!!
The makers of Children’s MOTRIN® wants to celebrate moms and what makes them unstoppable. And I think the number one thing that makes us unstoppable is when we unite together to celebrate each other’s strengths. Motherhood is the hardest job and I need all the cheerleaders I can get. I pray that I can be seen as a mom that is offering grace to the other moms in my life just as it has been shown to me so many times to me.
Who is an Unstoppable Mom in your life? What makes YOU unstoppable as a mom?
The makers of Children’s MOTRIN® would love for you to share your unstoppable tips over on the Motrin Facebook page. The best part? For every tip shared, they will make a $1 donation made to Safe Kids. Your tip might also win you $100 just for posting (all details on the Motrin Facebook page)
*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY, OPEN TO LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 UNITED STATES & D.C., 18 AND OLDER. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Promotion ends 11:59p.m. ET 12/28/14. Sponsor will donate $1 for each approved Submission made as part of the promotion, with a minimum donation of $30,000 and a maximum donation of $50,000. For Official Rules, and complete details, visit www.unstoppablemoms.com. Sponsor: McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division of McNEIL-PPC, Inc. To learn more about Safe Kids Worldwide visit safekids.org