Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been a really, REALLY hard worker. I don’t say that lightly or to brag – I say it because I know I work really hard for the things I want to succeed at in life.
When I was eight, my Dad took me to a college softball game. I remember both of us watching the pitcher with amazement at the diligence and precision it took to throw each pitch. We went home and decided THAT was what I wanted to be good at. It didn’t all come naturally for me. My Dad and I literally spent HOURS each night practicing each part of a pitch – from the grip to the presentation on the mound. It didn’t take long for us to become “obsessed” with our new hobby – only taking a short break each year during deer season. Snow on the ground? We pitched at the YMCA on the tennis courts once all tennis lessons were over. Dad on duty at the fire station? We pitched in the driveway at the firehouse, often pausing for fire calls. At the end of my career, I was given an All-American award. It didn’t come without a lot of work and effort (from so many people) but I just can’t help attributing it to the sacrifices my Dad and I made and the commitment we had to becoming the BEST.
In more recent years, I translated that level of commitment to The Southern Rose. I opened Wild Rose in my parent’s basement and worked all night when I got home from my “real” job. I knew then that it wouldn’t be easy to leave a steady career and open a storefront – but it was a commitment I was willing to take. Since expanding to The Southern Rose, I’ve poured countless hours into research and development to continue growing my first baby. Again, hard work and dedication equated to success!
And now, here I am, *trying* to “work hard” to “succeed” at being a mom. I’m typically a quick learner and combined with a good work ethic, found success along the way. But… WOW…this whole motherhood thing just isn’t something you can easily learn and no matter how hard you “work at it”, you will still fail. Tough lessons to learn for a Type-A workaholic!! From the moment I knew I was pregnant, I began reading books to educate myself on how to calm a baby, newborn sleep, labor and delivery, you name it. I *thought* I could prepare in this way and thus be “successful” right away. Wrong. (Although, many of the books HAVE helped and I know they will continue to help…They just don’t guarantee “success.” But, then again, what is considered “success” as a mom?? Brushing your teeth during the day?)
To be honest with you, some days I feel anything but “successful” at this new role (and it sounds like I’ll feel like this multiple times through his life…). He didn’t “sleep through the night”…FAIL. He seemed irritable multiple times… FAIL. I left the house without a pacifier… FAIL. I didn’t get anything done for “work” during the day….FAIL. He didn’t take a good nap… FAIL.
Truth Bomb: I underestimated the amount of work a baby would take and definitely thought I’d have more room in my day to manage the store AND keep this tiny human alive. (Yes, I realize my expectations were a little high and maybe slightly ambitious…). In all reality, motherhood has not been an easy transition for me like I imagined it would be – but it has slowly taught me grace and patience with myself. I’ve had to pray for peace in the stillness of this newborn phase. I’ve had to pray for strength on days where I feel so inadequate for this job. I know that God chose Knox for me and me for him, but there are still days where I struggle. Now, don’t get me wrong, we are embracing all of the snuggles and sleepless nights and spit-up…but I felt compelled to share for any other new mama that it’s okay if it’s not all sunshine and rainbows all the time (and we DON’T have to pretend that it is)!! I find myself comparing our days and our journey to other moms/babies on social media and setting really high expectations for myself and for Knox – which isn’t fair to either of us! So, this is me putting my feelings into words and praying for even more grace in this motherhood journey (that’s only just beginning)! I’d love to know if any other mamas can relate to these feelings so please comment or shoot me a message!!
I thought I should make a list of just a few areas where I HAVE found success:
- Loving Knox more than I ever thought humanly possible
- Reading his cries and knowing what he wants or needs
- Being able to function on minimal sleep
- Getting Knox to tolerate a swaddle
- Being able to do a number of things one-handed #mompowers
- Giving him baths & massages (Seriously, the kid loves being pampered. Like mother, like son?? Oops!)
- Dressing this little dude #sorryTyler (See below)
- Googling a million questions (only if Mimi doesn’t know the answer…)
As always, thanks for reading! I’ll be back in the shop soon (just as soon as I can figure out HOW to make myself presentable AND get out the door on time…. suggestions welcome)!
P.S. Thank you to my HUGE tribe of supporters that have made this transition so much easier (especially my sweet, saintly mama aka Mimi). It’s truly been amazing to have help and reassurance along the way from so many different people!
Oh also, here’s a picture of my *extremely handsome* little man!