On Motherhood (and a giveaway!)

May 6, 2015·

Up until the last few years, May has always been a tough month for me. And, in some ways, it still is, but in more ways, my mindset has changed. For those of you that don’t know, my mom died when I was a senior in high school… over 12 years ago now. And May includes Mother’s Day, her birthday, and Memorial Day all in the same month and it’s just always been tough. mama

However, as the years have gone on, while I don’t miss my mom any less, my perspective has changed. My mom wouldn’t want me sulking and feeling sorry for myself and being sad. She’d want me celebrating her life and living my own to the fullest.

She was my biggest fan and my biggest cheerleader and my best friend. I know I didn’t appreciate her like I should have while she was alive, but she knew I loved her and I know she loved me. I miss her every single day.

As Lilly gets older, it is hard for me to think about the fact that Lilly will never know what my mom was really like. All she will have are the stories that I can tell her about her late grandmother. But, those are things I will cherish and I look forward to sharing with her as she gets older. 

swim lessons with mom.
swim lessons with my mom.

Every mother will say it… motherhood is hard. It’s the best. Ever. But it is hard. There are times where I simultaneously want to scream / cry / laugh / insert-emotion-here. There are nights when all I want is to snuggle my sweet baby and there are times where I would give ANYTHING for her to JUST GO TO SLEEP.

nursingI’ve been covered in more spit up, drool, poop, and other bodily fluids than I know what to do with. I’ve gone days without showering and days without sleeping. I’ve eaten countless cold meals and I rarely go to the bathroom alone.Dear moms, You're doing a great job.

I know what it’s like to feel the pain of sore and cracked nipples, engorgement and biting. My gosh, the biting. I know the sacrifice of being tied to a breast pump and / or a baby for hours upon hours. I know what it feels like to have to decline, yet again, an invitation to go hang out with friends because I can’t even begin to come up with the energy to leave the house, let alone shower and look presentable.
My Little Gymnast | Triumph Gymnastics Cary, North Carolina (15)
I know the feeling of your arm being numb after rocking a baby for four solid hours only for said baby to wake up the second you put her down in a crib.

Printing Your Story | timeshel prints review (3)

Motherhood is hard.

But it is also the best. Ever.

I know the feeling of playing “running hugs” for the 17th time in the last hour and the smile on your little girl’s face never getting old. 10690245_10100376060159539_8714359971878386851_n

I know the joy of watching her roll over for the first time, crawl for the first time, and take her first steps.

I know the love-explosion that happens in your heart the first time you hear her laugh or see her smile. My Little Gymnast | Triumph Gymnastics Cary, North Carolina (30)

The feeling I felt the first time she called me mama… or the first time she gave me a kiss or told me she loved me… without me asking her.

Or the first time I held her in the hospital… or the countless times I felt her breathe while she lay on my chest.

Dear moms, You're doing a great job.

The times I hear her play with her daddy or talk about her friends. The way she puts her hands together when she prays. The hilarious way she makes faces. Printing Your Story | timeshel prints review (6)

Or how she actively tries to make me laugh now… and how she hates one food one minute and loves it the next. And the way she spins when she listens to music. Or the way she hugs our dogs. Or the way she runs around the house when she gets excited…My Little Gymnast | Triumph Gymnastics Cary, North Carolina (35)

The way she tries to imitate me when I work out and “do what mama does…”

The way her eyes light up when she figures something out or learns something new.Shape Fitness Durham Yes, I know that side of motherhood too… and it makes the otherside… the tough side of motherhood totally worth it. Worth every. single. second. Every single cry. Every single moment of fear. All of it. It’s worth it.

The love I feel for our daughter is a love I truly cannot describe and won’t ever be able to describe. It’s not something that can be put into words.

One (Lilly's 12 month update!) (14)

And yeah, while there are countless times where I wish my own mother were here to talk me through those tough times and celebrate with me through the wonderful times… I know, in so many ways, that her legacy lives on through me. And I can see her in my own daughter, too… and while it doesn’t make it easier, it does make it mean that much more.

Motherhood is a job I wouldn’t trade for anything. My Little Gymnast | Triumph Gymnastics Cary, North Carolina (23)

Now for an amazing giveaway…

An an awesome and somewhat related note (you know, when it comes to being a mom), REED’S Jewelers is rewarding one lucky mom with a $500 REEDS gift card (yes, $500!!!) when you follow @ReedsJewelers AND share a photo of you and YOUR little one(s) on Instagram using the hashtag #REEDSLovesMoms. The contest ends May 10th! So, hurry up and enter!

*thank you Reeds for collaborating with me on this post celebrating mothers everywhere.