What 8 Months of Motherhood Taught Me

Gunner turned 8 months last week and its got me feeling sentimental! This little person that my world revolves around has only been in my life 8 months! It feels like he's so big and grown up and like he's been here forever, but 8 months sounds like such a short period of time. 2/3 of a year doesn't seem a sufficient amount of time to hold so many memories and so much joy!

Being a mother has been a defining time for me! I feel like no previous definitions of myself have ever been enough. I've always found joy in being a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a friend, especially a wife! I've been a student, a chef, an athlete, an employee.  But now, I am a MOTHER! My purpose is so clear. THIS is what I was always meant to be! All those other things were just stepping stones, building blocks, teaching me how to do this! How to be a mom! 

When I look at Gunner, (usually when he's sleeping because its the only time he's sitting still long enough) I can't believe his perfect little soul has been entrusted to me! How did I get so lucky?? But I guess I'm not lucky. I'm blessed! I say all the time "I thank God everyday for this or that", but seriously I thank Him more than once a day for Gunner! Not only for who he is, but who he has made me! 

I remember when Gunner was first born, like a week old, I called my mom crying. I was so in love with every second of Gunner I didn't want him to change one bit! I told her, "Mom! He's changing so quickly! I'm so sad! I don't want him to ever leave this stage!! Please tell me the next stage is this sweet too!" And she said, "Sally! It's even sweeter! And the one after that, sweeter... And after that, sweeter! It gets better and better!" And guess what! As always... She was right! (I love having such a wise mother!) 

I've been reflecting on this conversation a lot recently because Gunner has now entered this new stage where he's really independent and wants to play and climb and chew and throw tantrums and I rarely get a moment of sweet, quiet snuggles (while awake)! All of the sudden he has his own agenda and opinion. It's been the first time since he was born that I've struggled with how to be his mom! It's the first stage that I've doubted my own mother's words! I miss the cuddles and everything, but more than that I'm scared.. More like terrified! I feel like I have to watch him every second  and chase after him and how do I encourage him to discover and try new things without allowing him to roll off of everything he climbs on! Am I subconsciously teaching him something that will scar him for life? Am I being too protective? Not protective enough? How am I supposed to know?!?

Up until this point I've just relished in an easy-going baby who was always either eating or sleeping. All I had to do was smile at him and he smiled right back! As long as he had a full belly he was happy. Easy peasy. But nowadays, he's so curious and needs adventure and to explore every nook, cranny, and ledge (which I realize is a good thing), but I'm exhausted by like 9 am! He wants to eat EVERYTHING I eat (well, mostly everything he sees) and does not want to be still long enough to get dressed, undressed, or his diaper changed! What I'm saying is, in this current stage, in the midst of the chasing, and falling, and wrestling it can be hard to see the sweet! I have to really work for my snuggles now! Which (here comes my mom's I-told-you-so) I have realized makes them even sweeter! 

There are days when Zack gets home, I hand over the baby and go sit on my bed for fifteen minutes to decompress and these are some of my favorite moments. I sit on the bed trying to relax, and I miss him! I can hear him and Zack playing and laughing and he's chatting and banging his blocks on the wall and I kid you not, I just want to go out there and scoop him up an squeeze him and kiss him and tell him how he's my favorite boy in the world. It only takes a few minutes away from him to snap out of it and recognize how blessed I am to be his mom! 

Seeing him roll out of my bed or face plant into the wall is just as painful for me (maybe more), but I'm realizing I can't prevent every bump and bruise! It's so hard to be constantly chasing him down and trying to catch him as he loses his balance, but without him getting a few booboos I would miss out on the times he tightens his arms around my neck and buries his face into my shoulder when I pick him up; I'd never see that in me he finds comfort and relief! Who knew I could contain the secret remedy to his entire spectrum of booboos!? I've never been able to heal anyone's pain the way I can heal his. I never saw that in myself. Becoming a mother brought that out in me! 

I have these overwhelming moments every night as I put him to sleep and he lays so quietly and sweetly in my arms! Maybe I'm an emotional mom, but sometimes I tear up because I can't believe how beautiful this little boy is. And he's mine! How did I get so blessed to be his mom?!? Sometimes I don't want to put him down. I just hold him for an hour or so because there is nothing more wonderful than a sleeping baby (its like holding a tiny piece of heaven) especially after a day full of bumps and bruises and tantrums and wrestling! You know how they say that once you hold your newborn baby you forget all about pregnancy and labor? Well that's how I feel at the end of everyday! Once he's asleep in my arms, I forget all about the low points of the day and I can't wait to do it all again in the morning!

Being a mother has taught me more than I could outline in a few paragraphs. Mostly it has just changed me profoundly. In motherhood I find divinity... and nobility! I feel empowered and fulfilled! Some people may see motherhood as an obligation, or even unnecessary! But for me, this has been the greatest privilege of my life! It's a messy and stressful and sometimes thankless job, but I'd NEVER trade it for anything! 

I'm grateful for a mother and sister's whose examples and wise words have brought me great peace and direction! I'm thankful to the many women in my life who have been examples to me! Whether mothers or not, I am constantly humbled and amazed by their love, hard work, and perseverance! My life is not always easy, or pretty, and its almost never glamorous. But I can say with complete honesty, I believe it is perfect. 

I hope that what ever you are doing with your life, I hope you find purpose in it! I believe everyone should feel important and absolutely necessary in the things they devote their lives to! Not to mention we should each immerse ourselves into things that bring us immeasurable joy! For me, that's motherhood! If you haven't found your niche, your purpose, I sincerely hope you do! 

Now here are some highlights of my first 8 months of motherhood! 

Happy 8 months to my sweet baby boy! I love you!

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