Photo Credit: Tiffany Maxfield Photography
Moms, Minivans, & Messes had the extraordinary opportunity to interview Crystal and her beautiful three member family. I have known Crystal for about 10+ years and have been consistent in our friendship. We hope you enjoy the love and feedback about raising a child as much as we did.
Moms, Minivans, & Messes: Knowing what you know now about parenting, would you go back and change anything?
Crystal: The answer is absolutely not. Never in my wildest dreams. I look at this little person we are in the process of developing into our worlds future, and she is the most profound thing I have ever laid my eyes on. I am proud of her, beyond my words- and I can’t wait to see what her future holds, considering anything and everything is just at the reach of her finger tips.
Moms, Minivans, & Messes: What are some things you wish you knew BEFORE you had children?
I have chosen the 3 things to talk about, that I wish I had known BEFORE I had her- based on my personal struggles or “light bulb” (in my best Gru voice) moments over the last 3 years – (I know, I’m an expert at this point! hahahahaha!)
1. It takes a village:
As a first time mom, your first few months as a mother with that little squishy baby is in your arms, you have NO idea what you’re doing…. You feel like you’re the only one who can do it. You feel like, no one will be able to feed her right, bathe her correctly, put her down- without you there. They wont know when she is too warm, or too cold… Even if you may not have a clue yourself. Then the moment will come, that you don’t have a choice, but allow someone else to care for your baby- due to having to go back to work or school, or whatever the case may be.
In my case it was work and my MIL had our daughter. I resented the fact that I wasn’t the one caring for my little baby- I felt like was failing her somehow. I misplaced that resentment and it started to simmer toward my MIL. It took me some time, but slowly I started to understand, it truly does take a village to raise a well rounded, smart, capable human being. My MIL was the next best thing to me for those first 2 years. She did raise an amazing man after all~ I trusted her, I knew my little squish was in the best hands possible, if I could not be there.
And now, its her preschool teachers- They do an amazing job with her- They teach her so many things, that as a working mom and one who is not trained in early childhood development, would have never even fathomed to teach at this age. I see certain traits and characteristics of everyone that is helping to raise my child. And I love it. I choose those who are in our circle of people, kind of like fertilizer for the garden of her mind! And I couldn’t be more pleased!
Never forget that you will always be mama, you will always know best. But a child can never have or feel too loved. Choose wisely, but choose your village.
2. It’s ok to miss what was.
Your life changes drastically with baby. (Who would have imagined, RIGHT?!?!) However, Just because you’re mom now- doesn’t mean that you can’t miss life the way it was before being mom.
Before mom-hood, if you weren’t hungry, you didn’t have to eat. Didn’t want to get out of bed till you felt like it— ok! Did and went as you pleased, at no ones schedule but your own. Ohhhh those were the days. I remember before my daughter was born, people would constantly tell me “Get your sleep now” I wished they would have said “Do as you please, while you can”.
Here’s the thing- in the darkest moments of the next few years of finding your way as a mom- there will be on more than one occasion, where you say to yourself, “I just want to run away, and go back to what was.” And in your already fragile state of feeling like a failure to your child. This thought will crush you down even further, because -“what mother who loves their children would ever think these thoughts…” And there go the water works, all while your fantastic husband has wrangled the cattle and stopped the tantrums, and they are both looking at you wondering what has gone wrong!
This scenario will happen a handful of times. And guess what- It will be ok!!! You’re not a terrible mom. You’re not failing your child. You’re not an awful person. You’re human. Who hits their limits of screaming, and whining, and tantrum throwing, and feeling like a failure. We all hit our limits. You’re going to go to bed, exhausted, cried out, sad, angry, and Lord knows what else. But you will wake up in the morning and do it all over again. And, it will be a better day! (Especially when you find a little love note from the hubby and child saying how much they love you in your lunch box 🙂 )
Point of the story- You got up and did it again. Even if you have those moments of missing what was…. If you find yourself in this situation too many times in a row, its a sign to let someone babysit your child for a night, (remember that village conversation) and have 24 hours of “what used to be” refresh your mind and sleep-
Remember, you cant fill a glass with an empty pitcher~
3. You will lose yourself.
And ITS OK! You’re not the same individual as you once were. You may lose some of the interests you once had. In fact, you may even forget what those interests were. The first couple of years are a whirlwind. They go faster than you could have ever imagined. Even though everyone and anyone tells you “Enjoy it now, it goes by fast” You truly don’t know how fast, until one day, you look up and your baby is now tall enough to reach the top of the counter and grab her own snacks and tell you about it! That being said, if you have time to focus on your interests~ FANTASTIC! But, the majority of new mama’s I know, do not.
Moms, Minivans, & Messes: Final Thoughts?
Fact of the matter is… You don’t realize it, until you’ve lost the previous you. Or at least that’s what happened to me. I didn’t realize I didn’t have a hobby, or an outlet, until I was asked recently… what it is I like to do…. other than being a mom and a wife, and what my job consists of…. I couldn’t answer the question…
But you know, that’s ok. I have admirations. And I am starting to find a few moments here and there to work them in. I think the important thing here is, to remember- not to let go of desires and wants- and to also not let the fact, that you have responsibilities that may not allow you the time right NOW, to work toward them- get you down. I promise, soon you will have the time…. sooner than you realize, and probably sooner than you will want.
I would like to thank Crystal for the opportunity to take time out of her busy schedule and away from her family to answer a few questions about her experience in “mothering”. I hope you, the reader, have enjoyed her responses as much as I have.
If you are interested in becoming our next featured mom and/or grandma please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org