my motherhood identity

There are many new hurdles I've had to jump since giving birth to Emmerson.
This whole mom role is no joke.
Sure, I sleep a little less and weigh a little more, 
but the biggest struggle has been finding my identity as a mother.
I was determined to be the cookie cutter, perfect mom.
(Spoiler alert: I'm not. No one is.)

B.E. (Before Emmerson) Husband and I went to two different baby/birthing classes.
I spent hours reading books and conducting my own research on raising babies.
I was determined to find the perfect checklist on how to successfully raise a baby.
"Do this, this, and this, and bam! You're a mother."
I talked to seasoned mothers (and annoyed the heck out of my own) trying to get all the answers.
I was told that my motherly instinct would kick in and I would "just know" how to take care of her.
But 9 months came and...nothing. 
Labor came and...nothing.
Delivery came and...nothing.
And even when I held Emmerson in my arms that first night, I still had no idea what I was doing.
(Still waiting on that motherly instinct.)

I had so many opinions in my head, so many theories, so many rules... 
I was a big mess.
Schedules! Hunger cues! Pacifiers! Diapers! Breastfeeding!
There are 5 arguments/sides for each of those categories.
Believe me, I checked.
Over and over again.

I had an unrealistic expectation of becoming super mom.
That all I had to do was follow each rule and bam! Super mom. Super baby.

We (I) didn't want to use pacifiers.
At. All.
But we got home and our baby was fussy.
She'd been fed, diaper changed, cleaned, and snuggled...but still fussy.
No! I can't! Too soon!
The article said...
The book warned...
Truth: My baby has a strong sucking reflex and it soothes her to have something in her mouth.
Solution: pacifier.

We were going to exclusively breastfeed for as long as possible.
But we got home and my baby fought breastfeeding.
She'd fight, she'd cry. 
I fought, I cried.
Pump? Bottlefeed?
No! I can't! Too soon!
The article said...
The book warned...
Truth: My baby is...ahem...lazy and wants her milk asap.
Solution: pump and feed.

And guess what?
I'm a better mom because of it.
I'm not frustrated.
I'm not in pain.
She's happier and we actually enjoy our bonding moments 
(they can happen in more than one way!)

The bottom line: 
I was created to be her mother. She was created to be my child.
I may not claim to have THE motherly instinct, 
but God instilled in me enough knowledge to get us through this season of life.
My identity is still found in Him and because of that, 
I can rest in knowing He'll guide us in raising Emmerson to be the best she can be.

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