To The Moms Who Have Walked This Road Before Me: Thank You


I think I can say on behalf of all first-time moms, we're all pretty insecure about this gig. The deer-in-the-headlights look is plastered on our face 24/7 and just when it finally goes away, something changes and that all too familiar look shadows our eyes again. We waffle between all the emotions, worried, prideful, scared, confident, ignorant, hopeful, terrified, fearful and more, and there's no telling what state you'll find us in on any given day, let alone minute.

But thank goodness for those moms that have gone before us. Veteran moms, you talk us off the ledge and take our emotions in stride. You give us hope when we can't find any, and show us the next step to take when we can't even see the path. While books, the internet and our mother's intuition can teach us a lot, there's nothing like the help, empathy and advice given by a more seasoned mother. And I just want to take time to thank you today on behalf of all first-time moms.

When we look at you, you're our hope that things will get better and that someday our lives will be bigger than just well-checks and pacifiers and swaddles. You teach us to not freak out and gasp when our child hits their head, but to laugh and clap instead so they don't cry. You make minivans look cool - and prove that a three-point parallel park job with a big rig can be done. (Even if it was in five points, who's counting?) You confirm what we've always wondered deep-down - that parenting books are written by a bunch of robots who've never actually parented in their life. You tell us where the best baby sales can be found, and how to stack coupons so you never pay more than $5 for a pint-sized t-shirt. You calm our fears about our baby's reaction after shots, remind us that breastfeeding isn't always a guarantee, and teach us that a runny nose isn't the end of the world.

You prove to us that people can function well on little sleep for long periods of time (Dare I say years?), and teach us about Target's free cookies, when to size up on diapers, and what apps to download for the plane ride. You swap birthing stories with us, welcoming us to the club with a big 'ol birthing badge of honor and the most delicious meal we've ever tasted delivered right to our door. And even though our husband doesn't understand them, you confirm that ugly cries are totally understandable.

You show us the joy in having tea parties in the living room, making semi-accurate truck noises in the kitchen and that reading the same book aloud 3,000 times in a row is totally worth it. You show us how to remain calm when we're out and there's no changing table to be found, water for our formula or private place to nurse because we're still learning and haven't quite mastered our technique yet. You teach us which sippy cups to buy, how to decipher the great big world of carseats, and that a trip to Starbucks can always turn the day around.

You show us first-hand what it's like to love your child without bounds, unconditionally, irrevocably, forever. You prove to us that going through hard things with our children can be done with grace, love and compassion, and is just apart of life. You teach us how to be an advocate for our child, to take interest in what they're interested in, and to how to be their biggest and loudest cheerleader in life. You show us how awesome it looks to be on the other side someday as a grandma, and make us hope and wish that someday, we'll get that chance too. You remind us, over and over again, that motherhood is one of the best things that could ever happen to a woman, and that raising a child well and who is loved is one of the best and biggest accomplishment one will ever make in life.

You make us want to keep going on this motherhood journey even when we're in the deepest of trenches.

So thank you. Thank you for blazing the trail, lighting our path and being an example. Thank you for your constant encouragement, problem-solving skills, and ability to laugh and cry with us. We can only hope that someday we can pay it forward as our journey continues on, and that the advice and support you showed to us can be passed on to the next group of first-time moms.

So if you haven't heard it enough already: Thank you.

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10 comments:

  1. Love this, Laura - and love you! You said it - having friends and family walking through motherhood with you is so much sweeter and more helpful than any book or blog out there! I think most every good thing I know came from another mom who walked me through her experiences. You are helping me too, and I'm sure many of your other friends :-) (p.s. Eli's cute feet & hands are too much)

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  2. Man I'm so glad I found someone who's DIY'd green curtains! Would you say the color of the curtains in the photos is the same as in person? They're beautiful!

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  3. Hi Emily! Yes, I most definitely would say it's the same color! The photos are pretty accurate!

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  4. Laura, while I know you don't consider yourself a "veteran mom" I just wanted to tell you how much your blog has helped me as a new mom. From processing the emotions of a surprise pregnancy, to struggling with breastfeeding, I have really resonated with what you have written. Although we never really got to know each other well in Ames when I read you blog I feel like I'm listening to a close friend reassuring me that what I'm going through is normal. Thank you for going before me and sharing your challenges, triumphs, and just day to day life!

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  5. Hi Meredith, This has got to be one of the sweetest and kindest notes I've ever received. Seriously, you made my week! I'm so thankful to know that you're connecting so well with what I'm writing and that you feel identified with and encouraged - it means so much! That's truly what I'm hoping this place is/continues to be and so thank you for inspiring me to keep writing and taking time to let me know and read the blog!

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  6. Thanks Em - you're one of my top "veteran" moms in my life and I've so appreciated all the advice you've shared with me. It's great when it can be a mutual relationship - but I'm fairly certain I've gleaned much more from you than I've given! ;)

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  7. Love this tutorial! They look so lovely. Is that an adhesive blackout on the back of the curtains? I'd love to know where you got them!

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  8. It is! I just purchased blackout fabric from Joann, then sprayed it on myself with fabric adhesive. It stayed on and worked really well for about three months, but then started peeling a bit, so I reinforced it with stitch witchery (also from Joann) all around the edges. Worked like a charm!

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  9. Hi Laura! I found you on Pinterest looking for a rit dye formula for a true deep grassy green, I have Ritva curtains in hand that I'm planning to dye too! Just wondering if you did all of your panels at once. Sounds like you did. I have 6 panels 118" long each to do, trying to figure out if I should split them up or if they'll all fit in one load. Your curtains turned out beautifully!

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  10. Hi Jennifer, yes, I did all the panels together. I have a very old washer, but they seemed to fit! Best of luck!

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