A mother's hope for the future- It's Simply Lindsay

When I got married, I received a lot of advice about living my life pre-babies. Relish your sleep; enjoy date nights; travel; appreciate adult time; value your alone time. Doesn’t it always happen that advice never really clicks until after the fact?

While I did appreciate my life and time before having my daughter, I didn’t really fully understand the beauty of going out to dinner, getting my nails done, showering, working out, or running to the store until my time and situation was limited.

 

A Mother’s Hope for the Future

Everything has changed

Now that I have my darling baby girl, everything has changed. I haven’t painted my nails in over a year. I often take record-breaking military showers with a screaming baby trying to claw her way into the tub with me. A quick trip to the store turns into a huge endeavor that usually doesn’t seem worth it once we’re both actually ready to leave the house. My daughter likes to be held during “naps” and not be put down. I say “naps” because I quickly realized her sleeping habits were very strange – she’s always taken several 10-20 minute cat naps, leaving people surprised, baffled, and sympathetic that I do not get a break. Or she crashes and rests on me for 2 hours, leaving people with the same perplexed or judgmental looks. My body has not been my own for quite some time, from pregnancy to nursing; my body is at my daughter’s disposal (much to the dismay of my critics: “You’re still nursing her?”). This is my life now. Everything has changed.

A welcomed change

But I wanted my life to change; I didn’t have a baby to make my life easier. I always knew I wanted to be a mom, but the closer I came to being an adult, the more I realized that was an extremely scary venture to take on. Did I really want to put my body through that? Would my sister still be my surrogate if I refused to go through with pregnancy like we always joked about? Was I ready to change my life? It’s true what they say, you cannot wait for the perfect time. I truly believe my little Ginny was watching me up from heaven and knew it was my time to be a mom. Actually, not “a” mom, her mom. I was made to be her momma.

Delights and terrors

Now that she is almost one-year-old, so much has changed in the past year, and these changes both delight and terrify me. I’m delighted to watch my little peanut walk all around anywhere she goes like she owns the place. I’m delighted in her strength and confidence to do so. I’m delighted she can not only understand me when I ask for a kiss but that she gives them to me – sometimes sweet little smooches and sometimes full on passionate open mouth, tongue out embraces. I’m delighted to watch her shiny hair and curious mind grow. I’m delighted her belly and thighs have maintained their squishiness despite all the exercise she gets from walking and dancing all day.

But I’m also terrified. I’m terrified that since she’s mobile, I can’t protect her from everything like I could when she was warm in my belly or swaddled stationary in my arms. I’m terrified of the day someone will test and try her confidence and hope I raised her with the strength to endure. I’m terrified that when the day comes when she won’t kiss me on the lips anymore that I won’t be prepared for it. I’m terrified for when her curious mind learns about the alarming degree of darkness and unkindness that exists in the world and can’t bear to think of her fractured innocence. I’m terrified to think of her perfect, marshmallow-infused body thinning out as she inevitably grows up.

Advice

I think about the advice I still receive or the well-intentioned comments about how I need to put my daughter down and am glad I have stuck to what is right for Ginny and me. Yes, I could put her down and paint my nails, but I rather play puzzles with her, even though that means inevitably losing her favorite bunny piece and stressing out every night looking for it (because I can’t go to sleep unless all the puzzles pieces are in place). I could think back and miss the guilt-free 20 minute candlelit showers where I took my time lathering creamy gel to shave my legs, applied a deep conditioning mask, and soaked my feet in lavender Epsom salts to really unwind. And as overwhelming as my new life can get, I have to say I wouldn’t trade the baby screaming “momma, momma, momma” over and over because while it breaks my heart (and possibly annoys me) to hear my name whined incessantly, there will come a time where my daughter doesn’t need or want me like she does now. While I could lay Ginny down and force her into a nap schedule and have some downtime for once, I could never complain to hold her doughy warm body so close to mine.

I will miss this

There will come a time where I have time and sleep to myself. I will miss those 4 a.m. cuddle sessions, watching my daughter’s eyes flicker behind dreams. I will miss the fluttering sleep smiles, filled with beauty, mystery, and purity. I will miss those pudgy, dimpled hands caressing my chest or holding my finger. Someday as I listen to only the quiet hums of my sound machine, I will miss the enchanting soft sighs, sounds, and sweet baby snores of my past, and I will ache to hear and feel them exactly as they once were – not my diluted memory’s version. There will come a day where my Ginny will choose to go out with friends over hanging with mom, and I will miss the napless days filled with playing, reading, and cuddling. There will come a day when she goes to college, and I will miss the simple worries I had about bumped knees and teething pain.

There will come a time when I’m old and frail, and I hope my Ginny will hold me, cuddle me, read and sing to me as I do to her. I hope to hear her say “momma, momma” over and over because she needs me completely, like when she was a baby. I hope she’ll look at my wrinkled, worn in body with the same awe and love as she has as a baby because I’m still the most beautiful woman in the world to her. I hope she will let me call her my sweet baby angel, jelly bean, or my little paczki (poonch-key) and that our souls can connect as they once did.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is, I understand the advice, but I’m doing exactly what I’m meant to be doing.

Everywhere
  • Victoria Stacey

    This was such a sweet post!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Thank you, Victoria : )

  • Aw! Such an endearing post!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Thanks and thank you for reading, Laura.

  • Patricia Hickey Rosasco

    Very sweet and well written. You are a wonderful, loving mommy. I do remember when you didn’t like the idea of being a mom, of carrying a baby inside you, especially of delivery…..bu look at you now. You are amazing! Now, put her down at nap time! For your sake, her sake and my sake!!!

  • Hil D

    Being a mommy is so hard! There are so many things to know and never a 100% right answer. It is really scary, we can’t protect them all the time and that is terrifying. My son just turned one too and also now mobile, he is a tank, it’s only a matter of time I am sure before we are at the ER with a concussion for him or something.

    And yes, telling a non-mother to cherish being able to pee alone just seems so belittling! Yet its true lol!

    You should come link up at our Bloggers Spotlight party, we pin everything to our group board and have two separate link-ups, one for posts and one devoted to pins so you get even more exposure!

    http://www.raisingfairiesandknights.com/category/bloggers-spotlight/

    • Lindsay Katherine

      I’m so glad you can relate, especially since our little ones are so close in age!

  • Lindsay, this is such a beautiful piece! I read it while I was babysitting and vowed to come back and comment tonight when I had to time to really write what I want without trying to squeeze this into naptime! Ginny is SO lucky to have you as a mother. I’m serious!!! You have such a beautiful soul; you are so incredibly kind, honest, and practice what you preach. She is going to turn out just like her mommy, kind, smart and beautiful! I could just FEEL the love you have for her and teared up on many moments!! “’m terrified that when the day comes when she won’t kiss me on the lips anymore that I won’t be prepared for it. I’m terrified for when her curious mind learns about the alarming degree of darkness and unkindness that exists in the world and can’t bear to think of her fractured innocence.” Brilliant. Sad, but you will have to let her go at some point, and she will flourish .

    Gah I’m so happy your blog is in my life. I hope this blog lives on so Ginny can read this when she is 18. It will mean the world to her.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Chelsea, your comment was so thoughtful – I’m so happy to have connected with you and your blog, which inspires me daily, but I’m also glad to have made a new friend. Your feedback means so much to me and is really touching. I think you are right – she will flourish, but it will be difficult.

  • Belle Vie A Deux

    Crying now… All the feels in this. I am just a few months ahead of you on this new experience of motherhood but I feel the same way. People told me put him down and blah blah blah. Well guess what. I am already glad I didn’t. It went by so fast. In a few years he will be going out to play with friends or other activities that don’t involve me and it already makes me nostalgic for this time. So for now, I will get up extra early and stay up late doing “my” stuff and then cherish as much of the good bad and crazy that having a funny little toddler entails. I love him learning to do things and making little friends and encourage him to be his own person but right now if he needs extra snuggles and time- I am down to do it! When he is a grown man with a family of his own or even just in college I will be happy I did and won’t even remember what color I should have been painting my nails. 🙂

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Awww, yes, I bawled all afternoon writing and revising this while poor Ginny was like, what the heck are you doing mom?! I loved your response and can tell you feel the same way as I do. Even when times can get stressful or overwhelming, I try to remember that these days pass too quickly.

  • Leslie Soto

    Oh all the feels. You are so right on this. My son is 12 now and all those little moments are gone. We do still have spectactular times together and he carries on adult conversations now. He’s intelligent and smart but I still miss those cuddly baby times. I can say that I was like you, I savored every moment and pretty much refused to put him down. Our days were filled with making zoos out of blocks and plastic animals and a lot less about me. Looking back I don’t regret doing anything the way I did. Always follow your mama heart, it’ll only fill you up with love and memories that you and your sweet girl will look back on and cherish.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Awww I love your advice, and I also love hearing that from you following your instinct that you have no regrets. I bet it’s incredible to hold intelligent conversations with your 12-year-old and realize you MADE and raised such a competent, intelligent young person. You sound like a wonderful, loving mom – I hope you never forget about the blocks and plastic animals and share those sweet stories with your boy always : )

  • Angela

    Love this post. Well done. My babies (triplets) will be three soon. It seems just like yesterday I was laying on the floor crying because I was having trouble getting pregnant. Now, here we are today, more than 3 years later. Time flies…

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Oh wow, Angela – or should I say Super Mom?!! It’s incredible how life works out, isn’t it?

  • I currently do not have any kids but I know a lot of my friends that have kids feel the same way. To me right now having a kid is not what I want. I have a fear of ruining my body (I know that’s a harsh way to look at). The idea of gaining weight for a baby scares me. I know it can come off but still the idea of it…. Also when I think about how crazy this world is, I ask myself, do I really want to bring a child into this type of world? I believe that anyone who is a parent has to learn what works best for them. All the advice in the world is great but learning through your own trial and error is the best. Really sweet post! Thank You for sharing.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      I was right there with you regarding your fears and disinterest in having kids, so I don’t think your way of looking at it is harsh at all! Fearing baby weight is a totally legitimate concern. I worked very hard for many years to get my body in a certain shape, and it seemed to scary to just throw that all away. My baby is 11 months now, and while I have some friends who were back in their size 2 pants 3 weeks after their babies, for me it took longer. I was feeling myself by 9 months. It scares me to think about bringing up my baby in a world that is so scary, especially these days. Basically, I really connect with where you’re coming from : ) I appreciate you reading!!

  • She’s beautiful!! I don’t have any kids…yet, but I am enjoying the time I have now and I know that I will enjoy my time with my kids just as much or maybe more, but it will just be a different kind of enjoyment. I didn’t always want kids, but that changed over time. I love how much you love your little girl and I honestly can’t wait to be a mom. Maybe another 3 years and it will be my time too. Great post! Happy New Year!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Thank you, Anali. I was just like you – I was so happy with my married life that I never believed when people told me we had no idea how much better our lives would get from kids. Actually, not only did I not believe it, but I kind of took offense to it haha, as if people didn’t know or believe the great life we already had! Now I realize what they were talking about, and I hope the same for your future, whenever you’re ready : ) Happy happy new year to you as well!

  • This is really sweet!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Thanks Callie : )

  • Such a sweet post! They really do grow so fast so I love that you are soaking up every minute and spoiling her and loving on her as much as you can. 🙂
    -Linh

    • Lindsay Katherine

      I can’t believe how fast they grow, it’s crazy! Looking back to pictures of her during the first few months, she looks like a completely different baby. It makes me happy but sad, too.

  • This is so honest and real. Thank you for sharing. Your little girl is PRECIOUS!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Thank you Annie!! I kind of like her : )

  • Justine Y

    Love your summary statement at the end, it’s so true. You are the perfect parent for your own child, just like others are the perfect parent for their own children. I also have to remind myself all the time that someday I will miss all of this that I am going through. There are already things that I sometimes miss and I still have four children under the age of six! Time just passes so quickly!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Wow, four children under 6??! You are so blessed (and an absolute saint!). Sometimes I struggle with my ONE child – I have so much appreciate and admiration for you. Thanks so much for reading, and happy new year!

  • Shann Eva

    This is such a beautiful post. It actually made me tear up. My twins, who are my babies, are now three, so I miss a lot of those things you talk about. You are so smart to listen to what is best for you and your beautiful baby girl. I really love reading your blog, and look forward to more posts in 2016. Happy New year.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      I love reading your blog too Shann! Your twins are so precious, and I love how you do such fun, engaging activities with the, Happy new year to you and your family.

  • Courtney Lynn Howell

    Kudos to you for taking a stand on what’s best for you and your baby! Ultimately you know what’s best for the both of you. So much of this truth echos the experience many of us first-time mothers have. The 2-minute showers, yoga pants and two-day-old dry shampoo hairdo is something I can relate to. Stay strong and keep rocking the mom life. PS – So glad I discovered your blog and look forward to staying in touch. I blog about what it’s like to be a Millenial Mom, too. Feel free to connect with me at MotherhoodandMain.com anytime.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Glad for the new connection! It seems you know the new mom life all too well – one of the gifts my friend brought over after I had my baby was surprising…it was gifts for me! It included things like dry shampoo and magazines, and it was such a kind and necessary gift bag : )

  • Mary Cressler

    I love this. So beautifully written. As a mom of twin 5 yr olds my advice to you is, keep doing what feels right to you 🙂 The “advice” never stops, but you have a great attitude and mindset about it all. I still feel that way about my boys, fearing the day they don’t want to kiss me (they still do!!), and cuddle (they still do!!). It’s sounds like you’re a great and loving mom, and that’s the #1 thing!!!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Thanks so much for reading, Mary! Wow, you are super mom. After having my daughter, I not only have an infinite amount of more appreciation and respect for parents, but especially for parents of multiples!! How do you do it?! So glad to hear that your sweet kid are still giving you kisses and cuddles. Happy new year!

  • I feel the same way 10000000%! you can only do what you feel is best for your family and no matter what your decision is, it’s your own!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Amen to that ; )

  • What an amazing post! Your daughter is so lucky to have a mom like you. I know she’ll appreciate this when she’s older.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      You are so kind for saying that – thank you and thanks for reading.

  • Warm doughy cuddles, what a way to put it. (: As a mom to 3, the advice givers are realizing I go my own way, and have usually done the research behind it, lol.
    Wonderfully thought out post. Congratulations on Huff post picking it up!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Thank you so much! So as a mom of 3, you know those warm doughy cuddles all too well : ) I appreciate you reading.

  • Justin Copeland

    I could read this again and again and never would I be able to not shed a tear. You are sweet.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Thank youuuuuuu me too : )

  • Beautiful post! Motherhood is truly a gift, and as with any gift we have the freedom to use it as we desire. There’s no one way. Keep trusting your way. Be blessed!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      What a lovely comment, thank you so much for taking the time to do so. Motherhood truly is a gift, you are so right.

  • Sarah Koves

    The best advice I ever got was to do what is right for my family and what works for us. Each situation and family is different. That is okay. I appreciate advice too, but I ultimately make the decisions (with hubby of course).

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Yes, I completely agree – outside of you and your husband, why is anyone else even impacted?