Since yesterday was M.J.’s third birthday I thought it would be cool to reflect on my last three years as a mom. Maybe I will start with the pregnancy or should I start with the conception? Just kidding! We tried for ten months to get pregnant. When we found out I was pregnant we were so excited! Then when the morning sickness started I thought, why did I ever want to be pregnant? I had wanted three kids but I thought to myself there was no way I wanted to be pregnant again. People told me you forget about the morning sickness and the labor and you want to do it again. It’s been three years and I have not forgotten about my horrible morning sickness or my traumatic labor. I really don’t want to do it again. I want M.J. to have a sibling and we have been considering adoption but I think not wanting to be pregnant again is not a very good reason to adopt.
The newborn stage was also very difficult for me. Before I started exclusively pumping M.J. would wake up at least once an hour to nurse. The night I started pumping he slept five hours so I decided to stick with that. I pumped for eleven months which was a lot of work. I would often feel sad when I saw other moms nursing their babies. I would think why am I such a failure? I couldn’t get my baby to nurse. But I wasn’t a failure, exclusively pumping was what worked the best for us. One reason I don’t really want a newborn is because I don’t want to breastfeed again and I would feel guilty using formula (and it’s super expensive!) Dan and I both didn’t like the newborn stage which was another reason we were considering adopting. We thought maybe we could adopt a toddler or at least an older baby.
When M.J. turned one it was a fun age. He started walking and talking and learning new things. But I think it was also a difficult time for our marriage. One was around the age we started disciplining M.J. and Dan and I often did not agree. I would often think he was being too strict and he would often think I was being too lenient. We have gotten a lot better at parenting together and it has helped us grow stronger as a couple.
When M.J. turned two it was a difficult time for me. I struggled very hard with being consistent with parenting. I would think I should discipline him for that, I shouldn’t discipline him for that. I didn’t want to discipline him for having tantrums because I wanted him to know he could express his feelings but I also needed to demonstrate how to express emotions in a healthy way. I think I sometimes am still not good at expressing my emotions in a healthy way. That is something I also need to work on.
I’m so excited for three years old. M.J. is learning so much and it is so fun to watch. And maybe he will be potty trained sometime. I have talked a lot with my therapist about self-care and remembering the good things I do as a mom. I am excited to talk to M.J. about God and about loving everyone in the world. I think this will be a good year.
“Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14 NIV