This is my third January as a mama.
In January 2016, I had been a mother for four-ish weeks. Everything about my life was new and different.
I remember making a conscious decision to not focus on big yearly goals for 2016. I knew I had no idea what motherhood would look like for me, and the idea of setting big goals seemed like walking on the freeway blindfolded … a BAD IDEA!
Instead, I decided to set smaller monthly goals. Looking back, I think I did that for the first few months and then, as I found my footing, I was able to focus on the year as a whole.
I always feel like there must be someone else more experienced or better versed to hand out advice. However, one area I do feel equipped to talk about is the first year of motherhood and the months leading up to motherhood.
When soon-to-be-mama friends ask me what books to read while they are pregnant, I tell them not to worry about reading all the things. You can spend your entire pregnancy reading every book about becoming a mom or having a newborn, but the reality is your motherhood adventure will be different than what the books say and what your friends experience.
If you are a planner by nature, you will want to study up and be prepared. But if you go that route, you can get caught up on how “it should be.” The reality is, your sweet little bebe will have a unique personality that no book can prepare you for.
You will embark on an adventure completely different from your best friend, your sister, your mama, or the woman who gave birth hours before you did.
When I was in your shoes, I knew I could gather information from the mamas that came before me … but what was most valuable for me to know was that when my sweet daughter arrived, I would know exactly how to care for her. Would I know how to spot a newborn rash? No. But would I know how to tell if she was hungry or when she was ready for a nap? Yes!
I remember being at peace about having no plan for 2016 and instead focusing on how I would embrace the adventure of motherhood.
Fast forward to 2018, and I am well into this motherhood adventure. While I am better equipped to set goals for the year, I still know that motherhood is the ultimate adventure and if I get too caught up in what I think it should look like, I might miss the beauty of how it really is.
If you’re a soon-to-be mama or a new mama, I encourage you to really allow yourself to enjoy the adventure of motherhood, especially those first 12 months. They really do happen in the blink of an eye. Every cliche saying you hear about time and motherhood is true.
Motherhood is the same way. You can’t plan it all. You just have to live it and shift your sails accordingly. Some seasons you’ll feel like you are leading the adventure, and some seasons you’ll feel like the adventure owns you. But one this is for certain: it will be the hardest, most amazingly epic adventure you embark on.
MotherHustle panelist Jen Hatzung is a business strategist + podcaster (podcast currently on hiatus) who lives in Norfolk, VA with her naval officer husband, toddler and dachshund. She can be found drinking copious amounts of coffee or wine (depending on the time of day) while making lists and strategizing when she can fit in her next run. She currently co-leads her local MOPS group, has her own direct sales business selling lipstick, and does the preschool/naptime hustle helping small business owners with their online engagement. If there is any time left in the day she has her nose in a book or watching HGTV. Find her on Instagram.
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