Growing Pains, Growing Gains

I’m honored to be a Sisterhood of Motherhood partner, a sponsored blog partner this year. I’m joining Similac and saluting moms everywhere for their strength and immunity that they never thought possible #SisterhoodUnite. All opinions contained in this post are my own. Please see below for additional disclosures.

Recollecting what I was like before I was a mother helps me internalize how much I have grown: I was self-serving regarding my environment, unable to adapt to uncertain or changing plans and didn’t utilize my time properly. That being said, I had to go through quite the journey after I had Liam to reprioritize my life. It was a hard road of learning and compromise. But, looking back, there was no other way to grow.

Yes, I went through lots of growing pains by having a child, but it has made me into a better person. With every child we’ve added to our family, I have simultaneously become quicker to adapt to new situations, exponentially more productive with what little time I have to myself and have readjusted my priorities to not need or want to be centered about myself. I’ve learned that while mommy needs her “me time” to get refreshed and be a better mommy, it only takes me about 5 minutes and I’m longing to be in the presence of my family again.

It still blows my mind how much mothers are able to accomplish without even thinking about the limitations. And as hard as it may be, life gets reorganized once you have children and it naturally adjusts to allow putting our family’s needs first and our needs second. It’s just what we do! It’s truly amazing the strength of mothers. Seriously.

If I had told my pre-mommy self all the challenges that I would face over the next 5 years, I would tell you, “There is no way I could EVER do that. You are crazy to even think that that’s the kind of life I’d want to live”. Yet, here I am. I survived and came out on the other side stronger and crazy enough to possibly add a fourth child to our family one day.

I feel stronger both mentally and physically than I ever thought I could. I feel more fulfilled and drained at the same time. I value the quiet, but in the quiet, long for the laughter of my children playing.

photo credit: Shannon Michele Photography

I’ve never been able to connect with complete strangers like I do now, too. When you become a mother, you instantly have an unspoken bond with every other mother on the planet. I feel as though I could ask any other mother out there for help, advice or love and they would without a doubt give it. I would do the exact same in giving to another mother. In fact, I often call myself an open book on the matter, because I’m more than willing to share all of my experiences and knowledge if it means making the life of another mother easier. It’s a hard job, but knowing that we have one another makes it ever more endurable.

In fact, as soon as I had Hayden two years ago, I “virtually” met a fellow mother that had a baby around the same time. We began texting in the wee hours of the night all of our troubles, concerns and exciting moments with one another. Fast forward two years and we’ve become great friends who share just about everything. Thank goodness for technology because without it I wouldn’t have such a supportive and loving friend whom I share just about everything with, even though she and her family live on the other side of the country.

Back when Liam was first born, Logan and I were going from getting 8-10 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night and having a super flexible daily schedule to a baby who would inconsolably cry until 2am every day and sleep until noon. I would cry my eyes out and question why I ever tried so hard to become a mother. I look back on those lonely nights, wishing I had had a fellow mother to get through it all with. At the time, I didn’t have many friends, none of which were any where near having children. Having the support of fellow mothers through those hard parenting moments is one of the greatest gifts and truly has helped me be a stronger and better mother. I know where to find advice, sympathy, love and support and I encourage you to find your support group, as well.

Similac’s StrongMoms® program is a great place to start as one form of support. It offers regular emails with tips and your baby’s growth and development, as well as up to $400 in rewards! I’ve got to say, getting the development emails in my inbox for Blaire is uplifting!

And now I pose the question to you, will you share your story of strength? Where do you find your support? If you’re up for sharing, be sure to use the hashtag #SisterhoodUnite on social media or leave a comment below. I’d love to hear each and every one of your stories!

And for those of you who haven’t seen the video yet, it’s a salute to moms everywhere, showing their abundant strength is wonderful. Just get those tissues out! You can’t say I didn’t warn you.

Similac partnered with influencers such as me to promote Its Pro-Advance and Pro-Sensitive products. As part of this Program, I received compensation for my time. Similac believes that consumers and influencers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Similac policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines and social media engagement recommendations. Please read my disclosure policy for further information.

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