Wednesday, June 13, 2018

3 things I'm still learning as a mother

This post is sponsored by Cord Blood Registry ® (CBR ®), but the opinions expressed here are my own.


As a seasoned mom I like to think I know it all. I mean, with four kids over a span of 12 years, I've learned a ton. I've read stacks of parenting books (in those pre-internet days!) and pinned countless motherhood blog posts over on Pinterest. I've always felt super informed on all of those big parenting choices I had to make, whether it be feeding options or the decision to use disposable or cloth diapers. Anything to make me feel more prepared. 


As my youngest baby boy quickly approaches his 2nd birthday though, I'm realizing more and more that I'm still learning as a mother. It's kind of thrown me. He's my last baby...the final one, and he's been my biggest challenge so far. I find myself scouring the internet once again, reading all of the mommy forums and googling parenting questions because I realize I just don't have all of the answers all the time. I'm still learning, I'm still growing, and I'm still trying to figure out how to be the best mom I can be to each of my kids individually.


Here are 3 things I'm still learning as a mother:

Embrace the mess

I'm sharing this one because it's a big source of stress for me. I admit that far too often I tell my kids "let's do something else" or "maybe later," or often times just flat out "no, we're not doing that," all because I want to avoid a big clean up. As a former self-professed clean freak (who has now decided to let the little messes go) I admit that things like making mud pies, playing in the dirt, finger painting, or whipping up a batch of slime used to make me cringe. They were just too messy, and I'd drive myself crazy trying to micromanage the kids while they "played" without making a gigantic mess for me to have to clean up.

It wasn't until recently that I realized how un-fun I was being, and my kids were missing out on experiences because of my unwillingness to just cut loose and let them play. So I'm finally letting them. The toddlers have been obsessed with this little patch of dirt in our backyard and have been happily showering themselves with dirt every single day since I've decided to stop trying to keep them out of it. And you know what? They love it. It keeps them entertained for hours. They dig, they fill up buckets, they find "special" rocks to bring me, and they rarely bicker or fight with each other when they are in the dirt. Is it a pain in the behind when it's time for them to come inside? Yep. But is it worth those hours of care-free toddler bliss? Totally.


You have to pick and choose your battles with motherhood. And I'm not fighting the mess anymore!

Embrace technology

Technology is one of those things I really try to keep up on, but it's challenging because new advancements are coming out all the time it seems. There are so many new studies, procedures, and ideas nowadays versus when I had my first baby, and it is so interesting to look back and see how far things have come in the 12+ years since I started having children.

Recently a dear friend brought up the topic of cord blood banking. She told me that she'd opted to have it done with her last baby and that she wished that she'd known more about it when she first started having kids. After talking with her about it I felt the same way, since I trust and value her opinion on this kind of thing. 

About Cord Blood Stem Cells
Your baby's umbilical cord contains blood and powerful stem cells, and preserving them may give your child or an immediate family member, depending on the condition and other factors, the opportunity to use this resource for current cord blood therapies. Today, many conditions may be treatable with cord blood as a part of a stem cell transplant, including various cancers and blood, immune, and metabolic disorders. In the future, there may be other potential applications, like regenerative medicine. It's pretty incredible what they are doing these days! (https://www.cordblood.com/stem-cell-research/cord-blood-uses-and-research)


About Cord Blood Registry (CBR)
Cord Blood Registry (CBR) is a newborn stem cell preservation company. They offer affordable payment plans as well as a gift registry (so family and friends can help contribute towards the cost of banking. How cool!) Their Newborn Possibilities Program® assists families with qualifying medical need by covering all costs for preserving their child's newborn stem cells and storing them for five years. With CBR you have access to their team of Certified Genetic Counselors who can discuss your family's medical history as it relates to stem cells, and who can educate you on your options to preserve them for your family's future. CBR has a wealth of knowledge for you to dive into over here, so check it out! 

CLICK HERE to get a promo code for $200 OFF enrollment fees for cord blood banking with CBR by filling out your information.

If you're at all interested, don't delay...I so wish I'd known all of this when I was expecting!

Just follow these 5 steps:

Enroll with CBR online at cordblood.com/enroll or call 1-888-240-1996
CBR ships you a collection kit
Bring your kit to the hospital on your big day
Call the medical courier after your baby is born and the cord blood has been collected by your healthcare professional
Relax. CBR handles the rest and will notify you when the kit has been received.



Understand the seasons of motherhood

You can go through many different seasons in your time as a mom...some of them are amazing and some of them are gut-wrenching. Sometimes you'll feel like you're Supermom. You make dinner every night, stay on top of the laundry, pack lunches, cross everything off your "to-do" list, and you're just on top of everything.

Other times you might feel like a total failure as a mother and you wonder where that person went who could once juggle it all. Every day might be a struggle to get up, you're irritated, the pile of laundry is never-ending, and you've got your local pizza delivery on speed dial because you can't bring yourself to make dinner again tonight (or get to the grocery store regularly).

I'm here to tell you that it's OK. It's taken me years to understand that my own seasons of motherhood ebb and flow, and it's constantly changing. I wouldn't be the mother I am today without the experience of them all...the good and the not so good. Seasons don't last forever. Embrace the positives you can find in them and lean on friends and family when you need some extra support.

Motherhood is ever-changing. That's a big one. It's the most challenging yet most rewarding job on the planet and I'm just trying to my part to raise my little humans to be good people. I don't have it all figured out just yet, but I'm still growing and learning every day.

What's the biggest thing you're still learning as a mom? 

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