Stop and Smell the... Spit-up?

I don't know about all you other moms out there, but it seems like the second you find out you are going to be a parent and for years and years to come, one of the most focused on subjects is "what do I need"? What do I need to bathe this baby, what do I need to travel, what do I need to feed them, what do I need????? It seems like everyone has that "must have" product for every situation.

It's fun to get ready for your little one by registering and making lists and picking out those important items. But, sometimes I think we get too focused on all the stuff and we forget what is most important. 
Now, I'm not saying that researching products and making lists of must haves is bad. Heck, I do a post about my fav baby products every month! But every once and awhile I think it's good to forget all the stuff. 
This weekend I really got thinking about what it is that Bennett really needs most, and you know what? None of the things I came up with came from Target or Babies R Us. Everything that I thought of was not available in any store.

3 things stuck out to me.

The first thing was time. A baby need time, a child needs time, a teenager needs time. Heck, my husband needs time! What greater gift can we give our child than spending time with him or her? I know its tempting to turn on a cute tv show and just relax while baby is focused on the colors and sounds (and want to do it wayyyyyyy more than I will admit) but I think taking that time to read Bennett a book, or play peek a boo, or even just sit together is much more beneficial for him and me. We all need a break, dont get me wrong, and when you do take one!! But, I'm going to make a goal to try and make an effort to spend a good amount of quality time with Bennett every day, that isn't feeding or bathing or changing. Just time to be together.

The second thing is being happy! This may contradict the first one, but I truly believe moms need both of these things. If mom isn't happy, the kids can tell. I have spent way too much time the first 6 months of Bennett's life being frustrated with my fitness level. It is ridiculous to me how often these last 6 months I've felt depressed because I felt too guilty to go to the gym or take time to work out. I felt like going to the gym was taking time from Bennett, but I would spend an hour freaking out over not being able to fit in the outfit I wanted to wear that day. Time I could have used just doing a quick workout! If you aren't happy, you can't take care of your baby. Period. Now I know we can't be happy all the time, but if you are unhappy about something and it is eating you up.... maybe a bad relationship, or a grudge, or a bad body image.... try and fix it! I know its not easy, and I know moms are busy but just try and get rid of something that is taking any amount of happiness away from you. Take time for yourself so you are able to give time to your kids, and I promise you will feel like a better mom.

And the third thing that a baby needs is LOVE! Easy as that. Love your baby, love his screaming, love his smiles, love his spit up stained clothes. (lets be honest, I think more of my clothes are spit up stained than his. Why is that? How does it always miss the kid and hit me?!) Now I know all those things are frustrating, heck this morning I got peed on. Not exactly my idea of a loving experience. But before I got frustrated I laughed, I consciously decided to laugh and remember that he will never be this age again, he will never be 6 months and 4 days old EVER again. Seek out other moms and vent and get support, realize that it is OK to be frustrated or burned out or tired, and don't feel guilty. Don't listen to people who say that you aren't a good mom if you don't enjoy having baby food thrown at your face. But decide to laugh, decide to love, and decide to be happy.

Too many people are under the impression that happiness just happens, that love just happens, that being a good mom just happens. NO, it is hard work. But you can do it. Even if you don't feel like you can on those tough days. Look at your sweet kids and just love them. They don't need every toddler activity you see on Pinterest to be happy and well adjusted, they just need you. Those things are fun but they aren't the most important. Do what you can, and realize that we are all different, we are all of worth, and we are all worthy of love from others and especially from ourselves.

Thanks for following along as I learn about being a mom, I am learning way more about myself than I thought I would. I am loving this journey, even if it isn't always the picture perfect experience we all imagine... it is perfect for me. And I am learning to find joy in every messy diaper. (Learning is the key word)

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