150 days. That's how many days I have been a mom. That's how many days I have been the lightest sleeper in the world. That's how many days I have rocked spit-up on my shirt like an accessory. Sometimes it feels like 5 days. Some days it feels like a million years. But here I am with a 5 month old baby trying to figure out when the heck I became such a grown up. I know, 26 is a pretty normal age to have a baby. But whether you are 15, a 20-something, or even pushing 40, NOTHING prepares you for becoming a mother. No one can teach you alllll the tricks and grant you the magical mom powers. I'm still trying to find balance. Between being a good mom and a good partner and good friend, daughter, sister, aunt etc. It's hard. Sometimes I can feel myself trying so hard to stretch myself like a rubber band that I completely forget who I am. I snap. I get angry. I get sad. I get annoyingly happy and excited and I have more moods than that purple-blue-green ring you wore on your finger in the 90s. I'll just blame it on the fact that my hormones are still out of whack from pregnancy. Or I'll blame it on the birth control that I'm still trying to adjust to. You'd think after 9 months of being the world's moodiest landlord to a growing peanut in your belly that once they got evicted you'd go back to normal. Well... 9 months my a**. I guess someone should've warned John that the crazy doesn't leave when the baby comes out. Sometimes I still cry at everything and get angry over absolutely nothing all at the same time.
In the beginning, I put SO much pressure on myself to be the best mom in the world. I mean so much pressure that I would literally panic at just the thought of my future. Any other new mommas go through that? Do you ever just lay in bed at night and get anxious over the fact that you are responsible for that perfect tiny little human for the rest of your lives? And you have to raise him/her in this scary world? Damn. If that's not the most intense anxiety you've ever felt then I don't believe you. I remember a few times going to John and just melting into a puddle of tears because I was so scared I was gonna mess something up. But you know what finally happened? One day I woke up and I told myself - "Jessica, you're an amazing mommy, not because you know all the answers and have it all figured out (because you sure as hell don't), but because your little boy looks at you every single day as if you hold all the secrets to life and damn it if he believes in you then maybe you should trust yourself."
As days passed, this whole mom gig got a little easier. Waking up to the hungry tears wasn't as hard. Having a tiny human latched onto my boob became second nature. When he slept, I slept (FINALLY), I stopped Google-ing EVERYTHING, and I just really started to feel more confident in general at being a mom. I remember being in those last weeks of pregnancy trying to go out and do everything because I genuinely thought it would be at least a year before I'd be able to get out of the house and do anything with Owen. But there I was at his one week well-baby check-up while John was at work, and I had to take him out by myself (I was freaking out of course), but something clicked while I was driving around with him sound asleep in the backseat that made me realize "hey, I can do this!". I rolled through the Starbucks drive thru and ordered my first coffee as a mommy, and ever since then I've been completely comfortable taking him with me everywhere.
I think it's the little things and the tiny milestones that give you confidence. The first time you sleep when he sleeps and wake up to realize he did just fine. The first time taking him out in public. The first time you make them feel better when they're sick. Once you do all of these things for the first time it just immediately becomes second nature. There are still SO many things that I think about when it comes to Owen's future that make me nervous. I know that it's only gonna get harder from here. We'll experience an endless amount of 'first times' and have plenty of mess-ups. I'll have plenty of time to worry, but right now I am letting myself be proud. I'm allowed to tell myself I'm doing a good job. I still have my days when I question it all, especially when I do something with Owen that is "frowned upon" by some of those "know-it-all-and-do-no-wrong" moms. A wave of guilt washes over me and makes me feel as big as a grain of sand, but then I snap out of it and get mad at myself for ever letting the opinion of anyone else bring me down. That's not easy to do though when your confidence as a mother is being compromised. It's scary enough to raise a tiny human without the opinions of others, so when everyone is throwing in their two cents it can be a little overwhelming. But that's what makes us stronger, right? At the end of the day, we get to choose what's best for our baby.
Being a mom has completely rocked my world over these past 5 months, and through all the struggle and exhaustion, it has easily been the greatest 5 months of my life.