That’s me on April 13th, 2008.
The photo was taken on my 30th birthday!
There I was, 34 weeks pregnant…
…rocking pink David Dixon high heels.
It was my baby shower, and I was on top of the world.
I was OVERconfident.
The baby would arrive shortly, I knew.
No need for formula, I’d be breastfeeding, of course!
Maternity clothes? Pu-lease.
I’ll have my pre-baby body back in weeks. If not DAYS.
And what sleepless nights?
Baby would surely be a perfect, slumbering angel.
I gave up on breastfeeding after 3 days.
I wore my maternity jeans until Ryder was 10 months old.
I haven’t enjoyed an uninterrupted night of sleep since.
Truth is, before I was a mom, I was OVERconfident in my abilities to raise a child. Deluded into thinking that I’d naturally be the best mother in the world, I realized in a hurry that nothing comes naturally – unless you counted my penchant for breaking down into uncontrollable sobs.
Every day or so.
And through my experiences I can offer this shard of wisdom to first time moms-to-be: Having a baby will rip away every confidence, every ounce of pride, every moment of boastful foolishness. Having a baby makes you vulnerable. It’s the opposite of confidence; it’s a badge of uncertainty that will follow every fever, every missed curfew, every time your child happily skips away from you. Before I had a baby I was recklessly arrogant in my parenting abilities.
Now, I know better.
Next month, Fisher-Price will be launching their OVERjoyed campaign – a program which celebrates the Real Joys of Motherhood. The moments where we as mothers are OVERjoyed, but also those moments when we are OVERwhelmed, OVERhugged, OVERdue, OVERtired and of course OVERstimulated! (And all those other OVER… moments.)
The campaign will consist of mothers submitting photos with a one-line caption to really bring the photo to life. These images will be on the FisherPriceMoms.ca website, where moms can come to celebrate, commiserate, remember and support by looking through (and adding their own!) photos of the good, the bad, and most importantly, the REAL moments of motherhood that we’re all experiencing.
So, we can all have a laugh, a cry, and a sigh of relief knowing that we’re all there, together.
What are some of the OVER… moments that you’ve experienced as a mother?
I am part of the Fisher-Price Play Ambassador program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.
No OVER moments for me yet… I am still blissfully ignorant! :) Can’t wait to become a Mom one day though – I’ve heard it’s worth it :)
It’s well worth it!! And I wish you many OVERjoyed moments :)
Hello, Lena. I am not a mother but I sure learned a lot from your article. Thank you for the article, Lena.
You’re very welcome Michelle!
I’m so glad I put a ring on it :) You were so brave in the delivery room!
:) That’s cause I had no choice!
Jody @ Mommy Moment
Funny how children change us! Great post Lena.
Ha, that was so me. So over-confident, and way over-optimistic. How foolish we were! This is a fun post, Lena! :)
:) Thanks Dani. I think we all had high expectations of ourselves – thankfully babies always bring us back down to earth!
you looked beautiful!
Aw, thank you Angie!
From one lucky momma to the next, let me say that I couldn’t have said it better myself! Being a mom of two is no easy feat and I certainly had the wind knocked out of my sails when my first little bundle arrived. The problem is that so many women paint this unrealistic, unattainable picture of motherhood making it impossible to ever live up. But, I very quickly threw out all the manuals and books (and much of the advice) and we forged out own path of parenthood. While it hasn’t always been easy, it has always been worth it. I’ve been OVERwhelmed, am almost always OVERtired, am often OVERtugged at but being OVERhugged and OVERjoyed means I can say without hesitation that I will never be OVERit! Love my girls!
Such a sweet comment Yash! You are absolutely right!
I’m not a mom yet – but one of the things that sticks in my head from my bff who has children is that sometimes it is easier to give in then deal with the fight.
She has said that before having children she would see moms in the grocery store with the kids crying at the check out over the candy and seeing the moms buy some. She saw that and thought: That would NEVER be me! …. but after children and experiencing the melts down, she realized sometimes you give in in order to save your own sanity!
I guess I would say she was OVERwhelmed.
I can relate so well to your friend! I too was “judgy” towards moms before I had kids. Now, I’d much rather slip them the lollipop than deal with the meltdown!
I knew having a child would change me but I didn’t realize how much. It’s all been wonderful of course! :) Now I can laugh at the other moms-to-be that I hear that say “I’m not going to let me life change once I have kids”.
I’m surprised that you were still able to wear cute shoes! My feet were so swollen that I could only wear this one pair of bright pink Crocs that I had. Yes, I was a stylish mommy-to-be. :)
Haha Cheryl – well, my FIRST pregnancy I could wear cute shoes until about 36 weeks. My second pregnancy? Forget about it! And yes, all the changes have been wonderful!
OVERwhelmed would be my word. I had a preemie and ended up doing most of the parenting as a sole parent, my husband shocked me and was terrified after our son was born, I think being responsible for a fragile human being scared him more than I knew. Happy to report we now have another gorgeous baby girlie to the family unit & my son is right on track! Its still overwhelming somedays esp. with 2 but I wouldn’t change the reality check for anything! It shows us how amazing life is & how each life truly is a miracle & blessing and if anything its made our marriage stronger, teaching both of us that even when we are overwhelmed we still need to have each other to rely on ;)
You are most inspiring, Steph, and you’re absolutely right!
Awesome post Lena! I love how you’re not afraid to be vulnerable. Being able to admit your mistakes and learn from them is what makes good moms great. Since both DDs are older now I’d have to say I’m OVERly lonely, I miss the hugs and constant need for attention!
:) Thank you Jenny! And I’m sure that I’ll miss the hugs too!
Cute post, Lena!
:) Thanks Areta!
I can’t wait to see those all those pictures with captions
Haha, me too Debbie! I’m sure they’ll all be awesome!
OVERthehill….but not OVERmybabies! No I am not up nights and the overwhelming feelings of inadequacy with a new infant – but instead the joy of seeing them with their own babies; seeing them succeed. And then the feelings of still wanting to shelter them from the big bad scary world. I guess I am saying that is that you are never the same again.
You are correct Inez (except about being OVERthehill, that is!) Love that you’ve seen your children succeed and flourish – and now, you get to enjoy grandkids!
I thought that because i went to the gym 4 days a week that i wouldn’t gain more than 20 lbs … bahhaha!!! i was not expecting all the water that slapped me right in my pride!
so 55lbs later, baby boy was due on his due date (which i totally expected since i’m a stickler for schedule) lol
Ha! Well, the good thing about water weight is that it falls off easily. Now weight from eating too many doughnuts, on the other hand…
So very true. I am mom to an almost two year old & learning everyday!
Tuyet – good luck with your journey! We all need a little luck along the way.
How about now that all my 3 babies are bigger than me and are rarely home (except to eat) seems to me I couldn’t wait to have a momnents rest or 5 min of quiet when they were all under 5 and i was going crazy!!! Well Lena I can’t get that time back and I sure miss their funny little faces and stickey hands so I may be OVERthehill but definately not Oversweet memories Sniff Sniff !!!!!!
Aw, sounds like you’ve had some sweet memories to cherish, Allie! xoxo
You looked fantastic! We are all over confident until a big stick called reality hits us in the head lol It’s funny when people without kids tell you how easy it would be for them. Nothing like a healthy dose of reality to wake them up eh? lol
Right, exactly right! And sometimes, reality bites!
You rocked those heels! I think we are all over confident at first.
:) Thank you Tania!
All you moms are scaring me into being childless forever. A friend of my scarred me for life when she gave me a detailed description of her first born’s birth. I felt like running and screaming in the opposite direction.
No no no! Please don’t think that way. Just remember, most of us have more than one child, so we did it all over again for a reason!
A lovely, Lena. It brought back happy, sad and painful moments but all very wonderful moments. You look amazing as always.
Should read…A lovely post, Lena…hey I woke up at 5am and it isn’t even 7am yet…westcoast girl :)
:) Thanks Teresa, and thank you for including me in your early morning!
Great post… so true.
TW: Don’t be scared off of having children! Ask any of these mommas and they would gladly do it all over again.
:) Sometimes, 7 times! OMG.
you look beautiful! i also have three boys, it’s lots of work but worth it! 2 toddlers and a new baby! i am OVER my head with everything!!!! crazy
Thank you Francesca :) Three boys! I have much respect for you!!
I also thought I’d exercise and look super cute through my first pregnancy. Then extreme exhaustion knocked me out…then the water weight…from the knees down, I just looked hyper-obese. I gained 60lbs. I also had a c-section and weighed more coming home with my 9lb baby than when I went in. :(
I’m now 18w with #4, and each pregnancy + (vbac)birth have gotten much easier.
I found that getting exercise post-pregnancy can be good mentally, most of the baby weight doesn’t really drop off until 8-10 months postpartum. I stopped stressing about my new, slightly softer body, and I saved my energy for breastfeeding (and I needed it!), eating healthy and taking care of my kids. Once my baby hit 10m, I joined a bootcamp and the extra weight fell off. I figure once I’m finished having babies (this one is it), then I can focus on maintaining a healthy weight and maybe even be able to wear the same jeans for more than 3 months at a time. :)
Ah, it was such a trip to read your comment Janice! I’m happy that you know how to take care of yourself – but also realize that your child’s needs come first. Best of luck with #4 – wishing you a happy and healthy pregnancy!
Over indulgence, when my kids were sleeping I took the time, to enjoy maybe a little too much chocolate, heck with that – i need my fix every night so I stuffed my face – there was something comforting in the chocolate, like it melted the stress away, unfortunetly it added the pounds. :)
Ah… it’s okay to OVERindulge once in a while, we all need it to stay sane!
Ha! Everyone is a PERFECT parent until they have kids :-)
Reality check …a gift that just keeps on giving until they are out of your house and have their own kids.
I wish for my kids what my Mom wished for me (and then had the nerve to say Sorry I was only kidding) I wish my kids have kids just like them Tee Hee I can’t wait, and of course I am only joking NOT!
Hahaha let’s just say I respect my mom so much more since having kids myself!
Was definately overwhelmed. Ive been a single mother since I had my son at 17. I have raised him on my own, and often look to him for the drive I need to succeed. He was diagnosed with autism, ADHD, and oppositional defiance disorder, but it only bonded us closer together. I am now a licenced paralegal, as well as currently going for my mediation certification. I may have had him young, but each overwhelming day brings more joy and knowledge that I would not change it for the world!
Kaitlin, it sounds like you have a good – no, excellent – head on your shoulders and have done the best for your son! He is lucky to have you.
I am OVERimpressed with how awesome you look pregnant :)
Ha! I think this photo was taken 10 minutes before my feet started swelling. Thank you Nat :)