There are things you don’t really understand until you become a mother. For me, it was how much I would relish what I now call the lean and spin.
A few weeks ago our pastor shared about how after he’s been away from his kids for a while, coming back home his kids always run to his open arms and he picks them up and spins through the hug. He called it the spin. As a new parent, my 18 month old daughter loves the spin. As if out of no where, she comes barreling toward me from the other side of the room, tiny arms spread wide, just waiting for the spin. It doesn’t matter if she’s hugged me 1,000 times that day. Each and every hug literally brings her immense joy from the top of her head, to her tiny piggy toes.
What I live for though, is the lean. When I’m holding her and she leans her full body weight into mine. Or I reach down and kiss her and she leans her forehead into my lips for kiss. How she leans into my legs and begs me to pick her up. Her tiny hands opening and closing reaching for my cuddle.
Recently I was talking with some other moms about the things I’d tell myself if I could go back to my pre-pregnant self and tell her about motherhood. Or what I would tell any woman about to embark on this wild motherhood journey. Obviously my advice is limited. I’ve only been in this club for 18 months. But the other moms I was sharing with had some incredible advice and I wanted to share it here.
The first piece of advice I came up with connects back to the beginning of this post. The lean and spin. The snuggles, the leans and the spins- at the end of even your hardest days, they will be payment enough.
My second piece of advice was this, sometimes you’ll look down at this child you created and your heart will feel like it’s going to burst. Like a balloon with far too much air. But the thing about your mother’s heart is that it’s far stretchier than you could ever imagine. And it will grow far bigger with each passing moment.
So to any soon to be mother reading this, here are some words of wisdom from the great mothers- the ones who relish the lean, who live for the spin- the mothers who’s hearts stretch far and wide.
Everything is a phase so whether things are great or not going so well, it won’t last forever. – Jessica Stowell
That unicorn baby you always dreamed of won’t happen but you won’t love him any less. Enjoy the bed sharing and the breastfeeding. Take more nursing pictures. Buy a rocking chair. – Carmen Armstrong
Everything you thought mattered in life and you let upset you from other people’s opinions to crib sheets to how you looked one day doesn’t. What’s really going to be important is that precious baby that you created and keeping a smile on her face. Your little baby will put everything into perspective for you and you will finally the learn the real meaning of don’t sweat the small stuff. – Danielle Pietrantonio
Do not say you won’t or you will. Go into motherhood with an open mind. – Elaina Armata
Be the parent you want to be and not what others want you to be. – Shannon Pearson
Go with your gut and your intuition – as a mother you know best, regardless of what people say. If you think something’s wrong, keep pushing for answers because no one loves your baby like you do! Also, what you envisioned in your mind for your child, may not be reality. But, that’s okay because the child you have is soo much better than what you envisioned. Life will be different, yes, but you’ll learn as you go and in the end, you’ll be a pro – even if you feel lost and defeated at first. I never imagined having a child with special needs – completely different that what I envisioned for my child and our life, but life isn’t always what you think and you make the best of everything! – Caitlin Anne
Just because it isn’t easy and you don’t love it all the time doesn’t mean you weren’t meant to be a mom. Everyone struggles sometimes. Be kind to yourself. – Christa Mazich
I hope these words give you a glimpse of the many lessons you’ll learn in motherhood. It’s not an easy ride. But the pay off is indescribable. Especially every last one of those leans and spins.