“They grow up so fast.” You hear it over and over again from experienced moms, maybe your own mom, aunt, grandmother… and inevitably when you talk to a brand new mom, you say the same thing to her. The time goes so fast, they grow up so fast. You wish there was something more you could say, but how? How can you put motherhood into words?
That is one thing you can count on as a mother.
Sometimes the change creeps up on you and tackles you from behind.
Sometimes you can feel it slowly setting in, like watching the leaves slowly change in the Fall.
But nothing is more transitory than the phases of motherhood… “they grow up so fast” ringing in your ears…
Starting from that first trimester when you fear the morning sickness will never end, to waiting for the baby’s grand arrival, to wondering if you’ll make it through birth, and then each phase of your child’s life that comes and goes. While you are IN it, you feel stuck in time. Like things will never change and life will be like that forever.
You simultaneously want time to speed up, but know when this stage is gone you’ll pine for it.
I counted down the days until those postpartum hormones settled, and I could feel more like a normal human… but then that newborn smell… it’s gone.
And I would give so much to nuzzle my daughter’s now long curly hair and be transported back to those frantic first days just to smell that smell again on her then mostly bald head.
Time pays no mind to our wishes though.
It marches on at it’s own pace.
A pace that doesn’t seem steady.
It crawls along and then speeds up. It’s punctuated by these memorable moments frozen in time in our memories, or in the cloud in our phone in the form of selfies and family photos.
But the relationship you have with time changes so much when you become a mother.
And more than anything, you realize your powerlessness.
While you might have partially realized how powerful you are in the birth of your child, and the strength it has taken to raise that human… there are still many things in this world we can’t stand against.
One of those things is time.
Whether we are praying to just get through a few days to see that last tooth pop so we can sleep, or maybe it’s one of those days that you just completely feel the gratitude you have for your little family flooding through you… and you wish you could live in that day forever… we can’t make either desire happen.
We are not in control.
In truth, motherhood feels like an exercise in surrender.
Complete and utter surrender to nature, a Divine force, time.
We have some power to create the life and circumstances we desire, but in most cases, the best we can do is just strap in and enjoy the ride.
As much as we prepare, we can never be fully prepared for motherhood. Just like we can never be fully prepared for life.
Like giving birth, we can research, take classes, write the most thorough birthplan possible, hire a doula, make our partner read all the books, and more.
But when that birthday comes, we must be willing to go with the flow. To surrender to the process. To allow. To sink into a life changing, and sometimes life-ending, process that is one of the most joyous and terrifying a person can go through.
How can any person be the same after facing that?
But how do we actually surrender?
I am a type-a kind of person. I even plan our vacations down to the hour, putting down time and relaxation time in the schedule. (You can imagine how romantic that was during my honeymoon.)
My husband has been perfect for me in this specific aspect. He has helped me relax. To be present. To stop expecting perfection and the ability to control everything.
Case in point.
I always decorated my Christmas tree absolutely perfectly. You know, the bulbs spaced exactly apart with the colors judiciously placed throughout the tree. Any extras, like fake snow, was sprinkled precisely to create the perfect amount of coverage on every branch.
This would not do for my husband. He said I took all the fun out of decorating a tree.
He made me shove my whole hand in that bag of fake snow, get as much as I could fit in my fist, and then just throw it at the tree. Perfection be damned.
That first explosion of snow that fell so NOT perfectly all over the branches was like a physical manifestation of my soul claiming just a little bit more freedom.
Now I’m not knocking beautifully decorated trees.
This is a metaphor for my entire life, and the lives of many many many mothers.
We want to control so much because we love. We love so hard it hurts.
We want to ensure our little beans are protected, safe, happy. We want what is best for them.
But many of the biggest joys in life come from spontaneity and being present in the moment.
And in motherhood, we can’t plan for when they will take their first steps, or say “mama” for the first time.
We don’t know the precise day and time that they will finally write their name in scribbly little kid writing. We can just take each day as it comes and enjoy what happens.
We can’t fight time. We can’t stop it. We can’t speed it up. All we can do is embrace it.
The truth is that time is our best friend.
Think about vampires.
It’s a bit of a trope, right? That vampires are envious of the mortality of humans. The same could be said for other immortals, like the ancient Greco/Roman gods.
While we do everything in our power to stay young as long as possible, the fact that we age, grow old, and eventually die is what makes us human. It is what makes us and our lives beautiful.
As much as it would be nice to hit the pause button on time now and then, it would take the preciousness out of life.
The ephemeral nature of motherhood is a blessing and a curse.
It makes each moment precious, and each time we miss a moment, have a bad day or wish for time to speed up prick our hearts even deeper.
So we are left with just being able to tell the new mom “they grow up so fast.” Because how else do we say all of this and more to them?
And the other moms who have been around the block? When we say “they grow up so fast,” they know that we are saying all of this and more with just five words.
You've been breastfeeding your toddler for what feels like foreeeever, and you're ready to wean. But how? In this post, I'll break down some tips for how to wean a toddler from breastfeeding. I've put in a combined roughly 94 months of breastfeeding so far between my...
Getting outside is so important for little ones to get fresh air and run off some energy, not to mention it’s great for mama too! This is our list of the best outdoor toys for 1-year-old that kids and moms both love.
Think you're pregnant or trying to conceive? You're probably wondering what kind of pregnancy test should I buy? These 5 questions will help you choose which is best for you, and we'll give you our pick for the best one. So you can answer the question for yourself on...
Just found out your pregnant, or maybe wondering if you are? These first month pregnancy tips will help you get started. The first few weeks of pregnancy can be stressful and also blissful. These are three tips to help you get started at the very beginning, and I've...
Another year over, and a new one about to begin. As I write this it is 8:21pm on December 31, 2019. We are about to start a new decade. Like so many others, we are taking a minute to look back first. These are our top 10 viewed posts of 2019 here at Mom Uprising. They...
Expecting twins and want to tandem breastfeed? There are so many questions, right? Like what are the logistics? What is the best way to breastfeed twins? I got you. Keep reading to find out how I made it work. Breastfeeding one baby can be an awkward learning curve,...
Wife or partner pregnant? Have no idea what to do now? Start with these 3 must-know first trimester tips for husbands and partners. The first trimester has so many new challenges to tackle. It is easily the least favorite trimester of most moms between the hormones...
Just find out you're pregnant? Congrats mama! Did those pregnancy symptoms start already, and you're trying to learn about surviving the first trimester? We've got you covered with these 5 essential tips. The first trimester is notoriously difficult between the...
Just find out you're pregnant and not know WTF to do next? Yeah, most of us felt like that. But we've got you, soon-to-be mama. These early pregnancy tips will help you get through the early weeks of pregnancy with a little less stress. Those early weeks of pregnancy...
Living an epic life is the framework and mission behind Mother's Quest, a podcast by Julie Neale, focusing on intimate conversations with a diverse group of inspiring moms. She joined me on the MomUp Show to chat about how moms can navigate the journey through...
I was angrily folding up the stroller and tossing it in the back of the car when I heard a baby start crying. He finally realized he didn’t have his airplane in his hands and it was a total catastrophe. But it wasn’t his little meltdown that had me on edge. It was my...
I snapped this photo to remember this moment when I realized I was totally an overwhelmed mom, and even if I was #blessed, life was also really really hard. I was a little over 24 hours into being a mom of three, and I was already an overwhelmed mom. After a long long...
Today was one of those days when it all just hit me. Being a mom is hard, and sometimes it feels like you're failing. Like maybe you're just not a good mom. But it's not you. It's just that hard. A few months ago I was chatting with a new mom who on the outside seemed...
As a twinmom, people always ask if there are twins in the family. It's common knowledge, but how do twins run in families? We’ve all heard twins run in families, but few people really know why, how, or if twins are genetic. So let's answer the question, if and why do...
Today was my 5-year-old daughter’s very first dance recital, ever. I was not prepared. When she started soccer, I was not prepared emotionally for it, but this time, I was pretty well armed for all the feels. Especially when it came to realize how much she’s growing...