I can’t believe my baby is now 5! I feel like each birthday that comes around makes me feel two ways: grateful and sad. I feel a little bit bad saying that her birthday brings me just a touch of sadness, because in all reality, birthdays are the greatest blessing there is. But, as her mama, I think it’s just the realization that baby’s don’t keep, and in all reality..she’s slowly growing up into a little girl; no longer a small toddler that she once was.
So many of you have watched videos of Mila on my instagram stories. She’s my sensitive child; the one who feels things deeply, observes a lot of what’s happening around her, and prefers small groups to large, busy gatherings. She’s silly, she’s a big snuggler (I hope this never changes), and she’s incredibly intuitive and reflective.
Mila’s birthday has always brought me so many emotions, not only because she’s one of my children, but because of how challenging the first year of her life was (both in and outside of the womb). She’s a little miracle child, one that proved all of the doctors wrong, one that overcame health hurdles from the beginning. I’ve worked incredibly hard at trying to ensure Mila doesn’t internalize my own feelings of always needing to protect her, because the truth is…she’s strong, smart, and powerful. Sometimes the emotions surrounding her birth and her health come back to haunt me, and I instinctively become that ‘mama bear’ that just wants to protect her from anything that may harm her.
Mila has taught me so many lessons, I’m certain that all children do. They have a way of bringing out every single emotion in us, and there is no self development book that has helped me more than my children have.
The ability to let go of the way it SHOULD be, and allow for what it actually is
I’m a planner, guys. I love having a strategy as it makes me feel more in control of my life. When I got pregnant with Mila, my entire plan went out the window. Mila brought on more surprises during and after my pregnancy than I could have ever imagined. I learned that you can’t predict the cards that you’ll be dealt, but you can have faith that life will work out exactly as it’s supposed to.
Checking my ego at the door
Mila is her own person, and those who know Mila know that you cannot change her. When she’s got her mind made up, there’s no going back. This is one of the parts of her personality that I both adore and struggle with more than anything. I love that she cannot be swayed easily by others opinions and beliefs…but sometimes as a mom, it’s also exhausting!
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is to allow Mila to be who SHE wants to be, while of course, setting boundaries and guiding her. I truly believe that children have this spark; a zest for life, a curiosity, a confidence in their own abilities that adults are taught to silence. I don’t want to silent Mila. I want her always to listen to her gut, like she already does so well. I want her to listen to that voice that’s calling her to follow her own path. I want to guide her, but not change her.
I’m pretty sure every single parent has this one thing in common – our patience is constantly tested, over and over, by our children. Mila is incredibly loving, kind, and quiet natured….but she is also extremely impatient. She’s fiercely independent, and if she can’t figure something out on her own, it typically ends in a full blown meltdown. Many times this results in me helping Mila manage her own emotions, all the while screaming inside at how exhausting it is.
Her struggle with patience has become my own struggle with patience, and it’s a complete work in progress for the both of us…and I don’t think this will change anytime soon.
Mom instinct is a REAL thing
Mamas’…Can you relate to this??? Every single time there has been some sort of health issue with Mila, my mom instinct sets off like an alarm. I truly have no idea what happens in your body to be able to physically FEEL that something isn’t right, but it has happened on multiple occasions with Mila.
A crazy story: I was newly pregnant with Mila and was feeling completely normal at this point. Nothing was ‘off’, all ultrasounds were normal…but I had this uneasy feeling that something was going to go wrong. I couldn’t shake it for the life of me.
My Grandma passed away during the early stages of my pregnancy, and after her death, I began having reoccurring dreams of her visiting me. In these dreams, I would ask her why she wasn’t ‘crossing over’…she wouldn’t leave me alone, to put it simply. In every dream, my Grandma would reply with: “I can’t leave you yet. Something is going to happen with you, and I have a lot of work to do on the other side”. I’d relay this message to my parents, because my dreams were so incredibly vivid and I couldn’t figure it out. Months later, while in utero, Mila was diagnosed with cystic kidneys and later in my pregnancy, I developed HELLP Syndrome which nearly took my life. Doctors say it’s a miracle that we both lived.
I haven’t had a dream of my Grandma since I was pregnant. Either way, mom instinct is incredibly powerful and I’ve learned the importance of paying attention to it instead of simply brushing it off.
As a mom, I don’t need to be perfect
This is a lesson I’m continisouly learning, day in and day out. Feeling the pressures as a mother to be at your best ALL of the time can be extremely challenging (as all of you moms’ out there know). However, I’m starting to realize that being vulnerable with my children is OK.
I don’t always have the right answers. I have bad days too. Some days, my mom game is on point, and other days…I’d be lucky if I get one thing knocked off my to-do list. The point is, is that I want my children to know that I am not perfect, nor do I expect THEM to be. I want to be an example of how to get up and show up, even when life is tough. I want them to reflect on how it is I act when I’m having a bad day, so that they can learn how to regulate their own emotions too. BUT…I want them to also see me cry, to see me vulnerable. I don’t want them to ever think that this is a weakness, it’s simply a part of being human.
Happy 5th birthday to my sweet Mila. Thanks for reading and if your a mama who has faced similar situations, I’d love to hear them below! xo
Lots of love,