Editor’s Note: As part of our Mom’s Week celebration, we asked our blog contributors to write a special post entitled, “Love, Mom” Throughout the week we will be sharing their posts with you. We hope you enjoy them and it inspires you to take a few moments to write to the most important people in your life and to sign it “Love, Mom”.
It’s been less than 3 years since I became a mommy for the first time, but already my life is so different thanks to you both! In some ways, I’m a better person and mom than I thought I could be, and in other ways…I’m probably worse.
I don’t work out any more, for one thing. I don’t get up and journal and do yoga. I know I’ve been told I should do those things to “take care of me”, but instead I often blog or catch up on sleep. In one of my pregnancies (guess which one of you?) I didn’t even give up caffeine entirely, but stuck with my one-cup-a-day of coffee just to survive the 10 hour work days. A few times during both pregnancies, I actually ate meat! I wasn’t able to breastfeed you both as long as I wanted. Sometimes, around or after your first birthdays, I let you cry a little at night as you adjusted to sleeping through the night. I do give you goldfish crackers and honey O’s cereal, even though those are processed foods. I can’t find organic cottage cheese at any of our grocery stores anymore, so I gave up and now we’re eating regular cottage cheese. Not all of your bedding and towels are organic. There are a few of your plastic toys that I can’t verify are 100% BPA free. One of you is downstairs with Daddy RIGHT NOW eating pudding and watching cartoons before bed.
But I feel like there are a lot of things I am doing right, too. You are both so independent. After a little bit of a rough start around 6 months of age, you will now both go to Mother’s Day Out and childcare at church without any fuss and play happily until I come and pick you up. You both love books so much, surely that is a good thing – when you get older and my knowledge fails you, hopefully you can always go to a book (or the internet). When we go out, strangers always comment on what “happy baby/kids” you are, and it’s true. You’re both always smiling and laughing – with me and with each other. I hope that you will be good friends as you grow up together. If I screw something up in raising you, maybe you can talk to each other about it.
I’ve learned a lot of things too. How to exist on far less sleep than I ever thought possible, how to cloth diaper, how to laugh when I feel like crying, and how to share parenting duties with your daddy. I’ve found myself doing all kinds of homemaker-type things that I never thought possible, like making baby food and bread, cleaning with only vinegar and baking soda, and creating homeopathic remedies from kitchen ingredients and essential oils.
I pray that the things you learn from me over the years are the good things, and any of the ways that I fail will be forgotten. I hope that we can continue to laugh and grow together, even when it’s difficult. I will never give up on you, which is a believe I take from my faith in God, who has never given up on me.
My sweet little ones, I love seeing you grow! I am thankful for you every day!
Jenny Bradford is a mom to two cotton babies, Little Sir born Oct. 2009, and Little Lady, born Feb. 2011. She lives in the Dallas, TX area with her husband, Christian, and can be found at Conscientious Confusion – a blog about living consciously, which often encompasses: green living, natural health, conscientious consumerism, cloth diapering, and living frugally.