Did you hear what I said? Is anyone listening? That’s not what I said. Why aren’t you listening?
These are the thoughts I find on repeat in my mind as a new mother. There are times I feel I must look like a child myself – sipping my juice box – rambling about mindless topics, the look of an educated woman clearly a far cry from my appearance. That must be it. Because I am new to the game of child rearing I must be clueless. I need to be told, not heard. They are doing me a favor, I’ll thank them later.
There has been a bit of an adjustment period in my life since the arrival of my Wyatt. Not the typical sleepless nights and growing grocery bill that everyone speaks about when you’re pregnant. No, this transition I didn’t really see coming. I have found my voice. Yes, quiet, avoid conflict at all costs, go with the flow no matter what Danielle, yes, she has found her voice! When they placed that perfect bundle in my arms my vision of the world forever changed. Not only was I expected to care for him, but to advocate for him, to protect him, to fight for him. Fierce mommy mode stuff right? Whoa, where did that come from?
Before becoming a mother, I didn’t want to offend anyone if my opinions were different. I am a “Grade A” people pleaser so it has always been hard for me to speak up when someone’s view point differs from my own. But when it comes to my baby, I find that much easier these days. “No Sharon, I really do not feel comfortable with you kissing my newborn.” “Yes Susan, I really would like you to wash your hands before touching my baby.” “Okay Stew, I know you love taking all the kiddos for a spin on the 4-wheeler but not my 3 week old?!” Okay so maybe the conversations didn’t go exactly like that but you get the idea. Over time I started feeling less and less guilty for speaking up when something made me uncomfortable. It was miraculous, life changing even. In the past I was so afraid I would hurt someone’s feelings or that they would dismiss me altogether. Now I’ve finally realized, it doesn’t matter. Do you know why? Because this child that I’ve wished upon every star for, this precious child that I prayed diligently for, God trusted me as his mother. God knows my heart and called on me to care for him – ME of all people! So may I ask, if God trusted me with this little one, shouldn’t I have faith in myself to do so too?
I am indeed a novice at this thing called parenting, but my heart is in the game. I am dedicated and devoted and I am not afraid to learn from my own mistakes. Though I welcome advice and differing opinions openly, I am no longer consumed with pleasing other parties. I will instill in my children that it’s okay to voice your opinion and speak up for what you believe is right. And even though our society may show otherwise, you can do this respectfully and eloquently.
So to all of my fellow introverted mothers, those who have worried about offending other parties or people pleasing family members. I see you, I understand you, you can do this! Stand up for what you feel is best for your child. You are their voice and you deserve to be listened to and respected as a human, as a woman, and as a mother. You have that God given right mama, you got this!