Mommy thoughts: “Dedicate yourself to the strength of THE TEAM. A team can only be as strong as it’s weakest link.”
Before diving into our break for this month, we’d like to take a moment to thank Christian Nicole Hodge who is a 23 year old stay at home mom! Christian has a toddler and an infant and has been married for four years. She is based out of Little Rock, Arkansas and can be found on instagram @chriiis101. She has a passion and finds purpose in helping other moms break generational cycles when it comes to parenting, marriage, and mental health.
The Break: Being a stay-at-home mom, I have experienced more in the last two years than I have doing anything else (and I was in the military)! I have had more pain, more laughs, more tears, more sleepless nights, and more joy in just my TWO years of parenting.
My husband and I have created the most amazing boys, D’Kimeon Jr (22m) and James (6m). D’Kimeon is our oldest and the boy is something else! The way his mind works is so intriguing. He’s relentless and thinks of several ways to get to his end goal. He will not stop trying until he gets what he wants. James is our baby that I had on my bathroom floor because he just couldn’t wait to get here. That’s why it doesn’t surprise me how he is always moving and wanting things done as soon as possible. I love our boys because they push us to be our best, especially when things are hard. I can’t begin to imagine what the rest of my life looks like, but I want more of what I have now. I will gladly experience more of the pain if it comes with more of this joy. I want to experience more sleepless nights if it comes with waking up and seeing my babies. Motherhood has not been easy, but God has given me such grace to handle the difficulties of parenting that I absolutely believe I’m meant to be a mom. This is what encourages me to persevere through the days where I feel like I just can’t catch a break! Especially being a breastfeeding mom.
Breastfeeding can be such an exhausting and difficult commitment, but the bond created is so strong. When I stopped nursing my oldest, I was heartbroken, but he decided that he didn’t want any more of mommy’s “milk milks.” Yet as hurt as I was, I was even more relieved to finally be done! Breastfeeding my oldest took me through a roller coaster of emotions, physical pain, and exhaustion and I was happy it was finally over. Now doing it all over again with his brother, back always hurting, I’m drained. Nursing daily and burning an extra 500 calories while doing it, I’m touched out quickly because my babies love to breastfeed whether during a growth spurt, teething, or just for comfort. When I made the decision to breastfeed, I knew there were cons that came along but here I am, two years later, with knowledge and experience that I am now able to share with other moms through their journey. I wouldn’t trade any of the uncomfortable parts of breastfeeding for anything in this world. I share a connection with both of my children that is unlike any other! Why would I ever give that up?
I am also a mom who practices gentle parenting. I won’t get into detail of what that entails but trust me when I say, there are 100% highs and lows when choosing this parenting style. Having a toddler has been a true testament of my ability to practice patience and self-control. Two traits that are needed to excel at just about anything, but especially parenting. I used to pray constantly that God would grow my patience and now I have two under two. It can be frustrating trying to be the parent I wish I had but seeing the way our sons respond to us, not out of fear, but comfortability, it’s worth it. I know that if I keep going, our children will benefit greatly from our persistence. As I told y’all, our kid is “something else,” but looking past that I can see he just loves being himself around us.
Every valley I’ve experienced in parenting thus far has come with a lesson that has made me who I am now. I’ve grown in my confidence as a mom and my ability to persevere in the face of daunting obstacles. My relationship with God has developed simply because I need Him to get me through every trial that motherhood throws my way. I’ve found a strength within myself that I never knew I had! I breastfed my toddler throughout my entire pregnancy AND tandem nursed. Would you believe me if I told you I SLEPT through contractions??? I unintentionally gave birth to my second at home! Every day that I get through reminds me of how awesome I am as a mom. We may not get all the accolades we deserve but NOBODY can tell us we’re not kicking parenting’s butt!
I share my experience because I want all moms to be encouraged and know that our efforts are not in vain. The things we do behind the scenes may go unnoticed at times, but our children will see the fruit of it. I started using sign language with my oldest at four months. For the longest, I was hurt because he would not sign back. Until one day he did! Now he signs consistently and so well! Don’t give up on anything mama! The lows will come and the best thing we can do is prepare ourselves and give ourselves GRACE. Remember that we’re human and it’s okay to ask for help. I didn’t get through the low moments on my own. I have a husband who is willing to parent with me through the tougher moments and we’re figuring this thing out together. Whoever is willing to be in your corner, let them! As strong as we may be, no mom can be their best selves alone. The lows will be there, so let’s make it a point to enjoy every single moment of this parenting journey.
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