{All About Mommy} Sara from Running from the Law

I can't believe today is the last post of this fun series! What another fantastic series for "All About Mommy"! I cannot thank the fabulous ladies who guest posted enough!!!! You are ALL awesome! I loved each and every post and the uniqueness of each. If you haven't checked them out, you can do so here - Natasha from Hello HappinessJenny from Jenny Collier BlogColleen from Meet the Sullivans, Samantha from Crafty Texas Girls, and  Amanda from Kids and Cabernet!
 
   
10 Things I've Learned as a Mom
Hello everyone!  I'm Sara and I blog over at Running From The Law.  I'm a full-time lawyer and mama to an almost two-year old wild child (Mac) and pregnant with a daughter (Mim), due in July.  I'm so honored to be here on Jen's blog for her "All About Mommy" series.  I have been loving all the posts from the fabulous mamas she's featured (and quite frankly am a little intimidated by all their awesomeness - I'm not worthy!).  If you read my blog (which I hope you'll do), you'll know that I constantly feel like I'm winging this whole mommy gig.  I don't have a clue what I'm doing! Most days I still can't believe I'm someone's mom and have managed to keep a child alive (and relatively safe) for nearly two years.  
Anyway, I've been racking my brain for weeks trying to come up with the perfect topic for this series and nothing felt right.  Finally, I was talking with a friend the other day (who is expecting her first child in the fall) about just how much I've learned about babies and kids in the last two years and suddenly...there was my topic.  So, may I present to you "10 Things I've Learned As A Mom." Of course, I've learned more than 10 things in the last two years (surely, right?), but these are just some highlights - some are purely comical and some are a little sappy (forgive me, I'm a pregnant hormonal mess).  If you're a new mom or mom-to-be, I hope these little lessons will help you out in some way.
1. Your child loves you just the way you are.  
This is one of the greatest things about children...they love you no matter what.  I know that 12 years from now my children will probably be horribly embarrassed by every single thing I do, but for now, he doesn't care that I'm having a bad hair day, haven't showered since Tuesday, am carrying around 10+ extra pounds of muffin-top or have been wearing the same yoga pants for a week.  He doesn't see my untoned abs, my forehead wrinkles, my dark roots or my unpolished toenails.  He sees only his favorite person in the world.  To him, I'm the most beautiful mommy he's ever known.  The one that gives magical boo-boo healing kisses and knows where all the chocolate in the house is hidden. It's pretty humbling and wonderful to see yourself through the eyes of your child.  When he looks at me, all he sees is love.  I wish we could all see ourselves in that same light.  (The same goes for a messy house...kids don't care.)
2. You must have a sense of humor.
Is there anything worse than "that mom" who just can't laugh at herself or the situation?  Yes, being a parent is serious stuff - you're shaping entire lives here.  But you have to be able to sit back and laugh at the hilarious things that happen because you're a parent.  Before I had kids I would have been mortified to know I went to work with spit-up down the back of my dress or poop on my sleeve.  Now...I'm still mortified, but it's also pretty funny.  I have a feeling that some of my hardest parenting moments will turn into those stories that we laugh about for years (your kid getting his head stuck in a chair or covering his entire body and crib with a giant tub of diaper cream).  So learn to laugh at the situation when it happens (and have your camera ready!).  
3. Pick your battles.
This is one I'm still learning and dealing with everyday.  My toddler has become a master at getting his way - either by negotiating with me, throwing a tantrum or just batting those big brown eyes at me and saying please (how to do you say no to that face?). As we enter the Terrible Twos, tantrums and meltdowns are becoming more of a daily hourly occurrence at our house as Mac tries to assert his independence and make his own choices.  Sometimes I feel like everything is a fight, from what he wears to what he eats.  All the choices seem to be made for him, so I understand his desire to make his own decisions.  But I constantly have to decide whether or not it's worth it to have the fight at that time.  If it's something I feel strongly about (no hitting the dogs) or affects his safety (no playing with knives), then it's worth it to me to lay down the law. However, sometimes I just have to let things go and pick my battles wisely.  It's not the end of the world if he doesn't wear socks with his shoes.  He's not going to grow a second head if he sits in a wet diaper for an extra 20 minutes until he's done worm digging.  If he has a sucker before dinner, he won't fall into a sugar induced coma.  I know, I know, consistency is key.  But on the other hand, sometimes I feel like he listens to me better on the important things when I let him "win" the little battles occasionally.    
4. You know what's best. 
As your child's mom, you know him better than anyone and you get to decide what's right for him and your family.  Didn't you know that moms have superpowers?  You might not always feel like you know what to do, but whatever choice you make will be right because you only want to do what's best for him.  Trust your instincts, mama. 
5. You don't have to enjoy every single moment.
I'm sure you've heard it all: They grow up so fast.  They'll never be as little as they are right now. The years fly by.  It's going to be gone before you know it.  Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!  Oh, the pressure!  We're so hard on ourselves these days to fully enjoy every single waking moment of our children's lives.  And while I do believe you should try to appreciate each moment you have with the precious life you brought forth, you sure don't have to enjoy every second of it. Sometimes there are moments that downright suck and that's ok.  Don't feel bad if you're in one of those sucky moments and you catch yourself wishing you were somewhere (anywhere) else.  Just close your eyes and think of a happy place (like Target without children).  It too shall pass.
6.  Hugs have healing powers.
Hugs from your kid will cure anything and make any situation immediately better.  Pair a big hug with an open-mouth slobbery kiss and it's almost as good as winning the lottery.  Children's laughter is a close second. 
7. Be nice to your husband.
My husband might be legally obligated to put up with my shit, but that doesn't mean I have the right to treat him like a second-class citizen because the kids are more important.  My husband is my partner in this whole parenting experiment and his help, cooperation, suggestions, creativity and love are key factors in how my day goes.  As hard as it is sometimes for me to admit I need any help, I need his help and support.  And he's much more likely to be helpful and supportive if I'm not being a total bitch to him.  Plus, one day my kids are going to be grown up and move out (boo hoo!), but hopefully this husband of mine will still be around to take out the trash and remind me to unplug my curling iron.
8. Don't ever underestimate your children.
Your kid will be smarter, quicker, sneakier, faster, trickier and craftier than you ever thought it was possible for a child to be.  Yes, you'll be proud, but you'll also be in TROUBLE if you think for a minute you're one step ahead of them.  You put the toy where he can't reach it...he'll find a way to move the couch so that he can climb up and jump across three other pieces of furniture, then scale the curtains to get it, along with your chapstick (which he just ate) and your wallet (the contents of which are now strewn about the room).  Do not turn your back...ever.  They will win, I guarantee it.  
9. You will turn into your mother.
You will find yourself doing and saying things that your mother did and said when you were a kid that you SWORE you'd never in a million-billion years do or say to your kid.  Yep, it happens.   You'll also start to hear your mother in your tone of voice (especially when shouting things like, "Don't you make me pull this car over!") and see glimpses of her when you look at yourself in the mirror.  It's creepy. You've been warned.
10. Love has no limits.  
I've heard so many moms say that they worry about whether they'll love their second child as much as they love the first one.  I am here to say that there is absolutely no reason in the world to ever question how much you can love.  I haven't even met my daughter yet, but you better believe my heart grew ten times over the moment I saw those two pink lines on the pregnancy test. Loving a second (or fifth) child doesn't diminish the love you have for the first, it just multiplies.  You may not love your children in exactly the same way or for the same reasons (they are completely different people after all), but a mother's love truly knows no bounds.  
Thank you so much for reading this whole long list of lessons.  I hope you can take away something (even if it's just a laugh) from what I've learned.  Jen, thank you so much for letting me be a part of this series.  
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Where oh where to begin.....Sara, you are simply amazing!!! I don't know how you or anyone could have said it better! This is one of those posts that ALL new moms need to read! I started following Sara's blog, Running from the Law, about a year and a half ago and have loved every second of it! I love her sense of humor, honesty, amazing pics {P.S. check out her photography tips}, yummy recipes and fun giveaways! It was such an honor to have her take over Down with the Dearmore's for the day!   
 
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7 comments :

Amanda {Kids and Cabernet} said...

What a great post, I loved all of the 10 things. You also brought a tear or two to my eyes and I'm not pregnant!! Haha xx

Sara McCarty said...

Thank you so much for having me today and for all the kind words! I loved writing this post and being a part of this great series! Keep up the great work, Jen!

Christina Schergen said...

loooooooved all of this!!!!

Jenny said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Sara! Such a great post! Oh I loved the diaper cream over the crib story haha! Great tips especially about being kind to your hubby. Easier said than done some days but so important :)

Laura {happily ever} Parker said...

Great post. Especially the part about loving your husband. I just started reading Baby Wise and I love how the book started off. That the relationship you have with your husband/partner will guide and influence your child's life in the greatest way. Pretty sound advice!

Valerie Scott said...

LOVED every last word of this!!!!!

Colleen Sullivan said...

This is great advice Sara! Way more helpful than any of the child rearing books I read when I was pregnant!