Well, my little man is in fact a little man.
It's taken me some time to come to terms with it. He is three years old! He knows his A,B,C's and can count to 20. He is beginning to write his name, shapes, and even picking up on some Spanish. Tears fill my eyes as I watch my sister with her 7 month old baby, if I could go back to that time with him and do it all over again with him a million times I would. These 3 years have gone too quickly. Before me stands a sweet, gentle, and compassionate little boy. A little O.C.D. he likes every one of his toys in a certain place, lined up and organized. He can be a typical boy laughing at "poopy-pants and toots" (but then again so does my 36 year old husband) and he is drawn like a magnet to puddles of muddy water. But best of all he is a mama's boy and always tries to take care of me and protect me against whatever threat he sees. (even if it's just Daddy boy's "tickle monster")
If I had known 3 years ago the amount of love that would fill me heart, I would have never believed it.You think that you love them when you see their tiny little face, kiss their soft cheeks and take in the itty bitty fingers and toes. Your heart melts when you hear their sweet little baby cry and smell in the sweet goodness of "baby smell". I thought that my heart was full of love that day. While it was the fullest it had ever been it has grown since then. With every diaper change, sleepless night it grew in love with the fact that he needed me. With his first steps and first words, it grew knowing that God had blessed us with this amazing gift. And now with hearing his precious voice, and his "love you mama" "I need a snuggle mama" it grows even more. Sometimes I love him so much it hurts, physically hurts my heart, my stomach. I wish I had known what I know now, and could have told my "new mama" self a few things.
I would have told her first and foremost snuggle every chance you get. Seriously! Ever. Single. Chance. Laundry can wait, you can wear a dirty shirt, he wont care, he doesn't care if your hair is a mess, there are dishes in the sink or dust is mounting up on the shelves. They are only in this moment once and you will regret missing it! Enjoy each and every phase because they will be gone in a blink.
Then I would tell her to trust her instincts. God has made each of us for this very reason. If you think they are hungry, feed them. If you feel like you need to give him formula then do it. Don't let anyone's opinions cloud your "mama instinct". If you have the conviction of breastfeeding, seek the help you need to stick to it. You need to do whatever gives you peace. We live in a world where for some reason women are cruel to other women. There will always be judgement, uninvited opinions, and Lord knows there are generations of well meaning mothers, grandmothers, aunts, friends, and sisters who did things very differently in their time. Remember there are some things that are tried and true and work, but there are other things that are no longer recommended because time has proven them to be dangerous. Go with your gut!
Finally, let go. Let go of what you think it should look like. Motherhood that is. It's a messy job, one fought hard with blood, sweat, and many tears. I thought I would jump right into motherhood, I was, after all, a Nanny for over 10 years. I knew kids! But nothing will prepare you for the reality of it all. The 24/7/365 of what it means to be a mom. There is no right way or wrong way. And what you thought it might be will certainly not be the case. Go with it. Don't be so caught up in your own expectations that you are unwilling to bend, change and adapt. Find your own way. Learn what works and get rid of the rest.
At the end of the day, God sent you this child for a reason. He has entrusted you with the greatest blessing and trust that His wisdom is beyond yours. Enjoy the Ride !