I am beautiful. I am strong. I am a great mom.
This was the affirmation shared with us at Saturday's stroller strides class. We were challenged from the very beginning of class to name why we are a great mom. (My answer: because I breastfeed on demand). As moms it is hard for us to sometimes give ourselves the true love and credit we deserve. (Note: I am only 11 1/2 weeks into the motherhood journey.) But already it's been so easy for me to feel overwhelmed and feel like I'm not "doing this right." But, upon stepping back, I know I'm doing exactly what I am supposed to do- I'm loving her and doing the best I can, day after day. And if I want my daughter to feel confident, powerful and beautiful- to know that she is already and always enough- I need to feel the same way about myself and live from that feeling everyday.
So begins my reflection on my first Mother's Day weekend.
It was a beautiful weekend here in the Bay, with the sun shining, with my supportive husband, cutie pie Baby Analise, and also one of my dearest friends in from out of town staying with us.
We spent wonderful time together, loving on our little one, eating good meals, discussing our life - our blessings and our challenges. I was gifted nice things- most notably my husband got up early with Ana so I could sleep in until 8:30! And then he took over fully for the morning to get in a solo workout! That, plus a beautifully framed family pic, some new treats and an amazing brunch with champagne and I felt beyond spoiled. Plus, a hike later with my hubs, babe, pup and mother-in-law - the day was perfect 👌🏼.
Now being a mom myself, I realize how significant this day is- not to really celebrate, persay- but more to reflect and hold space for gratitude. I am blessed to have a loving and supportive mom myself. I am blessed and overjoyed to have been given the gift of motherhood at this time. I am beyond grateful for a husband who supports me as a wife and mommy and for one who loves his little girl more than anything. This day, Mother's Day, is really becoming more like Thanksgiving to me.
Thank you sweet Analise Lucille, for joining our family and choosing me to be your perfectly imperfect mommy.
Thank you to my mom, who raised me up, gave me more than I could have ever asked for, supports all of my life decisions wholeheartedly, cares deeply for not only me, but my growing family, and also for being such a strong, smart and fun-loving woman and role model.
Thank you to my grandmothers, who made all of us possible. For loving us always and forever.
Thank you to my mother-in-law who treats me as one of her own, like I was always a part of the family. And for supporting our little growing family always with generosity and love.
And thank you to all of the amazing women in my life, my dear friends and family members, whether or not you have given birth- you are motherly to me- in your care, connection and love that you have shared with me over the years.
Mothers, Grandmothers, Aunties, Cousins, Sisters, Girlfriends - Thank You ❤️ Thank You ❤️ Thank You ❤️
My maternity leave is quickly fading (4 weeks left) and I didn't do half of what I hoped to do. Instead of the book reading, journaling, and yoga practice I intended to do every day, I caught up on sleep, drank coffee, did laundry, pumped and survived. Oh, and also I got to cuddle this beautiful little babe every single day.
The reality is, even if I didn't "accomplish" what I hoped to accomplish, I have been immensely lucky to have this time. And I haven't taken it for granted. No one should take this time for granted, not only because you get to spend some of the most important times with your child, but also because unfortunately so many women across the country do not get this opportunity of paid leave.
As a family, we're so lucky to have this opportunity- California has a solid paid family leave policy, my work has a decent leave policy, and Kevin's has an even better paid leave policy. After my 12 weeks (10 paid at 95% of my salary), Kevin will take 12 more (on top of the 3 he has already taken, and at 100% of his pay). Although I wish I could continue to take more time off of work, I will reluctantly head back at the beginning of June and let Kevin take over baby duties full time. I'm also so happy for him to get this amazing bonding time with Analise- it will be great for both of them!
But since we have only 4 weeks left, I am making some serious goals to accomplish between now and the day I return to work. Some of these goals are baby-related and some of them are mama (self-care) related, but all of them should enhance the next 4 weeks and help me make the most of this time. And if anyone out there is reading this, feel free to hold me accountable and ask me how it's going over the next four weeks!
1. Get down on the floor with Analise everyday
2. 10 minutes of yoga and/or stretching everyday
3. Complete through month 3 of her baby book
4. Get to stroller strides once a week - workout & community-building!
5. Aim for 10,000 steps everyday (hoppin back on the fitbit train)
6. Take a shower every day (haha- this is harder than it sounds!)
One more month to go- logging off now to make the most of it!