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Three Things I'd Wish I'd Known About Motherhood

My oldest is 17 and when she was a little baby, I'd receive random advice from grandmothers, grandfathers, mail delivery people- everyone and anyone- as we were out and about.

You can ask any mom: there is always someone with advice for you when you have a baby in tow.

Sometimes the advice was strange, like "She's too chilly, wrap her up!" when it was a sweltering summer day in California and I'd let her sit in the stroller in a onesie, but sometimes it would be true.

"It goes by too fast, soak it up!"

I'd get that a lot and wouldn't know how to feel. When you have a baby waking up at all hours and you're an exhausted new mom, it's hard for that one to land anywhere. You're just trying to survive and stay awake.

But that one turned out to be true.

If I could go back and be one of those random people offering young mom me advice, here's what I would say (as I handed myself a Starbucks gift card, too, because that's actually what I needed):

1.. "You're doing great. It's really hard to mess up a baby." I remember spending so much time being petrified that I wouldn't hear my baby crying at night, or that I hadn't installed her carseat correctly, or that formula would cause irreversible, terrible, all-my-fault allergies. The second guessing made me a wreak.

I felt like I was in a constant state of low-grade anxiety. Babies seem so fragile and mysterious. And there was always a new study or subject in the online mommy chat tinged with fear. Should they sleep on their side or back? Did I breastfeed long enough? Is this crib safe enough? Is swaddling ok? Is the baby soap natural enough? You don't want to know how many hours I spent researching bottles. Glass vs. BPA-free plastic, complicating tubing systems....

Now I know two things: 1) babies are pretty durable and 2) most of the world doesn't have the gadgets and anxiety we have around raising kids and are doing just fine. If I were to bump into younger me at the park, I'd tell her, "Your baby will be fine. You don't need to worry so much. You can just enjoy her."

2.. "It's ok to let the world pass by." I've always been an ambitious person. I've always had dreams, maybe because I read a lot of books as a child and it opened me iup to possibioities. Having a baby means things pause for awhile and I didn't know how to navigate that. My husband would go to work and I'd be at home, with a baby, feeling like I wasn't accomplishing anything. I felt useless and as important time was slipping by.

To remedy this, I'd always have a venture or little job earning me not enough money for the time I was putting in. I feel so stressed. I never dared to do the math because I knew I was spending more on babysitters and childcare than I was making. When I think about that time, I wonder if I even enjoyed what I was doing or was just trying to feel useful. Motherhood didn't feel like enough.

But my sweetest moments during that time were when we went to the library in the afternoon for Mommy & Me, weekends spent in the backyard under the lemon tree, and evenings reading before bed.

If I could go back to those times, I'd say, "You're not missing out, everything you need is right here. It's ok to get lost in your baby's face or spend a whole day doing crafts together. You're not wasting time. This time is precious. Let the world fly by. Enjoy this cocoon. It's not forever and you'll always treasure these moments."

*This isn't saying moms can't or shouldn't work. It's about enjoying the time you're spending with your child guilt-free for not producing in that moment whether it's stay-at-home mom life, maternity leave, or evenings at home. I know we have to make money sometimes.

3.. God is with you. I didn't have a real relationship with God until I was well into being a mom. I had no idea God could help me with mothering every single day. I didn't know He could warn me of something I couldn't see, give me direction and ideas, and comfort me. I didn't know I could do life with God until I was a mom of three and had floundered all over the place for years.

Sometimes I think about all of the pain we could have avoided and mistakes I could have sidestepped had I had Jesus in my life earlier. I wonder how much better a mom I could have been and things I could have known. But I've seen the miracles God has done in my life and my kids' lives. I think they're also that much more pronounced because I can compare them to the backdrop of life without the relationship we have now.

I also have a tenderness for people, especially moms, who feel alone because I know what it's like not to know God is with me. I know what it's like to believe God does not care about you.

If I could sit down on the park bench next to new mom me, I would say, "You're never alone. Jesus loves you and wants to have a real relationship with you. I know you've heard that all your life, and from people who didn't exactly model who God is. I know you feel let down. But God is real and not like people. He knows who you are, loves you, and is waiting for you."

I'd hand myself a copy of Psalm 121.

Whether you're a newish mom or have been at this while, let me hold your hand and tell you that you're doing great and you're not alone. The memories fade into something softer. Keep showing up for yourself. God loves you.

♥️ Bunmi AKA Honest Toddler

"I will lift up my eyes to the hills—

From whence comes my help?

My help comes from the Lord,

Who made heaven and earth."

Psalm 121: 1-2


Jan 10

I believe that God uses us to accomplish His work and miracles here on Earth. He gives us talents and sometimes those talents can be used to help others, which is what happened today when I read your words and was uplifted and literally felt the light of Christ. You have a God given gift and I love you for sharing it with us. Thank you so much!

Bunmi Laditan
Jan 10
Replying to

Thank you so much for this kind and encouraging comment, friend! Jesus is so amazing and the glory is all His. I truly appreciate you. God bless you and yours. Today and every day. love, Bunmi


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