5 Things I've Learned in Motherhood

All the clichés are true. My heart is literally outside of my body and I love him so much it hurts sometimes. Like I feel my heart ache with love... if that even makes sense. And I don't know how, but the love continues to grow everyday. Sometimes I countdown the hours til bedtime but then I lay in bed later and stare at pictures of him (like zoom in on his face and tear up because I'm obsessed) and I start to miss him! It's nuts. When he wakes up halfway through the night to eat, (which still happens 70% of the time) half of me is a walking zombie but the other half is excited to snuggle with him. I will be honest about something though - I didn't feel "that bond" while he was in my tummy. It worried me because I felt like I should be feeling something that I wasn't. A few hours after he was born it just clicked and I fell in love. The timing is different for everyone! If your pregnant and don't feel that attachment yet, don't worry, it will come. 

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Empathy. When it "clicked" for me, it's like a lightbulb went off and I suddenly understood EVERYTHING my mom feels. I get it now, mom (sorry lol). When I became a mom I became a part of this exclusive, but ginormous, group of women who wear their heart on the outside of their bodies. I can understand the heartache, worry, joy, exhaustion, all of it. It's such a special thing.

Selflessness. I thought I felt this with my husband, I mean I do to an extent, but your child is a different story. When he hurts, I seriously want to take his pain and make it my own. Same when he's sick, etc. And I know that's how its always going to be. When he's sad, I'll be sad. When he's happy, I'm happy. The pain I went through in childbirth is ONLY something I would do for Nixon, and I'll obviously do it for my other children. 

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Mom friends are so important. Very few of my best best friends have children yet and its been hard. During the first couple months of motherhood I felt isolated, but once I started hanging out with girls who had babies around Nixon's age I felt SO much better. You empathize with each other and just GET how hard but rewarding it all is at the same time. Mommy friends somehow make it easier, even if you get together a few times a month. You don't feel as alone and can laugh/joke about things that your childless friends wouldn't quite understand yet. I've definitely had to step out of my comfort zone and reach out to people since I am new to Jacksonville, but it's been SO worth it!

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The worry is real. And strong. I know this is something people don't like to talk about, but this immense amount of happiness and love unfortunately comes with a dark side. Anxiety, fear, etc. I know there's different levels, but as someone who has struggled with anxiety for the majority of my life, this is kind of a serious thing I have to deal with. Before I got pregnant or before it was even a THOUGHT, I didn't know if I could handle being a mom because of my history with anxiety. I mean it helps knowing that all moms worry; it's in our nature. But the thought of something happening to him scares me to death and at the beginning of motherhood (when my hormones were still wacky) these thoughts kept me up at night. A few times Anthony has had to tell me to stop worrying about things I can't control. Which is true. Worrying can take away from moments that are supposed to be joyful. I've found that talking about it with people helps, as does praying. This world can be frightening, but it can also be beautiful. It's all about your mindset.

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Bonus: God is real. I've known this. But I KNOW this now. I rarely ever talk about my faith besides to family and close friends, but I feel closer to God than ever since becoming a mom. The way a man and a woman can create a precious life. The way a woman carries that life for a year. And then that life becomes it's own person with thoughts and feelings. And the EMOTIONS + FEELINGS we have. The insane feeling of love when we look at our baby. How is it possible I can love something so much? In my personal opinion, the only logical answer is because God loves us that much.

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Thank you all for reading! I love talking about my motherhood journey and I sincerely hope I can be a source of encouragement to some of you. Also, I can't think BROOKE IMAGES enough for these beautiful pictures. Take our pictures forever please!!! :)

Ashton Noto