When I released expectations, I began to love motherhood. I have spent countless hours on this new journey soaked in tears, frustration and sadness. Early on, Charlotte had pretty bad acid reflux that required her to be held 24/7 and led to crying and fussing around the clock. It all felt unfair. Why are friends with babies around the same age having such an easier time than me? Why after all I’ve gone through, is this so hard? Why is Charlotte not hitting this milestone yet? Why won’t she stop crying? Why is she not sleeping longer stretches of sleep? These questions, the expectations, it all loomed over me like a negative cloud of frustration. Most days, I hated motherhood. I loved Charlotte, but felt like I wasn’t cut out for this lifestyle. I missed my freedom and independence. I resented my husband for being able to leave the house and not worry about breastfeeding. I felt disconnected from Charlotte and felt like I was nothing more than a milk maker.
And then I realized that I was trying to control everything. The textbooks said Charlotte should smile at me between 6 and 8 weeks, so by 7 weeks, I started to freak out, and felt out of control at the fact that I couldn’t make her smile. Friends had babies that were sleeping through the night and I tried this trick and that trick, until I realized that I was putting so much pressure on Charlotte and in turn, that made me stressed out, and then it likely stressed her out to the point that she couldn’t sleep through the night.
I decided to relinquish control, which is so, so hard for me. I realized that the more I try to control, the less likely it was going to happen. Charlotte is her own baby and won’t always meet milestones at the same time as other babies, or as the textbooks state, and I was able to realize that that is okay. When I let go, things didn’t fall into place right away, but what happened is that I was able to feel connected to Charlotte. I was able to hear her cries and not feel aggravated, but instead feel compassion and try to figure out how to help her. I didn’t feel defeated, instead I felt in love with this incredible unique human that I had created.
I stopped trying every trick in the book and I just allowed myself to be me and I allowed Charlotte to be her. She woke up multiple times during the night and she didn’t smile back when I smiled at her, but my heart overflowed with love. I loved on her and loved on her, and finally at 8 and a half weeks, she smiled at me! And then she smiled at me again and she’s been the happiest baby ever since. And my heart has been overflowing with even more love. I finally felt less like a milk maker and more like someone she loved. I felt connection. I let go of expectations and all of the tips and I just did what felt right, and like magic, she finally slept through the night for the first time! I remember that night so well and when I picked her up when she woke up, my heart overflowed with love as she sank into me, letting me know I was her safe place. I have had to let go of expectations several times since her early weeks, constantly reminding myself that Charlotte will meet her own unique milestones on her own unique timeline.
I am learning yet again the beauty of letting go. It’s not always easy to do, but it’s so worth it. Try to release the expectations you have for your life. Everything will happen in its’ perfect timing, exactly as it’s supposed to. Maybe not how you planned, but likely even better. When you let go of expectations and your need to control, you can experience a love and a connection for that person or that activity that maybe you’ve lost connection with because of your need to control.
Those days a few months ago were rough, but allowed me to fully let go and trust myself and Charlotte and I have loved motherhood’s ups and downs ever since. And I feel so proud of myself for letting go and trusting Charlotte and the universe.
I know not all the days ahead will be easy, or full of connection, but I hope to remind myself to let go and trust Charlotte’s timing. I hope you can remember to let go and trust the universe’s timing for your life. When you let go of expectations, magic happens.
Be Beautifully Simply You