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"The new person you will meet at the hospital after birth is not just your baby, it’s going to be you."

Jenessa D

I met Jenessa when we were living in New Orleans. She was apart of our church and had the cutest little boy. She was always kind and I quickly looked up to her as I was almost a Mom myself. I'm so excited to share her with you!

Meet Jenessa:

How many kids do you have?

I have two little boys! Age 3 & 1

Favorite part of motherhood

My favorite part of being a mom is being the one that my kids want to snuggle. All growing up when I’d play with kids and they would be tired, or get hurt they just wanted their mom. I love being that person that my kids want. I also enjoy watching them discover all the little magic parts of life.

One thing you’ve learned about yourself through motherhood?

One thing I’ve learned about myself after becoming a mom is how much I’m capable of. Physically, emotionally and mentally. I’ve been pushed harder in those areas than ever before. While it’s been some hard lessons, we’ve all made it through 100% of our hard days. Sometimes on donuts and Diet Coke, but we are still here!

One truth you wish someone had told you about before becoming a mother?

Something I was always told was how good of a mom I would be. I’ve always loved kids and been good with them. I worked at a daycare for 3 years in college. BUT I mistook that compliment as “motherhood would be easy for me.” I felt like I’d been thrown off the edge and left to die when I had my first baby! After all my experience with kids I still felt completely lost on how to be a mom.

I also wish I had a better perspective of the hard seasons with a baby. This is something that is easier with a second baby because your perspective is different, but there were times with my first that I thought “this is just how it is for 18 years so suck it up.” I try to remember that all the hard parts of having a baby will end regardless if I do anything to fix it or not.

I also wished someone told me that it’s ok to not love it. I personally strongly dislike the first 3 months of having a baby. It’s not fun, it’s hard…and very demanding. I think it’s ok to not love certain chapters of parenthood and still love your kids.

BREASTFEEDING. I took the classes. I had lactation consultations visits. I cried nearly every time I had to feed my first. His latch was hard to get right, and kept giving me infections. FINALLY, at an ENT visit for a possible tongue tie (he didn’t have a tie, no one knew why he wouldn’t latch right) at 6-7 weeks old, the doctor told me he might do better with an artificial nipple. I took that as permission to quit and I never latched him again. After I quit, my mental outlook improved, I felt like my body was just mine again (something that is hard for me with pregnancy in general), my husband could give me a break by giving him a bottle, and my baby thrived on formula. I honestly felt like I needed to exhaust all avenues for breastfeeding, and if I didn’t then I wasn’t giving my kid the best shot. Having someone tell me it was ok to quit was a major weight lifted, and I wish I new that before I gave birth. With my second kid, he was a great nurser, but I still hate breastfeeding and quit of my own accord around 6 weeks. I felt empowered making a choice that was for my own benefit, but there was still a small amount of mom guilt. I am a much better mom feeding my kids a bottle though, and I don’t regret it.

Last thing I wish I knew is that it’s ok to not go by the book. It’s actually impossible to go “by the book.” When I encounter a “problem” like my kid snacking all day, or not sleeping through the night, or late potty training, or any number of things that are in the book, I try to ask myself why I feel like I need correct it. Is it because something (the internet, another mom, some rando, etc)  is telling me it should be that way? Or is it because I have a problem with it. I’ve found that there is a lot of things that are “not by the book” that work really well for my family and trying to correct that causes more frustration and anger than it’s worth. Basically, just do you regardless of what anyone says. It’s ok to not follow the book.

How did you deal with the emotions associated with the above topic? How did you feel transitioning to motherhood went for you? Was it smoother than you thought or harder?

Looking back, I probably should have been medicated for depression, but I wasn’t able to see the whole picture clearly at the time. The first 6 ish months of my first kid are a dark memory. It was so hard for all the reasons. I don’t think I did anything specific to deal with it other than just keep going (kinda don’t have a choice lol). Some things I learned by dealing with it though is not to compare your kid/mothering with anyone else. My experience was different than my friends and cousins, and at first that was frustrating. I had to learn that I create my own happiness and perspective and not to compare kids. I also had to gain the confidence to just do what a I wanted even if it was different, or if I had to do it alone. I found that transitioning from working full time to being a SAHM with an infant is incredibly lonely and boring. A lot of times my kids schedule didn’t line up with anyone else’s schedule so if I wanted to do stuff I had to go alone. I still do this. I plan and do trips, outings, and adventures all on my own because I like to get out. Going alone is now something I’m good at. It’s something I taught myself to do, and I feel like it saved my sanity that first year of motherhood.

Favorite places to seek out mom advice?

My favorite place to seek mom advice is probably just other moms. I wanna hear all the details, and ask all the questions! I do have a couple if Instagram accounts I follow that give good tips and perspectives to parenting, but I also try to remember that the answer that works for some (or even most) may not work for us.

Any words for a new mama?

Advise for a new mom is that the new person you will meet at the hospital after birth is not your baby, it’s gonna be you. Motherhood changes you. It’s a completely new identity that can be hard to cope with. Everything you used to be able to do will change. While it’s joyous in many ways, this transition will have a lot of growing pains, and it’s ok for it to be hard. Becoming a mother is just as much learning on your part as it is your baby’s.

Jenessa D.

Hey! I’m Jenessa. Lover of cheesy romance novels, all things sports, ice cream, and seeing how long I can go without washing my hair. I have my nursing degree, but currently stay home with our two boys. I believe the truth is always the best, and consider myself an open book. Here is my “not sugar coated” take on motherhood.

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Jenessa D