Exercising My Courage Muscles
By Jasmine Hewitt who blogs at LoveLifeLaughMotherhood. I am so excited that she is sharing some timeless advice for us mothers who constantly exercise courage at all stages of our life. I love the she says the more we do it the stronger our courage gets!
I can never fully remember who it is, but there’s a famous quote about one’s courage being much like a muscle, and that it needed to be exercised regularly. If being a Mom has taught me anything this past year, it’s that you must never fall slack of your exercise.
I was a pretty courageous person before I discovered I was pregnant, but now looking back, I imagine my courage sitting on an incredibly comfortable couch, eating nachos, and not wanting to be bothered unless provoked. Those two little blue lines not only provoked, but knocked the bowl of nachos out of my courage’s hands and challenged it to get up and moving! Ok, not literally, but that sounded better than the initial panic attack that ensued.
But with each day of my pregnancy, I worked up just a little more courage than the day before, and began my preparations for motherhood. I read everything I could about what to expect with labor, caring for a newborn, raising an infant-all the while doing the best I could to stay calm and not let panic set in. Not long after the beginning of my second trimester, my then fiance went to study abroad in Russia, and we thought wouldn’t be back in time for my delivery. Saying goodbye for the next few months, I wanted to disappear into a bag of Cheetos and never emerge until after my baby was already born and my soon-to-be husband returned. My inner Courage wouldn’t let me. It was important to my baby and myself to not be tempted into becoming depressed. So I pressed forward, and we (my baby, my Courage and I) got a little stronger every day. Then my future husband made it back early by dropping classes! And I didn’t have to go it alone…but I wasn’t ever really alone. My Courage was with me.
You would think after the birth of our son, my Courage could have retreated back to the couch with snack foods, but that’s when I really needed it the most. To get me through the long days, and sleepless nights of new motherhood. To encourage me when I felt downtrodden. To tell me that everything would be worth it in the end. I needed it again when snotty scantimommies said things about our cloth diapers, or how I shouldn’t vaccinate my child, or why I should just let him “cry it out” at less than a few months old. I needed to be able to defend my parenting decisions, and to do that, I needed my courage.
After having to use it for so long, my Courage still hasn’t made it back to the couch to chill until necessary. It’s up bright and early each day, doing squats and whispering, ‘We got this!’ in my ear.
I know I’m going to need it for the future ahead-potty training, first day of school, first slumber party away from home. Lots of ‘firsts.’ But after all this time, it should be much easier to get my ‘courage’ into gear-it’s been exercising a while now, and is pretty strong.
That’s my advice for anyone, especially mothers, who are having trouble with dealing with life changing events, or even just the day-to-day difficulties of putting up with people. Use your courage every time, to help propel and defend yourself. Exercise that sucker every way you can-sure you’re perfectly capable of pulling it off your ‘inner couch’ whenever necessary, but the more it’s exercised and used, the stronger and tougher it will be. Meet those life-moments and ‘firsts’, head on. You can build the strength to face them and conquer. Don’t back down from criticism of your parenting decisions – you know what’s best for your child. Stand up for your beliefs. Keep your courage on a regular workout plan, by using it whenever you can. When those really big difficulties seem like they are bearing down on you, you will be glad you exercised.
For more fun articles of motherhood and family visit LoveLifeLaughMotherhood. Jasmine is a first time mom to a sweet little boy, and a wife to an amazing husband. She’s a baby wearing, cloth diapering, breastfeeding, tattooed lover of wine and Netflix. And squeezes blogging into her spare time.