I remember it like it was yesterday. Feeling like I was going to pass out as I was teaching a class full of five year olds. Wondering what in the world was going on with me and why I was feeling so “out of it”. Then finally putting two and two together, waiting five minutes to look at the stick, seeing the plus sign, CELEBRATION (and a little bit of fear along with it.) The next nine months were like a tornado full of doctors appointments, baby clothes, shopping, decorating and redecorating and baby showers. All the preparation, making sure we had EVERYTHING we would need the day we brought home our sweet baby, wrapped in a pink blanket. I was so ready for this new chapter of our lives, and just knew exactly how it was going to be!
Oh, how quickly I discovered that the picture in my head and everything I had thought it would be like to be a mommy and weave this little baby into our lives wasn’t wrong, but definitely was harder than I had anticipated. If there was any way I could somehow transport back to my pre-mama self and whisper a few things in her ear, I would definitely have some major insights!
whisper: "That wee little baby we are bringing home doesn't need all the "stuff" we collected for her over the 9 months we waited so impatiently for her arrival."
As soon as I found out we were expecting I started researching baby gear and furniture, everything had to be brand new and top of the line. My girl had to have the best of the best and she needed it all. I was so blessed with amazing baby showers and my newborn daughter had more newborn size dresses than Cinderella's closet (post glass slipper). Guess how many she wore. One. I just knew she would be wearing her special dresses every day. I was so wrong. Much to my mother's disappointment we were onesies and swaddle blankets all the way. She grew so quickly and before I knew it she was in 3 month clothes and most of those beautiful dresses ended up being donated or passed on to friends. Initially, newborns don't need very much, they want to be kept safe, full, warm, dry, and given lots of love. So much of the rest is just noise.
whisper: "You will never stop worrying."
I am by nature a worry wart; I worry about worrying. It's that bad. Throughout my pregnancy I worried about anything and everything. All I could think about was getting to that due date and holding my daughter in my arms, I thought that would be the big finish line. Then she would be here and everything would be perfect. Little did I know, that first night as my daughter dreamed sweetly on my chest, all I could do was worry about her. Worry about everything from is she getting enough to eat, my fear of SIDS, even worrying about when she goes to school and what if she is picked on, or what if she dates a boy that doesn't treat her the way she should be treated...the list just goes on and on. To this day I can not go to sleep without checking on both of my children (several times), squinting my eyes in the dark looking for that chest rising and falling. Worry, worry, worry...it will never go away.
whisper: “Time will slip away too quickly…enjoy every moment. Breathe them in because they are always changing and in the blink of an eye, off to preschool they go.”
I wish I could go back and freeze so many moments in time, especially those newborn moments. That stage is so unbelievably sweet and slips away all too quickly. Nights when I sat in the dark of the living room nursing my baby every two to three hours, in a sleepy haze. So many moments gone too quickly and not fully appreciated. Parenthood can be exhausting, but really, you will never get these moments back. Enjoy them. Love them. Remember them. Treasure them.
whisper: “Your child is their own person. As much as you want to make them what you want them to be, it is not going to happen.”
I have really had to come to this realization recently with my daughter, Ava. She is almost four and is just her own girl living in her own world. I have all these dreams and wishes for her, visions in my mind of things I hope she loves and accomplishes. Many of them things I loved and accomplished or wish I had accomplished. I find myself wishing her to be like me, and she is the polar opposite of everything I was when I was small. As she is growing up a bit, headed to pre-school this fall, I have had to face the reality that just because I want her to love something or do something or act a certain way doesn’t mean she will. I will love and support her because she is her own amazing little person, and she will grow and fall in love with her own dreams.
whisper: "Every day you are going to be faced with a new challenge."
Never in a million years did I ever think being a parent would be this challenging. I knew it wasn't always going to be easy, but every day I feel like my children are throwing something new at me. Just a few examples for you: When they were infants it was figuring out how to get them to sleep for more than an hour or two straight. What in the world could we wrap them in or lay them on or what music could we play to get them to stay asleep? As they hit the toddler stage it becomes all about safety. You childproof your cabinets and within days your one year old is prying them open. Toddlers are quick and into or climbing onto everything. Then you hit two and learn that there is just no way to reason with a two year old! How do you get them to eat their veggies when grama keeps bringing over m&m’s and that is all they want! How to get them in their own bed and how to get them to stay in their own bed. And as we are headed to four with our oldest we have already been presented with so many challenges. Any time we figure out an answer or solution, we feel like super man and wonder woman! It feels so good to know that we have solved another puzzle or figured out some mystery and are making things work for our family and our children.
whisper: "You are going to find out what love really is when you hold this child in your arms."
By guest blogger from Real Moms Real Views