I was never the one who played with baby dolls or wanted to play house to be the “mommy”. Some
women have said it was their lifelong dream to be a mom but that wasn’t me. I didn’t feel like I had those
overwhelming mothering instincts. Once my son came into this world all the doubts that I had went out
the window and I knew that being his mom was the most important thing I will ever do. We just
celebrated his one-year birthday and I realized how much I have learned from this little one who changed
my life completely.
Get back up. Just because you fall once, twice, or eight dozen times, doesn’t mean you don’t have the
strength to get back up and try again.
Practice. It took months of teaching my son to go backwards off the bed, then one day he did it all on his
own. It takes so much practice to be good at something so don’t give up!
Love. I thought I loved my family, my spouse, but I didn’t understand just how much love I was capable
of until my son came. My heart feels like The Grinch’s when it grew three sizes, bursting at the seams.
Patience. The house is a mess; dinner needs to be made; I’ve had to go to the bathroom for what feels like
a day and a half and have just read the same book for the fifth time today. It can be frustrating when he
whines when he is put down. He doesn’t understand that something will just take a few minutes, or that
mom is not going anywhere, or why his mouth hurts, or it’s ok to sleep if he’s tired. It takes some patience
and understanding. He’s just looking for comfort and love.
Take breaks. Ask for help when you need it and enjoy some time to your self. It doesn’t mean you’re a
bad parent or that you love your child less. Everyone needs a break sometimes.
Gross factor increases. Something that used to gross me out is now typical dinner talk. The size,
frequency, and color of poop is a regular discussion. I’ve even caught throw-up in my hands! Boogers are
still gross though.
Constant pride and marveling. Just when I thought his habits were old hat, he puts a circle on a peg or
walks across the room without looking for my hand for help for the first time. I can’t help but marvel at
this growing child I’ve created and the pride hits me all over again.
Plans change. I had plans to go back to my full-time job after maternity leave ended, never even thought
of leaving work, but that all changed after my son was born. There was one day that he was crying in his
crib and I went to pick him up and I realized I couldn’t go back. I couldn’t miss those little moments.
Kids don’t need as much as you think they do. Sure, they need some clothes and diapers and such but
that blue tooth capable, multi-functioning toy that changes their diaper and costs an arm and a leg is just a
waste of money. They’d rather play with the Tupperware in the cupboard or pull all of your movies off
the shelf, day after day after day while that toy gathers dust in the corner.
How much my parents love me. I never realized until I had my own child just how much my parents
love me. And to my parents, I am sorry for all the times I put you through stress and worry. I get it now.
I would never go back. I would never go back to my life before him. Not for the experiences I missed
out on, not for all the places in the world I want to visit, and not even for a full night’s sleep. Being his
mom brings me more joy that I could have imagined. All those experiences and goals I had before he
came, now I get to share with him.