Thursday, March 27, 2014

Adventures in Motherhood: On Being a Mother

This parenting thing has surprised me. Being a mother has come a lot more naturally to me that I ever could of imagined (and more than my own mother could of imagined, so she told me). I always wanted kids, but I was never overly 'clucky'. Newborns scared me because they seemed so fragile and vulnerable, and older babies just scream and demand things, don't they? Needless to say I had no idea what I was in for.

The love that I felt for Olivia was instant and all-consuming, and it still is. I have never once questioned my ability to care for her. That's not to say I haven't ask for advice or help, I definitely have, no new mum has all the answers. On a whole though, I have found that trusting my instincts and being on the same parenting page as my husband has helped to shape us into the parents that Olivia deserves. It's a moving target for sure, but I think we are doing a pretty great job.

Here are ten things that have surprised me about being a mother, in no particular order:

1. I am more strict that I thought I would be. My life is ruled by Olivia's routine, and that's okay because it works for us.
2. Poop hasn't offended me quite as much as I thought it would (though there have been a few exceptions).
3. Leaving Olivia with our babysitter still feels weird. We love our sitter, but leaving the house without Olivia always feels like I left something behind (I guess because I did).
4. Baby's don't just go to sleep when they are tired. What! I know, how silly I thought this to be the case. Olivia used to be a terrible sleeper. I used to have to rock her for 40 minutes just to get a 30 minute nap, and she would go down at night only to wake up half an hour later, every. single. night. We have gone through a few different stages of sleep training though, and now she is a champion sleeper - most of the time.
5. I enjoy living in New York more now that I have Olivia as my sidekick.
6. Just leaving the house takes a lot of preparation... do I have food - check, nappies/diapers - check, toys - check.
7. Breastfeeding is hard! I had nipple trauma, a turbo milk let-down, and oversupply issues, and that was just the start of it. The first couple of months were very painful, but we got through it. I ended up breastfeeding Olivia for twelve months, and the end came at the right time for us both.
8. Babies are really noisy. That cute tiny little ball of a baby can scream the house down, and even when they aren't crying they are always making noise; coos, gurgles and purrs.
9. Babies grow fast - really fast. Just when you have bought clothes of one size they are into the next.
10. My day is filled with so much fun, joy and laughter. Being home with Olivia has been such a great thing for me, and our family. Not everyday is easy, and not all day is easy, but I love being home with her so much, and feel very blessed that I am able to do so.

It sure has been a fun year!

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