5 Things | Motherhood Has Taught Me
Oh, how life is different with offspring. I've written a lot about the transformation from party of two to party of three- how it has redefined certain words for me, and how the transition into motherhood was so incredible I could never have prepared.
And the journey continues. Almost eight months in, and I'm learning every single day. I can't say it always gets easier, but it certainly stays interesting and full of so much joy.
Here are a few things I've learned so far:
1. Happy Baby: For all you yogis out there, this one clicked in the first few days. Always one of my favorite poses, and once I saw my little one in perfect HB form, a light bulb went off. Ah, that's where it comes from!
2. Cars Don't Stop At Crosswalks. Like, Ever: At the risk of sounding like a bitter old lady, I have to say: this is infuriating. I've become one of those women that motions violently with their arms while mouthing, "SLOW DOWN!" If you're driving a car and a mother is pushing a stroller- please stop. It's the human thing to do.
3. You Can Do (Almost) Anything With One Hand: If you really, really need to, you can and you will. Eating, check. Bathroom, check. Texting, check. Laundry, check. Blogging, check. If I haven't figured out how to do it one-handed, it's probably not that important.
4. No One Really Knows What They're Doing: I've really come to believe that if there's one group of people that truly embodies the "fake it 'til you make it" mentality, its mothers. Not only mothers, but the highly trained professionals at our employ. I include you: doctors, La Leche League and sleep specialists. Obviously this doesn't apply to all areas of parenthood and child care- there are many scientific truths, and certainly rights and wrongs in this arena... But I'm also now a firm believer in chance, luck and my favorite phrase from my teaching days: you get what you get and you don't get upset.
No two babies are the same. What works for one, it would seem, won't necessarily work for another. Some babies just simply have allergies, or colic- even if solely breast fed from day one. Other babies sleep through the night, never once having had to "cry it out." Some babies are fussy, or picky eaters, or won't take a nipple; while other babies are dreams, through and through. It's all a game of trial and error; there is no magic formula, and a lot of it, I believe, is nature versus nurture.
And advice from the experts appears to be just that- advice. It's not always fact, or a prescription, or the black and white answer; but an opinion, for you to take or leave at your maternal discretion.
So, the only things I do know for sure: trust your gut, do what feels right for you, and love your kid like crazy.
5. Yes, It's Possible To Love Something More: Than your dog, your husband, yourself or anything else you've ever encountered. Ever.
And it's your child.
This one settled in the day I brought MM home- the gravity of it bringing me to tears, and introducing some post-partum anxiety in the early weeks. I had never loved anything so much in my life, and with that came an incredible responsibility. It suddenly made me acutely aware of my own mortality- and my obligation to be present, healthy and, of course, alive in order to care for and protect this perfect little human. But it also brought me an insurmountable amount of joy and happiness- to love something so much more than words could ever possibly describe. Yes, more than even that.