The past 16 months have been full of fears, failures, hopes, laughs, and lots of love—so much love. I fell madly and deeply, head over heels in love for the very first time (it’s a different kind of love than the love you have for your spouse, because I am madly and deeply in love with my husband too; it’s just different).
As she is growing and constantly learning, I feel like I am learning more too, whether from the countless hours spent researching everything baby or her teaching me new things about life and love.
For one, I learned how often to expect a poop and of what color and of what consistency and how to know when something is wrong based on all of the above. This also helped me to control my natural gag reflex to smells (some poop smells, not all. Unfortunately, this skill hasn’t helped with my gag instinct to the you-haven’t-brushed-you-teeth-today smell). But I am proud to say I can now change her poopiest, smelliest diaper without a second thought or blink of an eye. Just call me a professional! (Insert applause).
I also learned patience while waiting for my twenty-plus-pounder to roll and crawl when most of the other babies her age found these skills earlier (hey, she had more to roll than the average baby).
I sure learned more about the female anatomy than I ever thought possible as I nursed and pumped my life away. The terms engorgement, plugged duct, and mastitis are not to be taken lightly! After enduring all of the above, I feel like I could be a certified breastfeeding doctor too. Somehow, I survived and thrived with everything still attached. (Insert standing ovation).
I learned to be even more paranoid. And I experienced a whole new level of fear as she started getting bronchitis and drowning in snot and using a baby inhaler and then pulling up and falling and cruising and falling and bumping her head and falling and taking steps and falling and bumping her head and running and falling some more, etc., etc., etc. (Did I mention falling??)
I learned there are many different types of cries: the hurt cry, the help cry, the needy cry, the hungry cry, the whiny cry, the you-can’t-get/reach/do-something-by-yourself cry, the you-want-and-can’t-have-something cry, and the good ol’ fake cry. Who knew one tiny human could make so many different sounds?
She also taught me to make the most of my time. You see, I’m a working mom, so I live for the weekends and days off with my daughter. We make the most of every, single minute. We play. Boy, do we play! And imagine. And dance. And act silly. And laugh. And cuddle. And nap. Oh, the sacred naps. And snack what seems like all day. And learn. And play some more. These are the best days of my life…
Greatest of all, I’ve learned more about the Father’s love for us, His own children. Becoming a mom opened my eyes to this. Oh, how much we are loved and adored by Him. If the way I love my daughter is just a fraction of the way He loves us, then I CANNOT EVEN FATHOM IT. I just know I am definitely not deserving of this type of unconditional and unfailing love that He freely gives, yet He loves me anyways. Truly, what an honor.
I know there is a ton I’m leaving out. Just like I know there is a ton more I will continue to learn from this tiny human. What lessons have you learned from parenthood?