I think I've learned more in the last two months than in the last 5 years of my life. This kid-rearing thing is no joke. Having escaped the house sans baby thanks to my lovely husband, I wanted to spend time writing down some of the things I've learned in general and about myself in the first 8 weeks of Mr. C's life.
~ Never underestimate the power of sleep and a full stomach. I've learned that as soon as I start getting crabby, I should probably eat something (as sleep is usually not an option). I get amazingly irritable. Also, getting out of the house helps too.
~ Babies will tell you what they need, when they need it and how to do whatever they need if you just listen (and sometimes wait) a little bit. Like my mom told me right after C was born "Babies can't talk, so they cry. They're just talking." Though it's hard to remember when you have had a baby "yelling" at you for several hours. But, eventually he always leads us to what he wants. He taught us this while we were trying to get him to sleep on his own and not on us. One night, he just did it. No fussing, no crying. He was just sick of sleeping on us. Note to self: Don't obsess. He'll do it when he's ready.
~ My husband is more than amazing. Since C was born, he has never once made me feel lazy, like I'm a bad mother, like I'm going crazy, like I should be doing things differently... even though I've felt all of those things a bazillion times. He is constantly asking what can be done, my water glass is always full (and anyone who's breastfed knows how important that is) and he tells me how great a mother I am at least two to three times a day. There are no words to express how fabulous, phenomenal, etc he is to me.
~ On that note also, it's been so cool to see how we have come to parent this kiddo together. We both take what the other has to say into account before we make decisions. We spend an hour talking about the texture of his poo - or how often they occur, or how smelly they are. I love that we've become a team and I love thinking that one day, while observing us, C will realize how much we love him and how much we love each other and want that for himself one day.
~ Breastfeeding is freakin' hard - especially those first couple of weeks. I swear, no one tells you HOW hard it's going to be. Yes, they say it's hard, but you seriously can't comprehend it until you do it. Your nipples hurt like a mother, you're constantly worried if the baby is getting enough/if you're doing stuff right, and you feel like you're nailed to your nursing chair 24-7 and you'll never have a life. I would never change my decision to breastfeed C, but I seriously believe it's the hardest thing I've ever done.
~ Oh, and no one ever told me how hungry breastfeed makes you. Seriously, I eat more now than I did when I was pregnant, and I'm hungry ALL the time!! I have like, breakfast, elevensies, brunch, lunch, second lunch, snack, pre-dinner, dinner and after-dinner meal. Lordy.
~ While I love being home with my kiddo all day, I miss interacting with adults on a regular basis. I'm doing my best to keep myself scheduled with coffee dates, mom-baby things, etc. But, I still miss going to work and laughing super hard at my desk at something a co-worker said or whatever.
~ While nothing can compare to the feeling when the doctor first places the baby on your chest, seeing your baby smile and laugh at you for the first time (like an actual social smile/laugh) comes in a pretty close second. Every time.
~ Your baby is always the cutest. Always.
~ Whenever anything gets difficult (C's sleeping, breastfeeding, not getting to spend a lot of alone time with Jon), I keep reminding myself that this is a season. It will pass. And, after that, we'll go into another season of something else (potty training, high school ;-) ). So, even when it's a tough season, it's a reminder to "enjoy" it because I'll never get to relive these things with C.
~ As much as I talk about wanting to put C down for naps/night time, I miss the cuddles when I don't get them. I still let him nap on top of me most of the time (even when I could set him down and do laundry or cook dinner), because I'm blessed with the ability to be home to let him do so.
~ Your baby is always the cutest. Always. Seriously.
Alright... well, that's what I can think of currently. I'm sure the learning will keep happening. Every day, C seems to change and grow, and with those changes comes more need for learning and adjustment on Jon and I's part. But, we're learning to expect it and embrace it, and in doing so are loving our lives right now.