2011,  Parenthood,  reflection

What I know now

The past year has been one big learning curve. Some days I feel like I know what I’m doing and other days I’m lost, somewhere in oblivion. But, at least the days where I have some sort of clue have outnumbered the days I don’t.

I’ve been trying to put into words how I have changed but I can’t. I know I have changed but it’s been so gradual it’s hard to pinpoint the differences. Where the “old me” begins transforming into the “new me”.  Was it as soon as I got to hold E? Or was it when I was pregnant? Or was it long before? It’s funny because the “new me” doesn’t feel that different than the “old” one. It’s just a continuation. A natural progression I think.

I wouldn’t be the same person even if I didn’t have a baby.

The only true constant is change.

And change I have.

I’ve learned so many things about myself and raising a child and life in general. I’m been thinking about my new found knowledge and truths and here is what I’ve come up with (in no particular order).

  • I’m a more laid back parent than I ever thought I would be.

I just feel comfortable with myself and our choices in raising a child. Sometimes I wonder if I’m too laid back, but it works. He is going to get hurt, I can’t protect him from everything. This isn’t to say I won’t try to keep him out of harms way but it’s inevitable he is going to get hurt. I came to those terms long ago.

  • I am an expert.

An expert of my own child. No one knows him better than we do. No one knows what is best for our son, other than us. You can give me your advice and opinions and I may take it under advisement but in the end, I know what’s best. What works for me, works for me. That is that.

  • Cloth diapering is no harder than disposables.

They act just like ‘sposies and do the same job as ‘sposies. I would even argue, a better job. They are better at containing the poo-splosions and let’s talk about rashes. He’s had 2 bad ones but that was due to teething. That’s it, that’s all. Instead of running to the store to grab more boxes of diapers how ever often one needs to buy new diapers, I just run to my laundry machine every 2-3 days. Easy peasy.

  • Formula is not the devil.

For some people BFing isn’t the be-all-end-all. It’s hard. Some people just can’t do it or don’t want to do it and that is their choice. Remember, they are an expert of their baby and their body. I would have loved to not have to supplement with formula but it just wasn’t in the cards. I can’t stand that people are made to feel bad about making their own decisions, no matter which decision they make in any aspect of parenthood. I personally never experienced this but I know of many a persons who have been made to feel this way.

  • Sleep when I can & where I can.

I never worried or cared about the state of my house. Yes, some days it looks like a BOMB went off but I have a very busy boy who wears me out almost daily. I was never a napper before but I learned quickly on how to nap. It’s an essential tool in the arsenal of motherhood. Who cares what state my house is in. Messy is different than unclean.

  • People always said, you’ll adjust to the sleep deprivation. It’ll become your new norm. Lies I tell you. Lies.

Maybe some people can adjust but not me.  I’m a sleeper. My body never really adapted to be able to get by on little sleep for numerous days. I’m just not made to. So just know this, you may be one of the lucky ones where sleep deprivation doesn’t overly phase you, but I’m definitely not that lucky person. But thank God, my son is a sleeper (usually) too!

  • I’ve sang more songs in the past year than I ever have in my life.

And that says a lot considering I’m an ECE and sang every day I worked. Numerous times. I’ve made up so many songs just to stop tears, bring smiles or laughter, or just to break the monotomy of the day. I must admit, I’m glad no one is around to record them but my son likes to hear me sing. That’s all that matters.

  • No sense “mourning” my pre-baby body.

This one was harder to come to terms with just recently. Some days I struggle but quickly realize this is exactly what I signed up for. Now that I hit the year mark it’s more of a struggle but it’s gone and never coming back. Most days I’m proud of what I & my body accomplished. So what, I have a weird belly now. It happens. I wasn’t naive and thinking it was all going to go back to normal. It’s just not possible, for me at least, and I don’t think it was in my genes. God help the person who makes a comment. May that day never come.

  • Motherhood/Parenthood is filled with Judgey McJudgersons.

There is enough to worry about without having to worry about criticism from outsiders. It’s easy to say ignore it, but when you are a new parent struggling without 2 clues to put together it shakes your core. No parent should be made to feel like that. Being a parent is hard enough without having external forces at work as well. Remember, they are an expert too. Luckily for me I’m stubborn and confident in my own choices and abilities that I never let it get to me but others are not so lucky. So Judgey McJudgersons need to keep their opinions to themselves and offer support. Raising kids is hard so if you can’t offer support when someone needs it, do them a favour and walk away.

  • I will go all Momma Bear on your @ss if you insult my parenting or my son in any way. Don’t even think about hurting him.

Pretty self-explanatory.

  • Trust your gut.

Simple as that. Learn to listen to it.

  • My heart really did grow three sizes that day.

‘That day’ being the day he was born. Just like the Grinch. So overall, it grew at least 6 sizes. 3 on the day we found out we were going to be parents and 3 more sizes on his birth day. It’s grown a few more times since then too but it can’t be quantified.

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