Saturday, July 30, 2016

3 Things I learned in my 1st year of parenting

Reuben is one. ONE. He's been alive outside of my body for an entire 365 days. That's amazing. I simultaneously am thrilled, awestruck, thunderstruck and..skeptical...all at once. I made it to a year, and he didn't die and he still has all of his fingers.

I've learned a lot in this first year of parenting. It's kind of like the first year of marriage, you know, where you jump in without knowing what you are doing even after premarital counseling and you just love each other through trials that you would laugh at after five years of marriage... I mean, in my first year of marriage I had to learn to communicate with my spouse over why I ate the last piece of pie in the fridge. First-year married me was a baby. An infant.


Now I'm about to celebrate four years of married bliss AND I've (well, WE) procreated. Mini-me. Or Mini-us, I never can tell. It's mixed.

At one year postpartum I feel I can communicate well within my marriage. I don't eat the last piece of cake anymore and neither does my husband (usually we forget it's in the fridge and toss it....) I can juggle a baby on my hip while making mental notes about what chores I still need to do, and simultaneously fill out a grochery list...you get the idea. We Moms do a lot. At once. With two hands. Why didn't I get more hands?!

However, no matter how much I do, I still have a hard time remembering when the last time I washed my hair was. Let's not even talk about making time to wash it. Maybe this will adjust itself in year two.

So. I've clearly learned a lot. Here are some of the things I was mulling over in my head as I nursed my one-year-old to sleep tonight.

1) Nothing is ever clean (all at once). Today I mopped the floor after breakfast. The floor was clean until I fed my offspring lunch. Then I swept it. It was then moderately free of debris until dinner, when my toddler destroyed his peas with a I'm-about-to-grow-out-of-everything gusto I have yet to see in someone who can fit into a laundry basket, legs and all, and whose favorite word is "sqosghts". Now my floor is filthy with peas, some squished, some not. I am too tired to clean it. Tomorrow I will repeat from the top, sweeping and mopping the floor first thing in the morning. My husband probably thinks the floor is never cleaned. Oh well.

My floor is only clean for about 3-4 hours between breakfast and lunch. I deal. By not caring. It's great. You should try it.

I also needed to vacuum the living room today, and that didn't get done. I did do three loads of laundry. One of the loads is in the dryer still, and two are in laundry baskets. I didn't get to put them away. I am not the least bit upset or worried about it. It will get done eventually, or my husband will come to me and say, with shock in his voice "dear, I am out of socks". I will then direct him to said laundry basket. (okay, that hasn't happened since the first four months of parenting...I like to call those months "the dark years". May we never visit them again.)

Meet my boss. He pays in wet kisses and toe lint.
2) I could care less what I wear (most of the time). I used to take great care in my dress every day. I liked to wear fancy outfits (at least, I would call them fancy now) and even wigs sometimes. Fashion was fun and I often wondered why moms "let themselves go". On an unrelated note, if you see past-me, please smack me. Fast forward one year after popping (such a nice term for labor, isn't it) out a kid: today I went to fresh market in leggings, a tee-shirt, and a foxy tula...and probably some drool. My goal was chips, not outfit compliments.

I am a total hot mess mom when it comes to fashion nowadays. And I am 100% completely okay with it. Honest to God truth, the only times I don't wear leggings and a body-fluid proof top is on Sundays. And sadly by the end of church I am that mom who finds her kids snot on her sleeve and probably some breakfast crumbs on her lapel and suddenly realizes that I forgot to brush my hair...but I just shrug it off and bask in the silence that comes from having my kid in the nursery. It's nice to hear only myself think for and hour while someone else plays with my budding human. Emphasis on budding.

3) My life has purpose and drive in ways I've never experienced before. Never have I ever been so interested in watching someone learn about shapes for the first time. I mean, before kids I never woke up and thought "you know, today I'd really like to read 'The VERY hungry Caterpillar' sixteen times". But never say never... now I wake bright and early with the fresh zest of having stayed up way to late for adult-alone time reasons (AKA my kid was asleep and I was up eating dark chocolate and practicing my new hobby of "choosing sides" in all the wonderful parenting-wars on facebook) and spend quality together time with my very own special human that I created, trying to teach him not to eat pencil shavings or his own poop. And I love it. Sometimes when he's asleep I legit tear up from the overwhelming feelings of love that just pour out of my hormonal mom heart. I really am  enjoying this. But I am also really tired. But I feel whole. Don't ask. I can't explain it either.

"whats this stuff on daddy's face? is it mine because I think it's mine" -Reuben
Those are the top three things I've learned this year. I mean, I've learned more, of course. A lot of discipline...and I could give a speech to rival anyone on planning and how important it is to your sanity. Don't run out of chocolate. Sometimes if the baby is crying and you don't know what to do you really can cry too, and perhaps he'll think it's funny and than you'll both end up laughing...

I'm okay with this year. I tried my best and failed. It was wonderful.
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