It’s hard to write about motherhood and parenthood without repeating all the stuff that’s already been said. Quick summary goes like this:
- Not a lot of sleep was had for two months. But Mama hormones are amazing and it wasn’t as bad as it sounds. Except for the nights that it was.
- “Varsity Mom” friends – the ones who have been through it all – are awesome cheerleaders. Ask them for advice, and try their advice, even if you’re skeptical. We survived the early days on the advice and support of awesome mom friends. .
- Having family just minutes away has been great. I miss the places we used to live very much, but the support network we have here is invaluable (and has given us freedom and peace of mind we may not have had elsewhere).
- I had no idea I would love being a mom so much. So so much.
- I had no idea the first few weeks would be so difficult, or that I’d cry so much for so many reasons, good and bad (hormones + new baby + cesarean birth recovery = whoa).
- I knew having the right partner would be important- it has been, on every single matter. Patrick is a fantastic Dad and co-parent. We have a rhythm to how we parent, which I’m sure we’ll always be adjusting, but we have each other’s backs all the time. It makes all the difference.
- Breastfeeding. In the beginning, harder than I ever imagined. To be honest, I didn’t think a lot about it before she was here- we attended a class, I knew it was something I wanted to do, just assumed it would be something that just happened. The first weeks were hard, and some feedings still are. Sometimes it hurts (even if they say it shouldn’t, it does). Having the right support network is so so crucial (see the theme here?). I’m very proud and grateful that we’ve made it to four months exclusively breastfeeding, and have no plans of stopping anytime soon.
- Instincts are powerful. I have tried very hard to follow that gut feeling and trust my instincts on the parenting stuff. Gut checks are a daily (hourly?) occurance.
- I also try to not worry too much or overthink or feel like I have to strictly adhere to one parenting philosophy. Over and over again this happens: We want to do something (eat at a restaurant, go to church, have a photoshoot, go to a music fest, take a car ride, go on a playdate, go to a dinner party, etc etc etc). We worry about Evy in said situation. We decide to try it. She does awesome. The lesson has been to prepare as much as possible and then just give it a go. If it doesn’t work, bail, no biggie. So far, we’ve rarely had to bail.
- My obsession with documentation has increase ten-fold. Photos galore, of course. And a Google document that I update a few times a week- a running letter to Evelyn, telling her about this time in her life and mine. It’s a low-pressure way of keeping track of the day to day, these fleeting moments, when the present easily replaces memories of the way she was just weeks ago.
- In the past few weeks, two separate people have commented on the peacefulness that they’ve noticed in me since I became a mom. I didn’t know it was outwardly visible, but it’s how I feel. To be able to slow down, to follow the lead of this person so new to life, to be able to eliminate all the external noise– it’s brought a calmness to my attitude and outlook, even at a time that can be anything but calm.
- The love, oh the love. The love that makes my chest feel like it’s bursting and being crushed. The love for her that has increased my love for everything else. The love that I knew would be huge but never could have begun to imagine. It is wonderful and utterly terrifying.
There’s a lot to say here, and also not much that hasn’t been said before. Most days, I still can’t believe this is my life, and I’m full of gratitude that it is.