Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Joys of Now

Chris and I were among the first of our friends to have a kid. And now as many of our friends are starting to embark on their journey to becoming parents, we're starting to get asked a lot of questions.
I love it. I'm an open book when it comes to this stuff, and I have no problem answering any questions that come my way about pregnancy, child-rearing, nursing, or parenting. I like being the forager, the person who's been through it all and back and lived to tell the tale. I can impart the little wisdom I've gained, share my mistakes, share my triumphs, and give my advice - for whatever it's worth. I don't have all the answers, I don't always have advice for every issue, but I can at least try.
But I've learned that I like the more finite questions from others:

"When did she start sleeping in her crib?" 11 weeks.
"When did she first try a bottle?" 4 weeks.
 "Did she start drinking milk right away when you started weaning?" No, it took her 2 months to drink plain milk.
"When?" "How?" "Why?" Those are questions I can answer. But when two friends who are about to become parents in April were over for dinner last week they asked us "What can we expect?" and that one, is an entirely different question to answer. That's an open ended question that can go as deep or as not-deep as you want it go.
I want to say you can expect to be exhausted, you can expect to cry from joy, sorrow, or sometimes both at the same time, or sometimes just because. You can expect to google every single little thing for the next 6 months straight. You can expect to doubt yourself, and then you can expect your mommy gut to jump in and say "no, this is right". You can expect to fight with your significant other, but also love them so much more at the same time. But I think a lot of that is obvious and I don't really think it's necessary to always point out. I don't need to sugar coat things for anyone's sake. But I also think that we, as parents, should at least make an effort to point out the good things, the positive things, rather than harp on the negative things that "you can expect."
The question I enjoyed answering was: "Are you enjoying/having more fun with Natalie now or was the last year more fun?" and while watching Natalie grow from 7 pounds to 21 pounds in just 12 months was remarkable, my answer to the question was unequivocally "NOW!" "now now now now and now....I am having much more fun now. I am enjoying her much more NOW. I am enjoying this process much more NOW." For one: I have the confidence of a year under my belt. Like starting any new job at all, there's always a year learning curve. At my last few jobs, I never felt fully comfortable with what I was doing until I was there a year, and it was the same way being a mother. I have a routine (somewhat), I have a system, and I know what I'm doing (most of the time).
She's grown to love her daddy, and respond to him in a way she never did before. For most of the last year, Chris and I watched Natalie lay on the ground, or sit and absorb everything around her, but with little to no interaction between us. We were all getting to know each other, we were all learning each other. Now, when I say to her "Can I have a hug?" she walks, sometimes runs, over to me, jumps into my arms, and wraps her arms around me with all of her might.

So am I enjoying this time with Natalie a bit more than the newborn stage? 

100% yes, yes, yes. 

15 comments:

  1. Wow! What a wisdom filled post. Yes, choose to focus on what's fun and positive and warm while acknowledging what's not so awesome-which is exactly what you've done. It's always good to just enjoy "now." Great post.

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  2. Around 9 months, I really started to feel like I got the hang of being a mom and that's when Jeanette really took off! She was crawling, trying to stand and doing all kinds of new things. Her personality was starting to develop and I felt like she understood our interactions more. The question I get asked the most is how I do it as a full time working mom, and that's another question that I feel like doesn't have a right answer. Every family has a different situation and somehow we've made this work for our family. Here's to a year (more for you) of being moms :)

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    1. Yes, here's to us!! Yea 9 months is the start of so much and I feel like turning 1 was another big, huge milestone with lots of changes for both her and me in terms of feeling confident in what I am doing.

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  3. I was just having this conversation with Zach last night. The past few weeks have been my favorite weeks in motherhood. I feel more like myself and feel better...I also have a routine and feel more comfortable with motherhood. And JaiseAnn is SO much fun! She plays, interacts, babbles, and more. Ah! I'm loving it!

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    1. Yes yes and yes! Motherhood is getting so great and the girls are growing, growing and getting so much fun!! We are lucky ladies :)

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  4. I have to say my favorite stage so far was 18months-ish until 3. Watching him start learning to really talk and play and become a little independent person with opinions has been so fun. Since he turned 3 it's been a bit tougher... "threenager" is real. He's still fun but definitely more tantrums and exerting his independence so to speak. So just wait, it will get even better!!

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    1. ohhh I'm so excited!! So glad that the best is yet to come. and AHHHH! I've never heard of "threenager" but that's hilarious and terrifying at the same time. I have that to look forward to as well.

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  5. I LOVE this post so much. I too love this stage they are at, they are so fun and learn SO much daily. It's amazing.

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    1. I agree, such a fun fun time. Every day is a new adventure or they learn something else!

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  6. Love this!! You know I had questions to myself and was wondering who to ask and now I realize you would be the perfect person to ask! What were your earliest pregnancy symptoms and how early did you feel them? I feel like it's so different when you're trying and you feel differently afterwards. I don't know if it's my mind messing with me of these are legit symptoms.

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    1. Yes! Please ask me anything whenever you want! Emailing you separately for the rest :)

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  7. This is another helpful, inspiring post! I'll definitely have plenty of questions for you when the time comes!

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