I have learned an invaluable number of lessons in the past (almost) seven weeks. Some of what I now consider some of the greatest and most impacting I've ever learned. After trying to group or organize these learning moments into some semblance of order that makes sense, I instead scrapped that failing idea and decided to write them all into this melting pot of posts.
Bringing a human into this world has a way of altering your reality. It's a miracle that does not require any previous training or qualifications and forces you to care for something that is completely dependent on you all the while maintaining your sense of self, having faith in the strength of your marriage and not forgetting your precious pooches. Compound all this with the least amount of sleep you've probably ever had and it seems a recipe for chaos. I've learned that accepting this chaos is the hardest thing to do but the feat that reaps the most rewards, of course, should you let it.
All this to say, nothing is perfect and it never will be. Loving the imperfections is my new goal.
I've learned that our house will never be clean enough, organized enough, kid-proof enough, big enough or complete enough.
I've learned that diaper rashes do eventually go away, spit up, poop and other mysterious baby substances do not stain and diaper changes are completely unpredictable.
I've learned to treat sleeping, eating, showering, brushing my teeth, hugging my husband and petting my dogs as commodities that are to be treasured and enjoyed in the (rare) moment.
I've learned to buy an orange changing table cover for all future babies.
I've learned that an auntie / friend / neighbor showing up at just the perfect time to save me from shaking to death from low blood sugar can turn ones perspective upside down on impromptu visitors.
I've learned to save the really deep conversations and arguments with your husband for daytime and not respond to each others jabs at 3am.
I've learned that babies and small children speak their own languages, are more receptive to each other then to adults and little helpers are a blessing in disguise.
I've learned (although I haven't necessarily come to terms with the fact) that my body will never again be the same and that stretch marks, cellulite and swollen feet build character.
I've learned that a simple tube of mascara can make me feel put together.
I've learned that hovering over your baby while they sleep will not keep them alive and to have trust and faith that they are indeed fine and you're better off sleeping.
I've learned that there is not a more heart wrenching sound in the world then hearing your offspring cry and not knowing why and to that end, understanding that what comforted them yesterday will not necessarily work today.
I've learned that babies can survive a fingernail clipping.
I've learned that it's just best to let Shawn sleep through the night; he has to get up and go to work and I don't. Plus, what good can come from his watching me nurse?
I've been taught that no matter what gadgets you receive, borrow, buy or try, babies just really want to be held.
I've been taught the value of a Moby wrap, an extra set of hands, hand-me-downs, Nuk pacifiers, waterproof mattresses, a giant cardboard box, a man that loves babies, family showers and paper crowns.
I've been taught that just because I think Mom's way is the right way doesn't necessarily mean that Dad's way is the wrong way.
I've been taught it's okay to get frustrated, cry, feel like a failure and ask for help.
I've been taught it's just best to let the guilt go; nothing good can come of it.
I'm discovering that conversations can only occur on a surface level because I lack the brain power, concentration and memory to delve any deeper at this point.
I'm discovering burps, catching smiles on camera and afternoon naps are elusive.
I'm discovering that water makes the breast milk go round and the best about both is they're free.
I'm discovering that I covet a good book, I miss yoga and I need to work.
I'm discovering how to be a mom and form a bond or relationship with a daughter even though the relationship, for all intents and purposes, feels one-sided at the moment.
More then anything, I KNOW that everything else can and will wait (which is why I'm so terrible at returning phone calls!).