the first 11 months, a reflection

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I've been thinking back a lot lately.  One year ago I was 36ish weeks pregnant and dreamy-eyed and naive.  I had no idea how dramatically my life was about to change.

You know when you're going into the hospital that your life is about to change...but really you have no idea.

I still look at pregnant girls and want to tell them that their lives are about to be turned upside-down and give them a little heads up and reality check (see this post)

I know that this isn't the case for everyone.  A few of my friends recently had babies and their experiences have been much different than mine.  Their babies sit in swings and bouncy seats, and don't cry all the time, and they sleep (like all the time...and through the night, starting super early) and they went back to work and their lives haven't changed as dramatically as mine.

I've always been a believer that things happen for a reason and this year I've come to believe that God gives you what you can handle.  And Carter (and his high-maintenance little self) was made perfectly for us.  There were aspects of my life that I had to come to terms with and "let go" always being in control and having everything be perfect.  Carter has shown me that I can't always plan everything out and I have to go with the flow, a bit (because obviously, he's always in control!)

I've also learned about love.  And the ridiculous, all-consuming love that comes with having a baby.  I call him my swimfan, because he's kind of obsessed with me.  But honestly, I'm his swimfan too.  In over 11 months I haven't been away from him for more than a few hours.

But, in a few months this will all change.  I'm going back to work in August and Carter is starting daycare in July. I'm already thinking worrying about how our lives are going to again, change dramatically.

I'm trying to remember this:
Throughout this year I've had different thoughts about being a stay-at home mom and going back to work.  I feel so lucky that I've had the ability to take a year off and still have my job waiting for me and we were ok, financially.  There are days that I really miss working (teaching writing workshop and morning meetings, especially) and I totally miss my friends at school and daily adult chats.  Being a stay-at-home mom is lonely sometimes.

I had no idea that staying at home left you virtually no time for yourself, (especially when your kid doesn't nap!)  And it's honestly the hardest, most exhausting "job."  Those first few months were brutal.  I remember holding a screaming baby and watching Christian leave for work with tears in my eyes feeling completely helpless.  I was jealous of the 15 minutes that he had to himself just in the short ride to work, that was more alone time than I had all day.

I have to say though, sleeping through the night around 6 months made a huge difference, and the older he gets, the more of a routine we have and that makes life much easier (type A-planner remember?!) only took like 9 or 10 months to figure it out. ;)

The spring weather has finally arrived and we are outside all the time and loving parks and pushing little cars around and I'm working on my green thumb and planting flowers and making our teeny little outdoor space a little spring-ier!  I'm taking it all in and appreciating this time with Carter.

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