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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

1 Year Old

It's hard to believe that The Baby is 1 year old. On one hand it feels like it's been a lifetime and on the other hand it feels like it's been no time at all. It is truly amazing to see how much can happen in 1 year with a little one and myself. To think that on this day last year, I was in the hospital recovering from major abdominal surgery and getting to know the little being that was inside of my body just a little more than 24 hours earlier. Truly amazing!! So here we are, she's 1 year old. Almost walking, talking up a storm (in her own little language), eating adult food (in little pieces) and doing more and more each day. The joy that her precious little face gives me is indescribable. The excitement she has when I peek in her room in the morning and she jumps up when she sees me. It really is the best feeling ever to have such an amazing little soul be so completely in love with you. The smile that comes over her face is the sweetest smile ever. She is such a happy person. It feels like a great accomplishment to have so many people comment on her disposition. I feel like she is the way she is because of what she's learned from The Man and I. To know that we are good parents is a wonderful feeling. Don't get me wrong, some days are really hard, but seeing her sweet little smile usually makes it all better. When she doesn't have the sweet smile is when it's really hard, but luckily those days don't happen very often. It's a great feeling to be so tired, have a bad day and then come home to The Baby. She's always so excited to see me and crawls right over to me, almost like she can't get to me fast enough, so that I can pick her up and give her hugs and kisses. In that instant all of the tiredness and bad vibes completely melt away and are replaced with pure joy and happiness.

Then there's me. I almost feel like I was reborn the day she was born. My whole life changed in that very instant and I became the person that I am now. I feel like an adult for the first time in my life. The responsibility that comes along with being a parent is so much more than I ever realized. Well, maybe I realized it, but didn't understand until it finally happened. I am very glad that I waited as long as I did, so that I could be a responsible, adult parent for The Baby. There is not a single ounce of my being that craves for my life to be the way it was before The Baby. I never thought I had it in me to do all of the things I have done and do that come along with being a parent. I never realized how much work it would be just to keep bottles and pumping accessories clean on a regular basis. That alone was way more work than I had every done on a regular basis. Then having to feed myself, The Man, The Baby and The Dog on top of it, it was just so overwhelming in the beginning. I had no idea how I was going to be able to work a full-time job and commute 2.5 hours a day on top of doing everything else. Here I am though, doing it and making it work. Don't get me wrong, by the end of the week I'm exhausted, but it's just what I have to do. It's become part of the routine. It's funny how once you make things part of a routine, they don't seem to be as bad. I've had a few friends tell me that I'm a super mom. It feels weird to hear that I don't really know how to take it in. I just feel like I'm doing what I'm supposed to do for my family. Now that I look back on the last year and thing about all that I did, it does seem like a lot. The Baby wouldn't latch for breastfeeding, so I decided to pump all of her milk because I was determined not to pay for formula. On top of that, I really didn't want to pay for baby food, so I decided I was going to just make all of her food. In my mind it didn't seem like that much, but looking back on it, it was a lot of work. Turns out my frugalness (I'm sure that's not a word, but I don't care) was also really good for The Baby. Once I started doing it all, it felt good to know that I was doing what was best for The Baby. I feel very accomplished. I haven't been able to say that a lot in my 31 years. It is a really good feeling!! Because of the pumping, I had to not drink much, not go back to smoking pot and watch my what I ate (for the most part). Doing all of those things for almost a year really made a big impact on my physical and mental health. My head has cleared and I've come to know myself and see what my potential in life is. Because of that I've figured out what I want to do and how I want to do it. I know that actually doing it will be another big hurdle, but I'll get there. First I want to be a mommy, the best mommy I can be. Once I get that down, then it will be time to do what is good for my soul, and my child(ren) can watch and be a part of that, and hopefully learn from it. I feel like a new person, in a good way. I am also much more educated about what I put in my body. I know a lot more about nutrition and am doing my best (one day at a time) to eat and drink healthy.

Friday nights used to be my favorite time of the week. I could party hard, stay up late and sleep in the next day. NOW, Saturday's are my favorite day. I can sleep until The Baby wakes up, spend some time alone with her and get to the grocery store before it gets crowded for the weekend. I used to look forward to 3 day weekends so that I could get more partying done on the weekends. Now I look forward to them so that I get some time in to get more things done around the house and spend extra time with The Baby. I used to go out with The Man to bars or with girlfriends to go dancing. Now, when I'm invited out for an adult even without The Baby I find myself not wanting to go. I would rather be at home in my PJ's reading Good Night Moon and rocking The Baby to sleep. Once The Baby is asleep, I look forward to crawling in bed and watching some TV, then getting to sleep as early as possible. I don't know, maybe because I did the partying for so long, it just doesn't sound fun anymore. That or the way I would feel the next day is something I never want to feel again, or maybe the combination of both. Either way, I love my life now and you couldn't pay my any amount of money to go back to the way it was. I think that's why I have a hard time connecting with some of the people that I shared so many of those experiences with. They are still going strong at the same behavior and I'm done. I want to try new and different things and go at a slower pace. I want to take my time and enjoy the day instead of sleeping it away. I want to see the look on The Baby's face when we go somewhere new or she has a new experience. And I don't want to feel any more exhausted then I already do when I wake up on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

If there was one thing I could change it would be my work situation. I would love to be able to work part time. At first I was thinking I wanted to be a stay at home mom, but I think I need the adult stimulation still. Or even better, I would like to not have to work at all and go to school. That would be awesome! I could meet new people that are interested in the same things I'm interested in and still have more time with The Baby. Maybe when The Man graduates and finds a new position, I'll be able to change directions. Until then, I'm grateful for my job and enjoy the people I work with. It's the best job I've ever had and the money is great. Money is not everything, but it definitely helps!!

We'll see what the next year has in store for our little family. All I know is that as long as The Man, The Baby and The Dog are in it, it will be wonderful!

Happy 1st birthday to my angel face! Don't grow up too fast little one!

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