See Faith Murray’s original article, “The Surprising Stages of Pregnancy.”
Has anyone ever heard the saying “time flies when you’re having fun”? Although true, I strongly believe it needs to be reworded to “time flies when you’re a parent”. Not to say that being a parent isn’t fun but, well it’s not always fun.
Let’s rewind a bit. A short time ago I was asked to write a follow-up to my article about pregnancy. Seeing as how my daughter is now 11 months old that would mean I was asked 10 months ago. I revert back to my newly coined saying, time flies when you’re a parent. (It also doesn’t help that “pregnancy brain” continues far into motherhood and you can only remember 1.5 things at a time. Apparently remembering to write this article didn’t make the 1.5 item list)
I’m glad I waited until now to write the article though. I feel that my journey over the past 11 months has been very noteworthy. If I had written it after one month everyone would have stopped reading when I said “my new born baby sleeps about 10 hours at night”. Apparently that’s not what typically happens… And threat of bodily harm to me after I shared that little tidbit with my girlfriends who also had small babies at the time, pretty much solidifies that fact.
I’m glad I’ve had almost a full year to think about this because so much has changed. So much has changed with my daughter, with my husband and with myself! I could gush and overload you with stories about how my daughter is the cutest baby alive, how she’s so well behaved, how she sleeps through the night still…. But that’s not what people want to hear about. Plus you will probably think I’m making it up. No, let’s talk about what REALLY happens in the first year.
First off, as a mom, your body was taken over by your baby from the pregnancy. Well that fun trend continues. I chose to breast feed my daughter, which was a wonderful experience; once you get the hang of it. It’s a pretty strange sensation at first but it’s one of those areas that practice makes perfect. I never thought the words nipple cream would be in my regular vocabulary but it became part of my every day for a while. As the mom it was pretty cool to see my daughter thriving and developing while solely eating something that I literally produced! But you quickly realize that you are glued to this little bundle of joy. I was happy to introduce food to her at an early age. This gave my husband and other family members a chance to participate in meal time. And it gave the milk jugs a bit of a break…
Speaking of milk jugs. Those take the hardest beating throughout this whole process! Imagine blowing up a balloon to where it’s a nice medium size. No tight pressure, just perfect a comfortable size. Now blow more air into the balloon slowly, keep blowing until you think the balloon is going to burst from too much pressure! And now let the air out slowly until the balloon is hardly blown up at all. That is the breast feeding cycle from start to finish. Yes at the end you’re left with a withered hardly inflated balloon, BUT, you have given a wonderful start to your child’s life and that’s all that matters.
As babies grow some things get easier, but some things most definitely get harder. Diaper changing for instance. When babies are teeny tiny wee little and small they just lay there and allow diaper changing to happen. But at around the 5 or 6 month stage babies learn a new trick. They learn to roll over. Sure we all encourage them and clap and cheer them on when they’re learning how to roll over on the carpet. But when it comes to diaper changing having a rolling baby is up there with the most annoying obstacles in life to tackle. Take my 11-month-old for instance. As soon as you lay her down to change her she does a quick flip over. Immediately. No matter what sort of disgusting substance we are trying to clean off of her. We have to do quick maneuvering and some UFC pin down moves to complete the diaper changing process.
On a serious note, parenting isn’t always fun. When my daughter gets sick it’s the hardest thing we have to go through as parents. When your child is burning up from a fever and crying incessantly it’s hard not to break down and cry yourself. And sometimes I do. Since she can’t tell us what’s wrong or what hurts all she can do is cry. It’s a helpless feeling as a parent. I have spent sleepless nights rocking her in the rocking chair just hoping she allows herself to rest and heal. As a parent all we can do is be patient and give extra doses of love and snuggles.
It’s extremely difficult for me to grasp that it’s almost been one year since she was born. She has four teeth, almost a full head of hair (almost…), can say “hi” in the correct context, has been to Paris, can almost walk and blows kisses! As for a year of accomplishments I think she takes the cake.
She does not make it easy on us, but I’m starting to realize that it’s not their job to make life easy for us. It’s their job to push the limit and keep parents on their toes so we don’t get too comfortable. Things change with babies on a daily basis and we as parents need to be constantly on guard. Is she going to throw all of her food on the ground today? Or is she going to do a swan dive off the change table? Who knows… But I’m ready for it!