As my baby's one year birthday is approaching, (5 days away to be exact), I keep finding myself on Facebook looking back through all of his baby pictures and wiping tears from my eyes! It all seems like yesterday but also seems like SO long ago... I created an album for every month of his life so far, filled with pictures from each month. Not only do I cherish those pictures, but looking back from them brings back memories from how I was feeling at that time about being a mother, the lessons I was learning, and the different moments and incidences that formed who I am as a mother and a woman today. I know some people might be reading this and chuckling to themselves because I have only been a mother for one year, what could I REALLY know yet right? I partially agree with that, I know this is ONLY the beginning of my journey into motherhood. But the AMOUNT of things I have LEARNED about myself, and my baby in this past year blows me away. I can only imagine the knowledge I will have 17 years from now, as I'm watching him drive off to his first day at college. I can only imagine the love that will be spilling out of my heart for my son, and possibly other children, after raising them through their entire childhood and watching them grow into amazing adults. Okay - enough with thinking about that because the tears are coming back again!
I decided to make a list of things that I have learned over the past year that have shaped the mommy I am one year after the best day of my life so far. The day that Cole Michael was born. I hope that someday Cole can look back at this and see how much I have loved him from day one and how much his birth transformed me and his father's life in such a way that will NEVER be able to be fully explained. But I do hope that we can at least show him a glimpse of how much we love him by being the best parents ever... and I don't mean perfect parents, I mean the best parents for COLE - because God made him for us, and us for him only!
Okay so here's my list:
1. I have discovered my amazing talent of multi-tasking. Holy moly. I can do dishes, feed Cole, spend time with God, work out, eat breakfast, pick up toys, throw in laundry, and get ready for the day all in like an hour. I guess that is technically not multi-tasking, that is doing a million things in a short amount of time, but during each of those things I'm also multi-tasking. Lol.
2. I have realized what a loving, sappy, compassionate person I am. I'm not bragging right now, my baby just brings this out of me. I surprise myself with how many TIMES I can kiss that kid a day. I am almost disgusted with myself at how many times I tell him I love him. And it's ridiculous the things I will do just to get him to giggle, because hearing him laugh and knowing he's that happy makes my heart so incredibly full of joy.
3. I now know how hard it is for me to discipline as a mom. Before kids I never imagined this would be a difficult thing for me to do. I guess it'll get easier when he's older and actually able to comprehend what I'm trying to teach him, but I have had to start teaching him not to bite and touch things he shouldn't, and it's really hard! I get sad when he looks at me and cries. A lot of the time he looks at me and starts laughing when I discipline him though, and that just makes me laugh, and then I realize we are getting nowhere. So now I hide my face if I laugh. :x
4. I now have a sixth sense. I call it mommy-mode. I can hear my child crying from a mile away, I wake up to every single sound I hear at night, and have become an even lighter sleeper than I was before. When I wake up for the day, that mommy sense turns on and I'm in full on mommy-mode for 12 hours straight until it's his bed time. Then when he's asleep it is VERY hard to turn off mommy-mode.
5. I realize how high maintenance I used to be. All I think about is Cole and his needs now. I still do things for myself, I'm not one of those moms who completely loses themselves in their children, but the amount of time I spend thinking about myself and doing things for myself is nothing compared to what it used to be. For example, I never used to leave the house without a full face of makeup, hair perfect, and in a cute outfit. Now, Mon-Fri I pretty much live in jeans and tank tops and super light makeup. I only get all put together when we're going somewhere important. I have definitely perfected the messy bun and the art of applying the bare minimum of makeup in 5 minutes flat.
6. I was an idiot for considering cloth diapers, and spending hundreds of dollars on them. Serious props to the moms who go through with cloth. And to all of my friends who were moms before me that warned me not to, yes, you "told me so".
7. I am obsessed with nursing and SO proud to say I still am. 3 times a day. I HOPE to be able to until he's 18 months. Yes, I said it ladies, 18 months. Most women these days give up long before that, or don't nurse at all. Many women are unable to nurse for many reasons, but some just decide NOT to. I have no clue how you could not want to do something so amazing that benefits you and your baby SO much in so many ways, but to each their own. I had a rough start to it, but pushed through like a champion and I'm so glad I did. After a couple months Cole and I had it down perfectly, and nursing time is both of our favorite time of the day. We get to relax, snuggle, and bond. When Cole was four months old, Michael mentioned to someone something about me nursing Cole, and this person was absolutely FLOORED that I was still nursing. At FOUR MONTHS!!! LOL! I have had so many friends and people I've met over the past year very surprised that I'm still nursing as well. I don't get it... What do you think God gave us breasts for? What do you think they did before 60 years ago when there was no such thing as formula? Breast milk cannot be replicated.
8. Now I know why God made me a dork. To entertain my children someday of course! The people who know me the best have seen the weird, nerdy, goofy, dorky, strange side of me... I can make some pretty scary faces and do a mean dinosaur impression. I'm not ashamed of it whatsoever. And I am proud to say that Cole loves my weirdness... and the best part is, he totally picked up my goofy sense of humor too. Poor kid. Hehe!
9. I now realize how much my parents love me. It wasn't something that was understandable until I experienced loving my own child for myself. Thank you dad and mom for loving me so much, and I'm sorry for all the times I didn't appreciate it.
10. Last but not least, I realize how much I love my HUSBAND. 10 times more than before, even though I didn't think that was possible. He is such a GREAT father to Cole, he takes such good care of us, and seeing Cole look and act more and more like his daddy is the most wonderful thing I've ever seen. Thank you Jesus for my boys.
Thanks for reading :)