What happened to my 2014?
Mondays lately have been a great time for reminiscing. Thanks to all these #throwbackthursday posts, there’s no perfect moment to remember the days when the only worry I had was whether what to cook for my husband’s dinner.
Aside from the several dalaga figure photos, what tuggs at my heart most often are photos of the little tiny peanut inside my womb. Looking at these pictures now I think, has it really been that long? Had it really been a year since I have become a mother?
When I think back on that giddy and grateful mom propped up in the hospital bed holding her baby boy in one arm and a barf bin in the other, I can’t help but smile. I had been a mother for than an hour and was already struggling to find balance between taking care oy myself and taking care of him.
My first year as a mother I learned all kinds of things. I learned how to swaddle and breastfeed and avoid getting peed on while changing a diaper. I learned how to use a moby wrap and put a tub and a mumbo and bunch of other words/things that made no sense to me prioer to creating a baby registry. I learned how to survive on a very little sleep and how to look relatively presentable without showering, skills that will probably serve me well for a while.
I learned how to love my body again. And again. And again.
I learned how to strap a baby in an ergo carrrier using only one hand in the middle of a crowded mall. I learned how to handle a temper tantrum in Trinoma and the importance of carrying an entire container of puffs in the car. I learned how to breastfeed in the car, in a restaurant, at a wedding, during church, in a bathroom stall and variety of other places. I learned how to pee while holding a baby and wash my hands while holding a baby, and how ro cook pasta while holding a baby and how to still continue with my online jobs while holding a baby.
I learned to love my husband as a father. And I just say.. fatherhood looks good on him.
I learned how to be patient when patience is absolutely necessary, and how to forgive myself for not being patient the rest of the time. I learned that I do have a threshold for the number of minutes I can listen to a baby scream before I start screaming myself. I learned how to make homemade baby food and where to draw the line with homemade baby food.
I learned to trust my motherly instincts and not freak out when the doctor lectures me about growth charts. I learned to pay attention to the habits of my baby and the curves and marks on his little body. I learned that baby urinary track infections for boys are not exactly common, but can easily be fixed with a circumcision. I learned to trust God (again) and trust doctors (again) and trust anesthesiologists (again).
I learned how to love fiercely and wildly without expectations, how to give myself fully and wholly to the greater good of another person. I learned how to sacrifice my body and my time, day after day and week after week and month after month.
I learned that it’s really hard not to silently judge other mothers, but it’s a task I am committed to carrying out. I learned that almost all of us—the biological and the adoptive, the breast-feeders and the bottle-feeders, the working moms and the stay-at-home moms—are doing the best we can. I learned that my friendships with other mothers are stronger, better, more vulnerable and more powerful when we both accept this truth.
I learned that God is real and present and with me every second of every day, because without him, I never would have survived this year with a smile on my face. I learned that motherhood is hard, and that it’s not for the faint of heart. I learned that motherhood requires bravery, selflessness, perseverance, courage, and creativity.
I learned that it is entirely possible to spend a whole day with a baby, and miss him the second he goes to sleep.
I learned joy. Real, un-fleeting, permanent, here-to-stay-forever joy.
And above all else, I learned that God loves me even more than I love my baby Aarold —mightily, profoundly, perfectly, and unconditionally — a truth I never fully understood until this year.
I have never been so grateful to be a child of His.
So, yeah. Goodbye, 2014. Thank you for all the learnings and exciting moments. Looking forward to 2015. 🙂