With the end of the new year rapidly approaching, I sitting by the fire with a glass of wine on my back porch and reflecting on how much I learned this first year as a new mom.
My best friends are mommies that are at home with their babies and kiddos during the day, as well as the mommies that are in the boardrooms, working 9-9 in the office and then some. As different as our day to day lives may be in a few ways, we all face the same types of challenges. How to accomplish an impossible list of tasks in a given day, a given week, while showing our babies all the love we want them to feel, having relationships, not letting down our friends and family with the time we never seem to have enough of anymore, and trying to find a few moments to collect ourselves at the end of a week, take a deep breath, and remember what all this craziness is really for.
I want to tell you: You, my little man, are amazing. The reason things in this life matter.
Love, life and the blessing of having your family, whatever that family may end up looking like, is all that matters in the end. Mommies, daddies, boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives, aunties, uncles, cousins, grandmas, grandpas, great grandmas, friends, brothers and sisters.
Family, my little man, your family is amazing. Each and every moment we have with it, and each and every person that is a part of it.
This time last year I was still on maternity leave, with little expectations of me other than doting on this new little man… Granted at the time, I was still freaked out about the prospect of keeping this tiny human that depended solely on us alive on a day to day basis, but those worries soon subsided. Looking back a year later, I feel a new confidence that I could certainly handle those challenges again. I did it once, right? That’s what challenges teach us my little man. We can handle one obstacle, and then the next. That is life. That’s how we learn.
Throughout this first year in daycare and with daddy and me at work, we faced the dreaded hand foot mouth (or just “mouth” as it was in our case, and rest assured, mommies can get it too), rotavirus (mommies can get it too), bronchiolitis, half a dozen ear infections, teething and countless other stumbles along the way. I learned that babies can get constipated for 5 days and then seemingly explode. I learned that babies can’t go to daycare with poopy butt or a fever over 100 degrees (challenging when both parents are working and no family lives in town).
When working from home with a sick baby, I have been on important business calls while changing diapers in my pajamas, my hair in a messy bun and no shower in the last 24 hours and brushing my teeth, well forget it….
I happen to have a job that can have an unforgiving schedule at times, and gets super busy toward the end of the year. This does not correlate well with my holiday schedule… I want to show my little dude the joy Christmas, and all these neat new things he has never seen before. (Experience moments like listening to him trying to sing Christmas carols and clap his hands in joy at the tree lighting.) There are seemly impossible mountains I have to climb in the next couple of weeks before the official holiday and it can all seem impossible and overwhelming. It happens to all of us from time to time.
When things seem overwhelming, I take a step back and remember the five years it took to build our little family of three, the struggles of infertility. I think of how long I have waited to be in this exact place, and I think of the people nearing the end of their lives who would love nothing more than to have these type of challenges in front of them.
At the end of the day, all the challenges, frustration, fear and chaos is just life. They build our confidence, build up better people, and make us stronger in the end. And the reason I tackle these challenges with so much passion is you my little man. Because we want the best for you. Because we want to show you how to be a hard worker. Because we want you to succeed in life and feel enveloped by love and amazing experiences.
When I feel things stirring in my brain, I take a step back and count my blessings that I have you and our beautiful family, and realize at the end of the day a job is just a job, a list is just a list, but you and our beautiful family are the reason for everything. I take take a deep breath and savor the sweet smell of your freshly shampooed little head while I rock you to sleep, and my mind is instantly at ease. Soon enough you will be older, I will be wiser, and realize that you will not need me in the same way you do now. I know I will long for each of these little moments back again. As long as we have you, all is right in the world my little man, and I can handle the rest with ease.