Over a year ago, when ‘Bumpy’ was only 20 weeks old and still in my uterus, I wrote her a letter, not even knowing she was a her!
Now, my baby is almost a year old, so prepare yourself to read quite a few mushy posts in the upcoming weeks.
This one is about what my daughter has taught me.
Dearest Clara Jane,
In many ways I don’t even recognize my new (but improved) mom version of myself. I look in the mirror and feel like I’ve aged years and years due to sleep deprivation. Working out is no longer even on my list of priorities. My body was literally ripped open and I have the scar to prove it. And my heart has grown in ways that I never knew possible.
I know all sorts of things I never knew before. I know about baby milestones and parenting theories and how to make baby food purees and what babies should and shouldn’t eat as first foods. I know how to change a diaper and how to use cloth diapers. I know how to get a baby to bed and sneak out of the room afterwards. I’m definitely not a parenting expert by any means, but I certainly know far more about babies than I ever knew before.
I’ve also learned a lot about you as a person over the last 11+ months. I’ve learned that you are a happy baby. You were born social, and you continue to be our little social butterfly. You wave at everyone and everything, constantly. You don’t cry often and you’ve never met a stranger, only friends you haven’t met yet. You put everyone at ease around you; However, you don’t necessarily like being held, as you’d rather explore the world on your own. You absolutely love nursing, and that’s the only time I get to cuddle with you, and even when you’re nursing you’re always moving around, practically detaching my nipple from my body. You took your first few steps today, and I felt immense pride that you’re about to figure out walking all by yourself.
People always comment on what a joyful little person you are. Some friends and family members have claimed they’ve never seen a happier baby. I believe them. It is easy to make you smile and laugh. You especially love Ozzie because he makes funny noises and his tail wags and sometimes hits you in the face.
I’ve learned all of this about you and more. Actually, I think I learn something new about you each and every day.
I’ve also learned about myself. I’ve learned that being a mother is hard but that I’m capable. I’ve also learned that I possess more patience and tolerance than I thought possible and that I can be a very laid-back individual. Right now I’m wearing a shirt that is covered in pee (I guess you had a leaky diaper on when I was holding you earlier tonight) and pineapple juice (you squeezed your pieces of pineapple onto me when you were trying to feed me dinner tonight) and I don’t even care. I’m simply thankful for the small moments I get to experience with you and I cherish every single one of them. My pre-mom self would have freaked out about being peed on… now I’m just glad that urine doesn’t stain.
I’ve learned that being a mom doesn’t necessarily mean being completely selfless and that it’s okay for me to spend time, energy, and money on myself. I’ve come to learn that date nights are necessary to my marriage and that people in our community enjoy watching you for us. I’ve learned that I can still be myself while being a
good great mom.
Being a mom has taught me more about myself than I had learned in the previous 28+ years, and I have you to thank for that. Thanks for allowing me to see the world, you, and myself in a different way than I had ever viewed it before.
I truly love being your mommy.
** Linking up with Amber today!