As I’m coming up on one year of momming, I’m feeling extra contemplative. This last year has been filled with trials and triumphs, happy tears, sad tears, and just-because tears. It’s been a roller coaster! And, sometimes, I feel like I might not have been tall enough to ride.
Through it all, I’ve learned a lot. So, as I’m exactly two weeks away from my baby girl turning one year old, I wanted to share with all of you what being a mom means to me.
1. Staring at the monitor after she goes to bed.
Even after a long day, I just can’t get enough of her.
2. Not paying attention in class because I can’t stop looking at the picture hubs just sent me of their afternoon at the park
And being SUPER jealous that I couldn’t be there with them!
3. Making sure she’s all bundled and warm and forgetting to put on a shirt before I walk out the door.
As long as she’s okay, I’m okay.
Well… not really. I still need clothes. But, you get the idea!
4. Eating cookies over the kitchen sink.
We’re not letting Norah have sweets until she’s two. That doesn’t mean I’m going to stop! So, yes, I shamelessly hide in the kitchen, eating cookies, so she doesn’t find me.
5. Taking an extra long shower just to get some quiet time alone
There are days that taking a shower is the only time I have when I’m completely alone.
6. Worrying about worrying
Am I worrying too much? Should I let her be more independent? I want to help her and support her, but I want her to be her own person, too! What’s the right balance!
7. Staying up way later than I should to write a blog post because I’m spending way too much time in my own head and this blog is a great outlet
Being a full-time grad student, graduate teaching assistant, wife, and mom is a lot! I love it, don’t get me wrong! But, doing all of that leaves little time for me to things just for me. So, I sacrifice sleep. Some mornings I seriously regret that decision. But, in the end, clearing my mind and taking care of me always ends up being a good thing.
8. Feeling guilty for being gone and even more so for needing *alone* time when I’m home
I spend a lot of time out of the house between teaching, classes, and office hours. I hate that when I come home after a long day of missing my baby girl that I’m just grumpy and tired and just want to be alone for a little bit.
(Confession: I sometimes take a quick shower after dinner to clear my head and recharge from my day).
I do miss her. I miss her every second I’m away from her! But… I’m so tired… It’s a constant, guilt-filled struggle.
9. Singing lyrics to children’s songs out loud randomly throughout the day and not caring or feeling the need to explain.
Yes, I randomly sing children’s songs. No, I’m not sorry.
10. Trying so hard to find the balance between making my family my whole world and still having my own life.
My family is the most important thing in the world to me. They are the reason I do everything I do. But, I very much believe I still need to have my own life. I need to be my own person. One day, Norah is going to grow up. What then? Who will I be?
I’m not going to wait until she’s 18 to find out. I’m going to keep being me now, so when that day comes, I’m ready!
11. Doing the best I can and still wondering if it’s enough.
I don’t think I need to explain this one…
12. Finally understanding what true love really means
Everyone always said, you will never love anything the way you love your children. They were right! I can’t explain it. It’s the most all-consuming thing I’ve ever felt.
13. And also understanding what tired, proud, and happy mean on a whole new level!
I’m so tired and so happy at the same time. College-aged me wouldn’t have understood how those two things could ever go hand-in-hand! But, if you’re a parent, you get it.
I’m also prouder than I’ve ever been before in my life. I have two masters. I’ve lived abroad. I’ve done a lot of great things in my life.Nothing. All of that is nothing compared to watching my baby girl learn and explore and become the amazing little human she is becoming.
The way her face lights up when she does something and I get excited about it… that pride she feels in herself for doing something new? I feel that pride deeper than any pride I’ve ever felt for anything I’ve done in my 30+ years of life.
I’m not proud because she’s my baby and I made her and I’m raising her. I’m genuinely proud FOR her! It’s the strangest feeling. I can’t explain it any other way. But if you have a baby, you know.