On March 20th my little girl turned one years old! I’ve spent the weeks surrounding her big day pondering (when I wasn’t hot gluing plastic bugs onto planter boxes- more on that later) all that I have learned in the last year and comparing my old self to my new self- because make no mistake about it- in many ways I am an entirely different person.
Here is an abbreviated list of lessons learned in the last 12 months:
- I think I finally get physics. 7 pounds, 2 ounces can emerge from a small crevices given enough velocity. (You knew I wouldn't miss the chance to talk about my pachina- also more on that later ;)
- Sleep is the magic elixir that makes me smarter, kinder, prettier, and a whole hell of a lot happier.
- Who knew Dads could be this sexy?
- Your marriage will change when you bring another person into your family; it doesn't mean you’re weak or your marriage is weak, or that you are a bad wife, or you have a shitty husband. It just means that you, the collective you, husband and wife, are re-learning how to be together and adjusting to the added changes and responsibilities. It will take awhile to find your footing, but with patience, communication, motivation, and understanding, your marriage will become stronger than it ever was before. Also, a lot of sex certainly helps.
- Though I still cannot be bound, sturdier undergarments are going to be necessary until my little shark is weaned.
- Renting is under-rated. Just kidding. Just kidding on the just kidding.
- Baby crap will take over your house. There is no getting around it, accept it and buy cute storage containment units. (Non-parents: don’t be alarmed. By baby crap, I mean gear- not actual poo. We do not store poo in attractive baskets and such. Most of the time anyways.)
- You do not need 1/2 the baby crap you buy. Eloise’s favorite birthday present was the silver ribbon that came on her add-a-pearl necklace from Auntie Bun (so cute!), and she lives in zip-up footie jams and she ignores her fancy light-up walker, preferring to push a little foot-ottoman around the house. Baby gates and brown shirt are pretty much all she (we) requires!
- Motherhood and selflessness do not need to go hand-in-hand. When a new baby enters your world, you have no choice but to put your own wants and desires on the back burner. But thankfully for me, I learned relatively quickly that to be the mom that Eloise deserved and to be the wife that Brakes deserved, I had to have the life that I deserved. In the last year, I remembered that I love to swim, sew, work, write, wear fancy make-up, have fancy hair, and take long and luxurious bubble baths. Giving up those things does not make me a better mother; taking the time, spending the money, doing whatever I have to do to feel human and find definition outside of my familial roles, is what makes me a better mother. Last year Gas defined herself almost exclusively by the roles she played for other people, this year Gas (apparently talks in the third person and) is so much more than what she does. As a result, I am a much, much stronger and more powerful woman than I ever thought I could be.
- Hormones are like heroin. (I am guessing- no actual experience with heroin. Ick.) Do not underestimate their power.
- Memories of the pain DO NOT fade, but your daughter’s dazzling blue eyes and the sound of her giggle certainly make you feel like it was worth it.
- Brakes and I created a sweet, sassy, brave, fiery, smart, loving, gorgeous, funny, ballsy, baby girl. My love for her is fierce and voracious. I could never kiss her, hug her, squeeze, and smell her enough. She is joy incarnate and I would never, never have fathomed that I could be this lucky.