Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Things I've Learned

Before Shelby was born, I had a post of rules. Looking at that list now cracks me up. I've stuck to most of them but the "no crying in public" thing. So, looking back on that got me thinking about what all I have learned since becoming a parent. Here goes:

1. Breastfeeding is hard. It was harder than organic chemistry, being in labor for 28 hours, and going back to work after maternity leave. It's painful. It's time consuming. It's more expensive than I guessed (pump, pads, freezer bags, etc.). It drains you physically. Boy, I'm going to need lots of motivation and encouragement to breast feed again!

2. Slow down and control your ADD. I've always thought I had a touch of ADD. Watching a 2 hour movie is hard for me. I get bored easily. I probably would have had better grades in school had I been on Adderall. So, I've really had to learn to slow down and be patient with Shelby. She can play in the floor for hours and expects me to be right there with her. Feeding also takes tons of patience. You really can't do anything else but hold a bottle for your adorable little one. I think I have learned to just be in the moment and not worry about what else needs to be done...

3. Watching her learn is so much fun. This was one lesson I didn't expect. I love watching Shelby learn new things. Giving kisses, blowing her nose, tickling Daddy, putting her diaper in the trash, making the sign for "bath", putting her books up, finding her belly button, running to the front door when someone knocks, climbing onto the couch...the list could go on forever! As you can see, this girl is a genius! Before becoming a parent, I had no idea how much joy all of this learning would be.

4. I can live without sleep. Sleep is a valuable thing. I miss it dearly. But, I did survive on very little sleep for at least the first six months. I was cranky and unreasonable at times, but I did survive. My friend Gwen gave me some of the best advice, "Let your husband sleep." I kind of smiled and thought to myself that my hubby would get up just as much as I did with the baby. HA! She was right. One of you has to stay sane for the sake of the marriage. I just hope I can remember to look at this one in a couple of months when I'm up delirious with baby #2!

5. Music for kids is so much fun. I can't sing, have no rhythm, and tend to make up words to songs I don't know. Babies don't care. They just love hearing you sing. Shelby is the first person alive that can't get enough of my non-melodious voice! I've discovered a series of CD's called "Beethoven's Wig" that has been lots of fun for us. Dancing along to the Wiggles is a highlight of most of my mornings. Who knew?

Whew! Is anyone still reading my endless babel? If so, I want to know what you've learned as a parent/aunt/uncle/grandparent/cousin. Leave a comment!