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!


Anonymous said...

First all just glad to read something new, I agree the best thing is watching them grow and how smart the get overnight or when the tell i love you those are the best words ever!!!


Molly said...

You're right! They teach you so much, and you give much in return. Sleep deprivation: I agree! When students in my class used to talk about being tired, I wanted to scream, "I haven't slept in 2 years!" Last night I had a dream that Marc and I had a trip planned to Florida, but our babysitter (Mimi) backed out at the last minute and we were stuck home. Hello, lack of freedom!

Linda said...

Mimi wouldn't do that! Unless of course something really great came along, like a trip to Florida.

Wendla said...

I loved reading your random thoughts. And, I disagree about the ADD...I think you are just a MULTI-TASKER!! And, what's WRONG with a MOTHER crying in public??? Breastfeeding for me was easier than organic chemistry, but I LIKE THAT comparison!! Hmmm...a lot of wisdom in the "letting your husband sleep" theory. You should keep singing, and write a book in your spare time. Maybe all you cousin moms could do joint effort book! You'll do GREAT with two! Actually, you just become that much more numb to unimportant things, and you have DOUBLE the love. Have fun, get some rest when you can!