My blogging for the last few months has been sparse because the time I have to devote to photography has been spent shooting/editing… my blogging time has been devoted instead to our new baby girl! She is almost 7 months now, if you can believe it! One of my goals for 2017 is to post more about becoming a Mom. Life right now is happening so fast, I feel like if I don’t write about it I will forget it. And there is so much to capture that I want to share. 🙂
I could write an entire novel about how wonderful becoming a parent has been. She truly has been our greatest gift and we have 2016 to thank for that! But in the spirit of reflection as 2016 comes to a close, I want to share some things I wish I had known (before I forget to write them down). Thanks to the car ride from Salina to Lawrence with a sleeping baby, here they are:
1) being a parent is equal parts the most rewarding and most challenging thing I’ve ever done.
2) team work makes the dream work. In other words, I have mad respect for single parents. MAD RESPECT!
3) Babies are not anything new in the year 2016. It blows my mind how far behind the rest of the world the US is in terms of supporting new parents with parental leave and making breast feeding/pumping possible for new moms.
4) on a related note, if men breast fed I think it WOULD be a whole new world. Um, no one told me how hard that part of being a new mom would be. Pumping is awful and there seriously has to be a better/more efficient way. The time it takes, all the parts that need cleaned, having to ask for a place to go and feeling like you should apologize. It stinks. And all so you can simply feed your baby. Sigh. Again, none of these logistics are in any “new parent” class or hand book. And I’m fairly certain most moms block these experiences out of their memory which is why I want to share before I do so later in 2017!
5) you can’t put a price on good childcare. Moms to be out there, do your homework and do it EARLY (as in when you find out you are pregnant). We’ve had a very stressful experience and there is nothing worse than worrying about the safety of your child. Thankfully, 2017 will bring us a new daycare that we are over the moon about!
6) you also can’t put a price on sleep. So never wake a sleeping baby and be sympathetic when you have friends who are new parents are about to fall asleep at 9pm while you are out on the town. Or 8pm. They really are trying to do their best, and juggling a new baby, marriage, work and a sense of normalcy with friends is hard. I remember thinking before kids things like: can’t they just get a sitter or give the kid a bottle? Not so easy. Your life is now planned in 3-4 hour increments with trouble shooting in between.
7) from here on out my baby shower gifts will be swaddles/sleep sacks, gift cards to house cleaning services or massage for mom or a date night. And wine. Because if you don’t take care of yourselves as new parents, everything else starts falling apart.
Overall, do your best, accept help from others when offered and don’t forget to savor all the baby smiles/snuggles and coos. They will get you through even the most tiring days, for sure.
Life truly is about enjoying all the small things and it’s been amazing how something so small can bring so much joy to you and those around you. Here is a photo of me with my greatest accomplishment and greatest joy, Celeste.