Things I won't regret when I look back...
We are extremely hard on ourselves. Especially when we become parents. Questioning our every move and decision. There are plenty of things we will look back on and say “maybe I should have… or maybe I shouldn't have…” without ever congratulating yourself on the things you did right. If it got you this far, if it kept you sane, if it made you happy, if it made your baby happy - be confident in yourself, in your decisions, and in your ability to be a parent, because that’s what matters!
Keeping you all to myself during the first month & beyond
Your dad was so proud of the perfect little baby we had created, he wanted to show you off to the world, right away and I don't blame him. You are my proudest accomplishment and the most beautiful baby. I, on the other hand, didn't want to share you. I had just spent 40 weeks waiting to meet you, I had dreamed of holding you, snuggling you and breathing in your intoxicating baby scent for nearly a year, I was nowhere near ready to let anyone else take those precious moments from us. I will never look back and regret holding you for hours, staying home with you for the first month or doing nothing else but stare at your perfection. I'll never think “I should have let this person (who I hardly know) come over and hold her”. I love that you are ours and I will not regret keeping you to ourselves for the first month… and beyond. I admit I may be a little selfish with the snuggles and I may hover over those who do get the chance to hold you, a little too much, however, you are the embodiment of my heart outside of my body. To protect, to love and to care for as best I can, is all I can and all I know how to do.
I could go on and on about the reasons for which I love breastfeeding: the health benefits, the convenience (after the first few months of excruciating pain it is very easy), the economical purposes, the appetite and diet that I can continue to indulge in and the aesthetics of breastfeeding breasts to name a few… The main reason I love breastfeeding, however, is for the bonding experience. It is the key to having you to myself. (Refer to the former paragraph). When I feel like I have not held you enough, or that I have not had enough snuggles with you or, if I'm being real honest while letting everyone in on a little secret, if there is something I don't like or when I feel uncomfortable, I'll say “oh she's hungry” and then I am able to take you back without feeling guilty because no one will starve a baby…
Rocking you to sleep for every nap & bedtime
Everyone told me to break this habit. “She won't sleep without it”. They were right, you very rarely, unless in the car, fall asleep without being rocked. Some days I wish I had broken this habit, most days I'm very glad we have this routine. There will come a day, very quickly I presume, that you will not want to be held, nursed and rocked to fall asleep. There will come a day, not anytime soon I hope, when you will want to read yourself a story. There will come a day when you will live on your own, tuck yourself into your own bed and go to sleep without saying goodnight and I'll lie awake thinking of these days, being extremely grateful that I took this time to hold you.
Mommy & Me Classes
Some of my favorite memories in the last year have been at these mommy and me classes, especially yoga. Yoga is something I am very passionate about and sharing that with you is very special to me. Going to yoga with you was the highlight of my week. I would pick out the perfect outfit (miniature Lululemon pants, or pj’s with sayings like: “Be Brave and Free Spirit” were amongst our favorites. I'd ensure your yoga blanket and toys were packed the night before. Being present on our mat was something to look forward to every Tuesday. Not only are these classes a ton of fun, they are great for my mental well-being because exercise is always good for your soul. It also kept me accountable and scheduled to have something to go to with you. I know you learn through me, even at three months old you were taking in the world and learning through me. I want to set a healthy example for you while also having an activity that benefits us both. I'll never regret spending a little extra money to make priceless memories.
Making Mom Friends
Mom and Me Classes are great for meeting other moms on a similar motherhood journey. It was always a pleasure meeting up with other moms who probably did not get enough sleep the night before but needed adult interaction. Opening up to other moms and getting out of my comfort zone has truly helped ease the not-so-perfect-Pinterest-moments of motherhood. It can be awkward at first but taking the step to ask another mom for her number can completely change the way you feel as a mother. Simply knowing there are others out there going through similar situations is comforting while also being fun. There's nothing like getting together for much needed coffee comparing blowout stories and chatting about how much your lives have changed, for the better. Your friendships will be different than those you had before becoming a mom, but I guarantee you will create bonds that will last a lifetime if you are open to reaching out.
Making the Most of my Maternity Leave
I have seen more of this beautiful part of the world in the last 9 months than I have in a lifetime. You have given me the opportunity to explore, to take the time and to see the world through new lenses. I will never look back and say “we should have saved our money for a house, or a new car, or tv…” because we collected memories instead of things and I'll be forever grateful for this life of adventure.
Getting a Shutterfly Account
I certainly do not regret this one bit. Every parent becomes quickly aware of how little storage cellphones have after the first week with their baby. Since I opened a Shutterfly account 3 months ago I have created a dozen picture books, have printed out over 500 photos with plenty more currently in the mail and have been able to actually fill out your baby book that I had convinced myself would never get done. (Who has time to stand at Walmart trying to figure out their picture printing system!? To print out 8 pictures it took me nearly two hours!) Shutterfly has amazing deals, the quality of their products are incredible and you can create everything from your phone. Thanks to this amazing app my photos won't live in a cloud but will be displayed everywhere for our family to see.
Most importantly, my sweet baby, I will never regret making you my whole world.