A year of not knowing what day of the week it is, ever. A year of getting dressed only if someone's coming to the house (and sometimes not even then, you know, if it's my Mom). Looking back over the last twelve months, I think I can sum it all up by saying just this: being a Mom is the best thing ever.
I've mentioned this before I'm sure, but before I had Ben, I was one of those people who didn't really get baby thing. I wanted one, sure, but I didn't really know what the big deal was. I felt like it was something you do, at some point, like it was just part of the process.
WELL. On that beautiful morning in May when they brought my little Benjamin over to me, I became someone else entirely. There are just no words. I feel like describing that feeling can't really be done. I've tried, all Mom's have at some point, but you can't really. It's a moment that will forever make me teary, and one that I am SO thankful for. I wish I could re-live it every day. Every minute of it was perfect. From having my water break in the middle of the night (even though I was to have a scheduled c section two weeks later) to the dreaded epidural (which wasn't bad at ALL) to having a hospital room jam packed with people for days after. Perfect.
Since those first few amazing days, it's been a huge learning process. I think that will always be the case. But, in particular, this is what I've learned about being a Mom. Being Ben's Mom, that is.
- Don't expect ANYTHING. Sleep schedules, routines, methods....read about them, sure. But toss them all out the window when your baby comes and just see how THEY are. They're tiny humans, not robots.
- Sleep when baby sleeps, or don't. But find what works for you. I have slept WITH Ben for some naps, but I have never successfully put Ben down for a nap and then gone to sleep myself. That only works at night for me. I'm just one of those people that would rather be sleep deprived in a tidy house. So what.
- Do things for yourself. If I hadn't started ADOP, I probably would have gone a little stir crazy. I need to have something to focus on...something that feels like work. Being off and just doing nothing makes me mental. And although I spend 95% of my time with Ben, I like having a side project. And as it turns out, I have never been as inspired as I have these past twelve months. I have SO MUCH I want to do in my life now. So many plans. So excited :)
- If you don't already, learn to love coffee. And tea. And maybe espresso. Caffeine is your friend.
- You don't have to join all the mom groups....but it's nice to have some Mom friends. There is one Mom 'hang out' that I know of, and I feel really uncomfortable there. i don't know what it is, I just feel like I'm not part of it. But, there are so many fellow bloggers who I have started talking to, who are Moms, and I LOVE having them to look to for inspiration, advice, the occasional lack-of-sleep complaint. So great to know there are others out there who are up all night with me.
- Teething really sucks. Big time. I had no idea.
- Nothing, no book or advice or website can prepare you for having a baby. I actually avoided most of that sort of thing when I was pregnant, and for the most part I'm glad I did. It was too overwhelming for me at the time, and I think now I would have had too many expectations. As organized and OCD as I am...when a situation makes me nervous, sometimes I like to wing it. In this case, it worked out for me...and I just looked into different things as I went. A lot of things just sort of fell into place, and I think that's a good way to figure things out too.
Over the weekend Billy and I will be celebrating Ben's first birthday with family and a few close friends, we're so excited. I hope to have pictures to share soon (no promises though, hosting and being the photographer don't work so well together). And I'll also have Ben's monthly photo....can't believe there will be 12 of them!
Next week I'm headed back to work, temporarily. For those of you who don't know, I work in the administration office of a private college, and have for a few years now. I won't go into details on my work situation out of respect for my employer, but I will say that I will be back in my old office for just four weeks, and despite all the guilt/nerves/anxiety, I'm actually looking forward to it. I'll be sure to update what's happening with me going forward once the month is over. In the meantime, forgive me if I'm not posting quite as often...but I'll do my best!