It’s interesting to reflect on my life before my Charlotte was born. I didn’t always know if I wanted kids. And, even though the pregnancy was planned and my husband and I were thrilled to be expecting, I still was incredibly nervous for our little bundle of joy to get here.
But, other than the first two tearful weeks of hormones, latching issues and exhaustion, I must say the first six months of being a mom were the most amazing months of my life… so far.
It’s hard to explain in words, but we love her so much. I catch myself just staring at her in awe with a goofy look on my face constantly. I force people to look at pictures of her. I speed home after work because I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE HER SWEET SMILE! Ah. She’s the best.
Here are the top six reasons why I love being a mom – one for each month she’s been around:)
- I never knew love like this was possible. It’s one of those cliché things that people say to you when you’re pregnant – “you’ll never know love like the love a parent has for a child until you have one of your own”. I sluffed it off just thinking that they were being dramatic. But, IT… IS… SO… TRUE. It is the type of love that no matter how tired or grumpy you may be, you’re still happy because you’re with your little pumpkin. It’s the kind of love that makes your belly ache with pride at the smallest little developments. I’m so honored to have been given the opportunity to experience this type of unconditional, and instant, love that I have for Charlotte.
- It’s easier than I thought it would be. As I said before, I was nervous to be a parent. I was doubtful of my abilities. I don’t know why – it was just an irrational fear I’ve had for most of my adult life. But, in all honesty, it really has been a cake walk compared to what I was expecting. Let me add a double disclaimer to that: she’s only just more than six months old and I’m sure the challenges get bigger and more frustrating AND she’s a really good baby. With all of that being said, my expectations were that every baby screamed and hollered 24 hours a day, non-stop. For Char, that wasn’t true. I envisioned myself as being a zombie, distraught and incoherant from never getting any sleep. After the first couple of weeks at home, that was no longer true. I had visions of poop and vomit spraying onto my walls and into my hair at all hours of the day. While we’ve experienced some puked on jammies and the occasional diaper blow-out, it really hasn’t been bad. If you’re a mom who wants to choke me right now reading this, I apologize. But, for me, it was a great relief to find that with Miss Charlotte, the joys of parenting highly outweigh the not-so-glamourous portions.
- I feel smarter, and often empowered. Parenting is an ongoing learning process. While people have instincts when it comes to their children, I don’t think anyone brings home their first baby knowing exactly what to do in every situation. But, I feel so much smarter now than I did before I had kids. This isn’t to say that people without kids are not as smart as us carseat-toting mamas and papas (actually, they’re probably smarter because they can still sleep in on Saturdays and go on beach vacations at the drop of a hat – ha), but speaking for MYSELF – I feel smarter. I am proud of my daughter and I’m proud that my husband and I are a team taking care of her. I feel smarter because I’VE HAD to read and learn and try things and fix things and just overall… figure things out. I also feel empowered, because through effort and optimism, I really have figured things out! The first time Charlotte slept through the night, it was like walking across the stage to accept a Ph.D. When I finally figured out how to get her to latch right, it was like I had discovered a new planet. And, every time I get her to smile, it’s like walking off with a Pulitzer Prize. There’s a lot of thought that goes into keeping little ones happy, healthy and safe. But, I truly feel like it’s fun and rewarding to learn and execute all of these new things!
- The little annoyances in life seem much smaller. Before having Charlotte, I would get so hyped up about things – someone cut me off in traffic, a co-worker was being loud while I was trying to work, someone close to me was making eye-rolling life decisions, etc. And, boy did I love to complain and complain. But, now that I have that sweet little ginger-baby in my life, I truly don’t sweat the small things. There’s way more important things to focus on… like snuggles and giggles.
- Seeing your partner be a parent is very touching. I used to joke that I already had great parenting experience having lived with my husband for many years. In fact, men are just large children, am I right? Well, while he’s still no Danny Tanner in the cleaning department and he can NEVER find his glasses or belt, it is truly incredible to see my husband be a dad to our little Char. He gets her out of bed in the morning and changes her diaper before I come in and feed her. He typically greets her with “good morning, Princess Charlotte” or “hello, Your Majesty”. While we may be inflating our baby’s ego, I do find it to be quite adorable. He then spells her name from the big wooden letters outloud to her. Perhaps the activity that brings the most tears to my eyes is when he plays the guitar and sings to her. She… loves… it! She stares and him, dances to the music and just SMILES the whole time. I know that I’m lucky – not only to have a two-parent household – but to have a partner with a great willingness to be a parent.
- She is so special! This is what it really comes down to folks. Every stretch mark, lost hour of sleep, ounce of worry, smudged glasses, etc. is soooo worth it when you consider how sweet and cute and funny and smart, on and on and on… my little kiddo is. And, I know every mama thinks this same thing about her baby/babies. I just enjoy her so much. She has a silly screech in her voice when she “talks” to our cats. She smiles and wiggles when she first sees us in the morning. She has a special high chair dance that is the funniest thing ever. She has beautiful, unruly red hair. Her chubby thighs are super ticklish. I could go on and on. My favorite thing about being a mom is just being with my Charlotte. She’s such a happy kiddo and makes me love her always. I love to snuggle her forever and ever. And, I love to see how she makes other people so happy as well.
So, that’s why I love being a mom. It’s the most fulfilling job I’ve ever had. It’s who I’ve become, and I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world:)
Why do you love being a parent? Or, do you have thoughts about the reasons I’ve listed above? I’d love to hear about all mama experiences! Our journeys are all so different.