Let me just start by saying that sweet RJ is only 3 months old. So I’m very new to this gig, and by no means an expert. But I’m learning, each and every day. As with all worthwhile things, some days I knock it out of the park, and other days I come up short. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned:
#1: Time is valuable.
Whether you look at your baby and think “how can you be rolling over already? Weren’t you just born 2 days ago?” (RJ is not rolling over yet, but I’m sure I’ll think this when she actually does) Or “good Lord I’ve been rocking the baby for over and hour and I just want to sit on the couch and watch This Is Us. Why are you not sleeping?”, there’s no way to deny it. Having a tiny human makes us recognize the significance of every moment.
#2: No one should have to do this alone.
All my single mamas out there, kudos to you. I don’t know how you do it, but I tip my hat. Sometimes, though, you just need a helper. Someone to take the baby when she’s cried for what feels like eternity and you’re just done, someone to get you water when you’re nursing and feel as if you’ve been in the Sahara, someone to tell you “hey, you’re doing a great job”, someone to change that poopy diaper because you’ve seen all the bodily fluids you can handle in a day. If you don’t have a cheerleader, have your people call my people. We’re all in this together.
#3: Our plans are garbage.
Have I mentioned before that I didn’t mean to have a baby? Z and I thought we would start our family in a few years. We had plans and adventures to accomplish. Throughout my pregnancy, I struggled with why God would change the trajectory of my life. But looking at RJ now, I realize that our plans are often garbage in comparison to what God has for us. So if your life doesn’t look the way you thought it would, take heart. I’m sure that God is at work.
#4: My husband is not the enemy.
Repeat this with me. And when the baby is having a meltdown, just say it over and over in your head. Maybe it’ll sink in someday. Can anyone tell me why this one is so hard? Z is my number one fan and helper, and yet he’s the one who gets all my crap when I get stressed. Not fair.
#5: Exercise. We need it.
We may not realize it, but every mama needs a break. And you know what? That doesn’t make you a bad mom. Go for a quick run, take a walk around the block, do anything to just get away from your people for even 15 minutes. It helps. Also, baby weight. It’s the worst. I believe that we should get to have a normal body once baby is born…I mean, you just birthed a child for crying out loud. But alas, this is not how the world works. Do you know what does help with those pesky extra pounds? Exercise. In the wise words of Elle Woods, “Exercise give you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t”. (See above lesson. Don’t kill your husband.)
#6: Those hippie snake oils.
Baby won’t poop? There’s an oil for that. Worried about flu season? There’s an oil for that, too. Baby won’t sleep? Grab the oils. I know it sounds crazy, but I swear they work. There’s a marked difference in RJ’s sleep when we use them, praise Jesus hallelujah. (Feel free to reach out to me if you want to know more).
#7: IT’S SO WORTH IT.
Need I say more?