They say that you learn something new every day. I think this is so very true; especially as a parent.
Some days it’s a little thing, like how to warm a bottle while holding a squirmy babe. Other days it’s big, like patience.
In Olivia’s five short months, she’s taught me so much more than I ever expected to learn.
She’s taught me that each day is a new one. Like all new parents, we’ve had a few rough nights with our little babe. Nights that feel like they would not end; with Olivia screaming, sobbing, and pulling at our skin and hair. Nights that have left me exhausted, in tears, and questioning why anybody would ever want to have a child. The next morning she will be talking to herself in her nursery, calling out for us to come and get her. As I crawl out of bed and step into her room I’m still holding the previous night against her. I feel angry. Then I look into her crib and she’s holding her feet in her hands and looking up at me with the biggest smile on her face. All my anger and resentment from the previous night melts away. Today is a brand new day. Let’s forgive and start fresh.
She’s taught me to love myself. There have been MANY days where I have not looked my best as a new mom. Yet, Olivia always looks at me with bright eyes and a loving smile. To her, I am the most familiar face; her favourite person. She doesn’t care what my hair looks like, or the fact that I’m not wearing any make up. She loves me because I give her a million kisses, because I hold her close when she’s crying and frustrated, because I spend hours on the floor playing with her. She doesn’t love me because I’m beautiful on the outside; she loves me because I’m her mama – and that makes me focus on inner, rather than outer, beauty.
She’s taught me patience. Recently, Olivia has learned to roll herself from her back to her tummy, however, she has not yet figured out how to roll herself back. This means that she’ll often roll onto her tummy and start crying in frustration. I’ll have to help her out and roll her back. It’s annoying. I often find myself frustrated and wishing that she’s just hurry up and learn how to roll back already. It’s in these moments that I stop and take a breath and draw upon my patience. I’m her teacher and I must have patience while she’s struggling. I also know that patience will be even more important as she gets older, so I need to start practicing it now.
She’s taught me to enjoy the moments. There are so many days where I’m trying to accomplish a million and a half things around the house, all while caring for our little babe. Then, she’ll let out a yell to demand some of my attention and I’ll sit down with her. It’s in these moments that I realize how big the world is to her and how everything is just so new. Sometimes I’ve got so much on my to-do list that I find that I’m spending hardly any time with Olivia or taking a moment to recharge my own batteries, but she always makes sure that I don’t get too caught up in the everyday.
She’s taught me about self care. In the beginning, I was doing everything and anything to make Olivia happy. So much so that I would put all my needs behind hers. Then I realized that her crying for food, sleep, or a clean diaper was her way of demanding her needs be met (as she’s obviously not yet big enough to meet them herself). She knows that she needs to ask for what she wants, why can’t I do the same thing. So, I asked Hubby for some time off and the day I started taking care of myself, things got SO much better.