This week Violet turned twenty weeks old! As crazy as it is to think of how much she’s grown and changed, I feel like my life is so much more memorable now that it actually feels like a good amount of time has passed. There were the first weeks when we were just figuring out who this little peanut was and how little sleep we could survive on, the first smiles, the first laughs (my favorite), the first toys, the first foods, the first nights out without her, the first plane, the first train, the first boat ride, etc. etc.. I have literally taken thousands of pictures which probably only I really think are all uniquely special.
So what have I learned about babies, about motherhood & about myself in these last few months? Well I’ll tell you…
Ten Things I’ve Learned Since Becoming A Mom: Week Twenty
1. Supportive friends & family are crucial.
It’s really special when people make an effort to meet and get to know your child. I think it speaks to how deeply they care for you. Life would be much, much harder without the love and support of these people. Thank you! (You know who you are.)
2. Having a kid has helped me set boundaries and end bad relationships.
Being a mom means being a major role model, which has in turn made me better at vocalizing my concerns and ending bad relationships I should have let go years before.
3. Mom groups can be a great form of comfort, laughter and support…and they can also suck.
I have a friend who was belittled at a new moms group for bottle feeding her baby. She adopted her daughter from an American couple who were severe drug addicts, and yet she was getting put down for not trying harder to breastfeed her.
The majority of the new moms I’ve met have been amazing-fun, caring, empathetic, open…but every once in awhile I’ll meet the same sort of women-judgmental, uncompassionate and condescending. They’ve reminded me to not cast judgment so easily and to surround myself with women who know how to laugh at themselves.
4. It really is the little things that matter most.
When I’m having a bad day, all I have to do is look at Violet smile and I feel better. Angry people should look at babies.
5. When it comes to parenting, there is no one way to do anything.
And people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.
6. Having kids doesn’t have to be the end of your social life.
A few times in the last few weeks I’ve read passages in baby books that say something to the effect of, “Now that your baby is three months old, you may be thinking about when you’ll start seeing your friends and going outside again…”. What? This is crazy! Having a baby doesn’t have to mean not going outside and seeing your friends. Nick and I have been taking Violet out to eat with us since she was a couple weeks old. She loves it. And when I want to see my girlfriends and take a short break from my role as mom, Nick stays home with Violet or we get a friend or family member to watch her. Not a big deal.
7. You really don’t need much to raise a baby.
All you really need are the basics…diapers, wipes, a few sets of clothes and food. (Oh, and health insurance is pretty helpful.)
8. When you have no time to get ready, stick to the basics.
My five minute plan is…hair: throw it in a bun, don’t even worry about brushing it; clothes: tee, jeans, flats, cardigan; makeup: concealer, mascara, chapstick. Easy!
9. The best way to get back into shape is to live on a hill in San Francisco.
I am happy to report that I am four pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight and I attribute my weight loss to two things-portion control & more importantly-living on top of a hill. There are few better full body workouts than pushing a baby and two grocery bags in a stroller up a steep hill.
*(Note: If I’m being honest, I was a it over my normal weight when I got pregnant so I still have a ways to go 😉 Damn chocolate!)
10. There are few funnier things than a baby’s expression when they’re pooping!