|what. a. year.|
i was reading an article last week about a single mom who was paid a compliment by friends of hers—married—who had just brought home their first baby. “we don’t know how you do it alone,” they said. “you’re amazing!” this mom was very touched to receive a compliment, as she does go it alone and there’s no one there to reassure her or offer praise every so often.
my opinion is that pretty much all moms go without reassurance, praise or compliments. moms are usually taken for granted—it’s in the job description, right? i mean, i want Matty to take me for granted—to assume that i’ll always be there for him, that i’m always ready to listen, to offer a snack, give a hug, to laugh with, to apply Band-Aids, etc.
however, just because we moms love being moms and don’t need positive reinforcement all the time doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be nice once in a while. the fact of the matter is, though, we need to give it to ourselves.
so, since i’m just about officially one year into this stellar new gig of mine, i decided to go ahead and pat myself on the back. in doing so, i hope i’m encouraging my fellow moms—especially the relative newbies—to do the same. it’s called giving credit where credit is due!
let’s start at the beginning.
a year ago i’d been carrying a human being inside myself for nearly 40 weeks. that involved: nausea, weight gain, the purchase of a new, elasticized wardrobe, multiple doctor’s appointments (which includes all that time spent waiting to actually see the doctor), achy back, achy hips, compromised lung capacity, not-so-gentle kicking by the mini tenant, a few weeks of not being able to raise my right arm above my shoulder, and hard-core heartburn.
then: labor. i probably got off easy in the grand scheme of things, but any woman who has pushed a baby out the old-fashioned way knows it ain’t a picnic, no matter how many hours she did or did not spend enduring contractions.
in between Matthew's birth day and today i:
- endured returning to work (which included using the lactation room—not fun)
- learned how to balance being a mom, a wife and a responsible and productive employee
- figured out that the dust will always be there for me to clean (and, i mean always), but my little boy is growing up every single second
- trained myself to get by on less sleep (i run on Dunkin’)
- came to terms with the fact that my body did something amazing and to hold it to its pre-pregnancy standards is unfair and a total waste of time
- mastered the art of speed-commuting (which involves dodging slow-poke pedestrians and walking to and from the PATH instead of waiting for the erratic shuttle service)
- realized how much one can accomplish between the hours of five-thirty and eight-thirty in the morning (including showering, getting dressed, doing hair, applying make-up, changing an infant, feeding an infant, playing with an infant, putting away clean laundry, emptying the dishwasher, preparing lunch, making coffee, taking out the trash and vacuuming as required)
- managed to remember birthdays, send condolence cards, write e-mails to friends, actually socialize now and then, spend time with family, maintain two blogs and plan a kick-ass birthday party for my kiddo all while (mostly) keeping my wits about me
i’m probably forgetting some things—because the one thing i couldn’t manage to do over the last year was maintain much brain power—but i think, at the risk of being a braggart, i did pretty damn well for a first-timer.
so happy (almost) first birthday to my beautiful boy and cheers to me (and his daddy!) for surviving year one with aplomb—and all limbs in tact.