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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Secrets About Parenting

I always knew that I wanted to be a mother, but I never stopped to think about what that meant exactly, or just how much work it would entail. I now know being the mother to a newborn is a full time job!

Anyone who knows me, knows I’m a Type A personality; I keep lists, I’m always on time, I’m detail oriented, I can multi-task like nobody’s business and I seldom don’t do what I say I’m going to. So when I was pregnant, I went into overdrive! I read all the books, signed my husband and I up for almost 24 hours (!) of parenting classes, researched the latest and greatest in baby products (I had four mothers review our baby registry before making it public) and started spending a lot more time with my mommy friends, in the hopes that not only would some of their parenting wisdom rub off on me, but that I would gain greater insight into the parenting “secret”; the stuff no one wants to reveal for fear that the human race may end because of it. And wouldn’t you know it, they all held out on me! None, I repeat none of my prep work primed me for what was in store.

Aside from the obvious tidbits we all know about becoming parents…sleepless nights, incessant screaming, dirty diapers and the astronomical expense, there is so much more to it than that! There are secrets about parenting...the complete and utter loss of freedom, the trials and errors of swaddling, the “this hurts more than labor and delivery” breast feeding, the gentle negotiation with your partner regarding nighttime feedings, the crazy lint that gets stuck in between your baby's fingers and toes, the milk ring around his neck that smells worse than anything you have ever smelled before, and the fact that no one has ever looked at you with so much love in their eyes until this baby existed.

The first two weeks we had Lucas, I cried every single day and I know now that it was a combination of longing for and missing my parents who passed away tragically and unexpectantly almost two years ago, a lack of sleep, out of whack hormones, the realization that this little helpless baby boy is here and is a product of his father and I and that it is our jobs to meet his every need for the next 18 years….this was daunting considering we were only on day 14.

There was one night, shortly after we brought Lucas home from the hospital that we brought him into our walk in closet because my husband was afraid his crying would wake up the neighbors. We stood there hugging him between us and both had tears streaming down our faces. Come to think of it, all three of us had tears streaming down our faces. It was a trying and beautiful moment for all of us and the memory of it will last forever. Little Lucas was brand new to the world, our home and our arms and we were absolutely clueless!

Needless to say, things have gotten A LOT easier since that night in the closet and even though I can still (vaguely) recall my life before him, I wouldn’t want it any other way. Our son has been in our lives for almost 13 weeks and I learn more about him every day and I can only hope his trust in me grows , but it doesn’t change the fact that NOTHING prepared me for any of this....the good, the bad, the ugly and the amazing. There is no turning back now; this little person, this force of nature, this new love of my life is here for good and my heart couldn’t be fuller.

The best is yet to be.

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