I just had a baby, and we are already celebrating a year! How does that even happen?! They say time flies when you’re having fun! Well, it also flies when you’re running on fumes because you’ve gotten very little sleep. Yeah, that seems more accurate! You really lose all sense of time as a parent. All you know is it goes by entirely too fast and the next thing you know, you are reflecting on the first year. And the only thing you can think of is “What the heck?! How did this even happen?!” Some days I find myself still amazed that I’m a mom and she’s all mine! You guys, motherhood is wild!
We’ve learned a lot in the last 12 months. At the risk of sounding cliche, my daughter, Isabella, has taught me more than I probably taught her. I mean seriously! At various points of writing this, I was rocking her as she slept on my chest, and typing on my phone with one hand; I’ve never been more efficient! But it hasn’t always been that way. There were (and honestly still are) plenty of days that the house is in complete disarray and we are having our fourth takeout meal of the week. It took time to master things one handed! But I digress…
It’s been amazing looking back, seeing how far we’ve come, and reflecting on the lessons Isabella has taught me.
Lessons from my baby
1. Have perspective. In the literal sense, once she became mobile I had to look at everything the way she would in order to make sure her surroundings were safe. That wasn’t easy because as time went on I realized just how curious, and adventurous she really is. It’s hard to always think like that!
In a more philosophical sense, she never seems to let anything ruin her day. Yeah, she gets mad, she cries, but she does her piece and will be all smiles later. I’ll always remember her first diaper rash because it was bad and I felt so helpless. Oh, she cried and cried during every change, and it brought me to tears a few times. But after it was done, and she calmed down, I always managed to get a smile out of her. It made me think: why do I let things ruin an entire day when there’s so much to smile for.
2. Get a sense of adventure. It’s been fun experiencing things through Isabella’s eyes. We take for granted a lot of things because we’ve “seen it all before!” The way she investigates things with her little finger, the back of her hand, and of course, her mouth. EVERYTHING IN HER MOUTH! It’s amazing because I can tell she is trying to learn everything she can about her latest finding. I love how curious she is!
I want her to see, experience, and learn so many things! Having Isabella has made me want to explore Columbus more and see all that it has to offer us. I try to be mindful that even if I have seen it before, or if it seems “boring” to me, that it doesn’t matter because she hasn’t been given the chance to experience it yet. I also know that babies might have to experience the same thing repeatedly before they decide how they really feel. So I have no problem taking her to the same park a few times, watching the same movie (Moana! Trolls!), or playing the same games over and over again.
3. Perseverance pays off. Being a baby has its perks. I mean, you get carried all the time, you can sleep wherever and whenever, someone else feeds you, and the list goes on. For the most part, babies live the life of luxury! But on the other hand, everything is new to them. Whoa, that’s overwhelming! They are learning every second, of every day. Exhausting!
They soak this stuff up like a sponge! Even when it scares us as parents, they dive in! From a liquid diet, to trying to foods, tastes, and textures. It might feel weird and yucky, but they don’t give up until they experience that new food by squishing it and spilling it out of their mouth. Even making the transition from always being carried to moving yourself place to place. Isabella would get so frustrated when something was just out of reach after a valiant effort of army crawling. She wouldn’t give up, and before we knew it, she was an efficient army crawler who started pulling herself to standing on anything she could. Now she is cruising the furniture and crawling on her hands and knees. And when she is determined to go faster, she puts her head down and charges ahead!
All of these lessons go hand in hand and are especially important to me as a mom who has an autoimmune disease. I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2014. In the last three years, there have been good days and bad days in regards to my MS symptoms. I’m grateful that the good outweighs the bad. I’ve learned to adapt, to listen to my body, and ask for help. Well, that last one is still a work in progress, I can be stubborn! But most of all, I’ve learned to stay positive. I have learned to have a new appreciation for all those little things, and it is all thanks to the lessons from my baby.
Thank you Isabella for giving me new views on life and all the experiences it has to offer. You’ve given me strength and happiness when I’ve needed it the most. Happy Birthday! I am so excited to see what the future holds!