My kid just turned a year old, and I just had the best year of my life.
Hands down, no competition. Incredible. People tell you a lot of things about having a baby, but no one ever told me how much fun it was going to be! Maybe enjoying this year was a conscious choice on my behalf, or maybe I’m just pig-headed. But I’ve been dead set against letting anyone get in the way of my happiness this year and I’m pretty damn proud of myself for that.
Life can feel a little solitary though, when you spend most of your time with a small mammal who doesn’t know how to effectively communicate yet. I’m ready to come back to planet earth, and maybe even get a hobby. I still have things to say and a lot of happiness to share. Now more than ever. I’m not “taking care” of anyone by keeping it all to myself. But let’s be honest, the last thing this world needs is another mom-blog. So forgive me while I try to perfect that compromise and let me dispel some myths about parenthood I’ve heard in the past year while hanging out on cloud nine with my kid.
- The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. False. This is so incorrect in so many ways that it annoys me to even think about it. Motherliness is not born unto you with the child. If you don’t have enough self-awareness to recognize the care giving qualities you already possess, and also have the ability to improve upon them after a child is born, this might be a bumpy road for you.
- Raising a pet is nothing like raising a child. False. To the chagrin of many of my friends, my childless self made many comparisons between babies and dogs. The dog as an eternal toddler. In no way do I regret saying this. Clearly one is a bit more monumental than the other, I’m not trying to be absurd. But there are indeed a lot of similarities. If you need a list please inquire, I will provide you with one.
- You will never feel like you’re doing enough. False. Completely false. I accomplish more in one day than I used to in a week, and I feel fantastic about that. Sometimes I actually stop doing stuff because the thought “you’ve done enough” runs through my head. My kid and I both go to bed each night with a smile on our faces and (insert #sorrynotsorry) that is enough.
- You will not have time to use the bathroom. False. If you do not have time to go to the bathroom you either A: are not using all of your tools correctly (aka cribs, car seats, swings, doors, leashes (this last one is a joke (sort of))) ; or B: are taking entirely too long in the bathroom. It might be time to revamp your routine.
- You will lose friends. Here’s a curveball for you. True. Some people respond in… let’s say puzzling… ways to this big change in your life. When someone is unwilling to grow and change with you, then you must move on without them. Forward is simply the only direction available to you right now. Fortunately it is very easy to see what is most important because it is literally staring at you in the face. Smiling, drooling, giggling, burping, and just generally being really cute.
- Maternity leave is not a vacation. False. Maybe not in the traditional sense, sandy beaches and whatnot. But life is what you make of each and every day. If you and your baby are healthy and you want your maternity leave to be a vacation, make it a vacation. No one is stopping you but yourself. Go for walks, go out to breakfast, be a tourist in your own town. Or actually go on a vacation. Why not?
- Everyone will give you advice, but don’t listen to any of it. This one is both true and false. It is true that you will be the recipient of a lot of advice, from both strangers and loved ones. (I once had an in-depth conversation about pacifiers with the cashier at Walgreen’s). Listen to all of it, why wouldn’t you? But you have to know your kid, yourself, and your life well enough to decide what will work for you.