Today we get to celebrate two milestones. The first is our second wedding anniversary (check out my post over on The Traveling Cupcake for more on that). The second is Kaitlin's one month birthday.
Ok, ok - I know I just posted an update on Saturday about her turning four weeks old. But when your very first baby celebrates her very first month of life, you have to document it. Am I right?
I know I am still very new at this whole being-a-mom thing. Some days are good, some days are not as good. And I am learning so much each and every day. But I would like to think that we are leaps and bounds ahead of those first few days...even the first couple of weeks.
Things I have learned...(and
a few tons of cute pictures)
Take a shower
I have managed to take a shower every single day since she was born. I consider that quite an accomplishment. It's important to me that I make time every day to do this. It makes me feel sane. It makes me feel like me again. Sometimes it's five minutes, sometimes its a half hour - it doesn't really matter the length of time, what matters is that I get a few minutes to myself every day and leave the bathroom feeling like me again. I might not get a chance to dry my hair, or put real clothes on - or heck, even put deodorant on - but at least I'm clean.
Things can change in an instant
Literally, it can take just one second for things to change around here. The baby can be sleeping so quietly and peacefully one minute and the next be in a total meltdown. And the opposite - she can be having a total meltdown one minute and be perfectly calm the next. One minute she's starving, eating as fast as she can, and the next minute she is pushing herself away from me with a sigh that says "Oh my god I'm stuffed!" One minute there is peace and quiet around the house, the next its complete mayhem. One thing that doesn't change though is how awesome it is to have her here and it is to be a mom, chaos or not.
Trust your instinct
Ok, I am still trying to work on this one. Like, all the time. I have so many self doubts as a new mom and it doesn't help when there are a million and one "right" and "wrong" ways to raise your child in countless books and on the internet. What I have learned though is to go with my gut. And if my gut has no idea what to do? Ask. Ask people that I trust what to do, or what they have done in the past, or what they think I should do. I might not always listen to them, but it helps me gather more information to make a decision that I am comfortable with. Which leads me to my next point -
Ask for help
I am really bad at doing this, but I am trying to get better. I try to do it all, all the time. Baby or not I have always been like that. But sometimes I need to ask for help. Sometimes it is more important for me to cuddle with Kaitlin than do a load of laundry. Ask for help around the house. Ask for help when you don't know what to do. Ask for help when you think you know what to do but just want to double (and triple) check. Ask for help when you just need a break. People, I have learned, are happy to help.
Again, something I am still working on every day. Didn't get time to go to the store/run an errand/brush your hair? Let it go. Accidentally ignored a dirty diaper for a couple hours until your child was screaming because she hates sitting in her own mess? Let it go. I'm a new mom. Brian is a new dad. We are going to make mistakes, forget to do things, set impossible goals for ourselves and continue to fall short. Let. It. Go. Kaitlin will still love us (hopefully, stay tuned for the next lifetime to see if that happens), I will still love Brian and he will still love me. We'll get through it, we always do.
Enjoy every minute of it
This must have been the most popular piece of advice I received from friends, family and strangers. But you don't really embrace it until you are living it. Enjoy every minute of your baby being, well, a baby. You only get to do this once, relish every minute of it. Even when Kaitlin is having a complete meltdown, her face is beat red, tears streaming down her face and I can't figure out for the life of me what the heck is wrong - I still love it. Love it in a hate it kind of way...you know what I mean. Mostly I love it because when she is older I can rag on her about what a monster she was (at times). But really though, I love it. This is what memories are made of - the good and the bad. The new and the old. The fun and not so fun...
...And lots of dirty diapers.