It's funny how you have preconceived notions about all kinds of experiences you've never had. Total case in point: Motherhood & Parenting. I made all sorts of bold proclamations that have, naturally, completely made me eat crow in the last 11 months. In fact, my friend Daon and I have, on a number of occasions, laughed about this very thing as I exclaim, "Who am I?! Some crunchy granola mom?" and she laughs and says, "Seriously!! Who are you and where's my friend?!" So it seems fun to walk through some of the surprising things I've discovered as I've stumbled along the parenting trail this last year. (I'm giving you fair warning to duck out here - oversharing is about to get underway!)
Things that have surprised me about Motherhood:
-I've found it hard to leave M, whether it's short trips or long trips. We have no shortage of willing and overqualified babysitters, don't get me wrong, but I still futz and worry anytime I leave him with one.
-We had originally planned to take a baby-free vacation back in Oct but I talked Derek out of it bc I found I wasn't as ready as I'd anticipated I might be.
-A 24 hr trip to the ranch back in June about did me in! 24 hours!!!!!
-Going back to work was a lot harder than I thought it would be. I'll never forget that first morning I left M at daycare.
-I was totally wigged out by breastfeeding but wanted the little guy to get the benefits of milk so I opted to pump from the get-go. That lasted about 6 weeks ... when I was so exhausted that breastfeeding then seemed not so oogy. (Yes, I just made that word up!)
-Once we started breastfeeding, I planned to wean him by 9 months - before Derek and I went to St Lucia. But when the time came, I wasn't ready. We are still breastfeeding now at 11 months. What can I say...this boy likes the boob! (What boy doesn't?!)
-Even though I said I was going to wean him just after his first birthday, I'm really having mixed feelings about that. I've actually enjoyed the time and special bond we've developed.
-I've really enjoyed being on a part-time schedule and I very rarely take M to school on an off day, opting instead to tote him along on errands and appointments most of the time or simply enjoy our days together at home.
-I had grand plans to cook and clean and be productive on my off days. I mean, the baby will just sleep, right? Ha! Wrong, wrong, WRONG! I'm lucky if I brushed my teeth much less showered, changed clothes, or ate anything in those first ... 6 or 8 months!
-Now that M is napping better and is content to play by himself for longer periods of time, I get more done around the house. But honestly, Mommy Guilt prevents me from really leaving him to play alone for more than about 15 min. Besides, he's also lots of fun.
-Mommy Guilt. I really never expected to have this. Or certainly not a serious case of it!
-I have a serious need to check on the baby. A lot! If I can't hear him on the monitor, I go into his room. Heck, even if I can, I often go peek. I just can't help it.
-I'm a little excitable about things that I read or hear about. Take, for instance, the crazy story I read about a 14 mo old mysteriously dying in his sleep. That renewed my fear of SIDS, even though the chances at his age are less than 1%. Now the monitor has to be up full blast and, if I don't hear him breathing, I listen very carefully until I do or go in and check on him immediately. Silly, irrational Mommy Fears!!
Hmmm, I know I'm forgetting some other really big ones. Perhaps Daon can chime in in the comments. :-)