Today my baby turns 1.
I just can't get over it. I can't get over how fast, yet how slow this year went. I can't get over how awesome it was! Sure, there were nights, (especially in the beginning when I was figuring out how to breastfeed) where I remember praying "Dear God, Get me through this...let this stage be over," but for the most part, Georgia has been a fabulous baby! She has slept through the night since she was two months old, so we never really had the sleep deprivation that I was so nervous about, we did not ever once eat microwave popcorn for dinner, and even though of course we get in stupid arguments, my relationship with my husband has gone to a whole other level thanks to how we've learned to work together.
Working full time and having a new baby has been hard emotionally, and the physical part of it IS exhausting, but to me the pros outweigh the cons. Smiling, walking, kissing Buckley, kissing me, bath time, story time, learning new words, it's just been a joy, people. For realz.
I've stopped obsessing over myself and what it means to be me. I no longer contemplate my purpose on the planet, or worry that I am not living up to my potential, or worry that I am not doing what I am meant to be doing. That is not to say that I think I was born to be a mother or that motherhood trumps all, it's just that I'm so busy, that I don't give a fuck anymore. Do you know what a RELIEF that is to have that off of your plate? WoooHooo! I have something to think about besides what cool, awesome thing I am going to do this weekend, worry about what cool, awesome thing everyone else is doing.
That said, I've refused to let myself go all the way to the other end. I've tried to find a good balance. To some, it is a badge of honor to let your stretch marks hang all out and to be covered in vomit in order to show you are a good mother(and I am basing this statement on articles and blogs I have read.I have no idea if anyone I know IRL thinks this), but...I couldn't get down.That terrified me. I think in order to keep your sanity you have to keep some pieces of your former self Now, I did wear "yoga pants" when Georgia was a teeny tiny baby ( and let's be real, if you aren't doing yoga, they are sweatpants, so actually let's just stop calling them "yoga pants") but that was because I also had to wear those ginormous ice packed maxi pads after giving birth, and there is just no way to look cute while wearing those big boats.
So, yes, it was a pajama-fest for a month or two, but I always made sure they were cute pj's and that I showered every day, brushed my hair, and had a little make up on. I would bring Georgia in the bathroom with me in her bouncy chair. Did I scar her for life because I wasn't in her face 24/7 reading "Goodnight Moon" and taking a shower instead? I don't know. She slept most of the time, so I actually don't think she gives a shit. I did this for no one but myself. I'm happy I did it.
I know it sounds like I am contradicting myself, when I said I stopped caring, and then I talk about how I made sure to shower and put on make up every day, so I guess I mean this: Throwing on some lip gloss to make the day brighter is not in the same category as feeling like a failure because you did not end up in a field where your originality and creativity take the world by storm. I'm just happy I'm over myself.
Chris and I also became a real team. I mean team with a capital T! For a while, I felt like we barely spoke to each other because we were so busy learning how to be parents, but neither one of us felt resentful. We just knew that we were in the same boat, and chugged along until we figured it out. Even though I leave the house by 7:30AM,our morning routine is so awesome now that we have 15 minutes to have coffee together before I leave. This may not seem like a big deal to you-but I feel as though this is progress! This is getting it done and then some! We cook dinner together every night, he cleans, I do bath and story....yes I pass the fuck out at sometimes at 7:30PM, but whatever. I would never trade Georgia for a bedtime of 10AM. What would I be doing anyway? Reading?
Who am I kidding? I would be at "happy hour until 1AM". A baby is better than happy hour.
The one thing I will say that has sucked, is my anxiety level has hit a new high. When I actually let myself get lost in how much I love her, I freak the fuck out- I have to look at my friends' pictures on facebook and know that they love their kids just as much, and they are getting through the jungle of parenting without putting their kids in bubbles. That is sometimes the only way I can calm myself down. I am thankful for social media, and for all of the pictures, and status updates because it puts motherhood into perspective. I don't feel alone, and I feel confident that I can get through the terrifying moments-because of you, reader!
My life changed a lot, but I don't feel like I lost myself in a sea of diapers and vomit. I am a mother, but I am also still Teresa. Just a new and improved Teresa, and I have my beautiful Georgia to thank for this!