December 5, 2011

Parenting - Six months in

With a whole entire six months under my belt this is what I have to say about the "parenting" thing.  (In a very rambling non coherent type of way.)

Every baby is different.  Every mom and dad are different.  So, every family is different.  That's what makes the world interesting but it can also make things hard.  Especially in the blogger world because it's hard to not compare your baby/parenting styles with others.

Georgia's first seven weeks of life were the hardest seven weeks of my life.  She had colic that magically disappeared the same week I threw in the towel on breastfeeding.  (Jonathan and I realized that the other day and now wonder if there were some feeding issues there we never realized?)  Colic these days isn't related to gas or tummy issues anymore (says new research) so babies just cry.  For no reason.  Jonathan and I were in the lucky 20% of parents who got a colic baby.  At first she cried all the time.  Then, I realized she was hungry and started formula and she would cry from 7-11 (off and on) every night.  It was hard.  REALLY hard.  I think God gives really impatient people (me!) very trying times on grow as a Christian.  And, while I see that and know that to be true it didn't make it any easier.  Although, now that I've dealt with a colic baby once I'm pretty sure I could do it again.  Next go around I will just have a different outlook knowing that it does stop at some point.  Georgia's stopped literally all at once (although it did SIGNIFICANTLY decrease with The Happiest Baby on the Block!)

Parenting for me was a huge reality check.  One little tiny person can knock you on your butt so many times and say, "Hey, I'm the priority.  Not you.  Get over it!"  Again, I knew all of this was coming.  I had nine months to prepare but it was still hard letting go of all my "me" time.  I'm one of those people who really values my alone time. 

Also, nobody has ever made me feel more dumb in my entire life than Georgia.  And clearly, not on purpose.  There is just such a HUGE learning curve with the first child.  Learning their likes and dislikes.  Which paci she likes, how she likes/needs to be held, that she needs formula to fill her tummy, that her crazy arms and hands wake her up, that she actually wants to sleep on her tummy...I could go on forever.

I've learned that crying it out is ok and it does work, that "this too shall pass", it really is true that when babies are learning a new skill their bodies will wake them up to practice that skill, not to ever get too comfortable with one routine...when you do she'll change it, tummy sleeping and formula are life savers, and that stress can steal your joy so quickly!  I let my stress get the better of me SO many times and I regret it so SO much.  There are so many sweet newborn moments I cannot get back that I just wasted by being a huge stress ball...not that the colic made it any better.


While being a mom is hands down the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life and has made me cry more times than I care to mention it is without a doubt the most rewarding experience God could have given us.  Her first smile (on purpose!).  The first time she reaches for somethings and actually grabs it.  You should have seen Jonathan and I the first time she waved to us on purpose.  I'm sure we looked like idiots.  We were so excited!  Watching her grow and develop is amazing.  Seeing her smile is just the best.  Her smile is only overshadowed by her adorable laugh.  I just can't get enough!

Georgia for sure keeps us on our toes around here but I love that she is head strong and determined.

Six months of parenting has taught me how to be a better person, how to be a better wife, and that this life is not centered around me.  (Clearly, I'm the youngest child in my family and the only girl!)  It's been a challenge to say the least.  I never realized how selfish I was until Georgia was born but I'm glad she was the one who let me know ;)


Kelli said...

Love love love this post! No, there's really nothing easy about being a parent. But like you, I wouldn't trade it for anything! Everyone really is so different. Oh, and speaking as a fellow youngest child (and the youngest grandchild on both sides), I completely agree about how parenting changes your perspective. I never used to think of myself as selfish before, either! I'm loving Georgia's expression, btw. :)

Mallorie said...

Aw :-) Going through the newborn phase myself this is so great to read! Emma Claire went through a colicky phase last week...she would cry every day for hours at a time and was SO GASSY :-( it was hard because I knew she was in pain. Well after a bit of research I found out she was getting an imbalance of foremilk/hindmilk...I was switching her too soon from breast to breast and she wasn't getting enough hindmilk and therefore couldn't digest the lactose from the foremlik! Isn't it amazing how every baby is so different! What works for some doesn't for others, just fascinating!

Michelle said...

Great post! I think the hardest thing about babies is that they are all different and it's so hard to figure out what they want. So it's good to know I'm not the only one to feel that way.

MICHELE said...

You are doing a great job. I think we as moms need to hear that a lot! My first was colicky for 18 weeks! Straight. I too thought that when I had my second NOTHING would phase me. So wrong Micah took it to a whole new level (of course he had a whole lot of different issues and his wasn't so much colic as other medical issues, but crying is crying). I think you will learn with subsequent children that even everything you learn with Georgia will be wrong and wont' work for the next. HA! God loves to keep us on our toes. And I totally agree that he gives those of us with the impatience the "worst" ;) kids. HA! She is a doll and keep on relishing all the little moments b/c before too long she will be 3 like my baby and you wonder how that happened?

Blissfully Burton said...

OMG. I feel like you are writing what I think! Harper is/was colic too and we switched to formula and it was like a whole new baby! My Mom always says 'this too shall pass' and I've found myself saying it over and over outloud! haha! Glad things are getting easier! I compare myself all the time but them remember, most people only put up the good on blogs or FB, not the bad! :)

Lyndsey said...

Amen! Having a baby is SUCH a reality check. I don't know how many times I've left the house with Liam dressed to the nines and I didn't even remember to brush my teeth.

And I agree that it's hard not to compare blogger babies, but I've trained myself that if I start to compare Liam to another baby to take a step back and away from that blog for a while until I get over it. I mean, if I compared Liam to Georgia I would never get to read your blog again, ha!

I have met so many other moms in the "real world" though that remind me how precious every day is and not to take it for granted. I think that whole part has gotten easier as Liam's gotten older too, and I've just stopped caring. I feel like when you have a newborn, you want to be the "perfect" mom and after a while you're like, forget it, it's impossible! That's how it's been for me at least and it's been SO liberating.

It's funny how much you can learn about yourself in such a short amount of time thanks to this tiny little life!

Meghan said...

Amen to all of these things! Thanks for sharing.

Jennifer said...

Hey there! I have been reading your blog for awhile, but never commented. This post really related to me. I have said those same exact words to my husband... I never realized how selfish I was/am till Harper came along. I too have cried many tears! She is worth it though. Thanks for being real!

cait said...

What a beautiful, honest post! You are so right that it's the most humbling thing you will ever go through. There are so many times that I've just looked at Justin like "what do we do now?!". Thankfully, God is teaching us lessons through it--one of the best is to show grace toward each other. Perfection isn't possible...and I'm still working on getting past those "mommy guilt" moments, such as the fact that I won't capture EVERY wonderful moment on camera and have those memories perfectly organized and documented. My daily prayer is to live in the moment and savor it.

And ps--my child's arms and legs cause her fits when going to sleep! I swear she kicks with more force than I can as an adult. It was funny to read that G did the same with her arms.


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