Looking up at me with her big blue eyes and a smile creeping across her face she announces proudly, “I’m going to be 2!” “Why, yes, yes you are sweet girl.” I answered.
Two, yes two – my baby, my firstborn is going to be two. She has a lifetime ahead of her, but how did two years go by so quickly? Birthdays are a time to pause and remember, to be grateful and also a time to look ahead with expectation. As I look over these past two years, I am amazed at the little girl my baby has become. I’m amazed at the journey I have walked as a new mom and I’m grateful for what I have experienced and learned.
Enjoy the moment – Some days it was hard to enjoy the moment especially when I was so sleep deprived I couldn’t see straight. But I kept reminding myself that at some point, I wouldn’t be getting up at 1am, 3am, 5am with a newborn. I wouldn’t be able to snuggle her while she fit so perfectly in my arms. I reminded myself that this moment was all I had. Somehow that helped me to embrace it.
It takes a village – Parenting is challenging. The modern mom is usually juggling a host of schedules, appointments, work -inside or outside of the home- while still trying to be present and loving towards her children. The pressure to do it all is exacerbated with social media where it’s easy to compare your life with others. I learned that my choices were just that – mine. I don’t have the time to make every dinner, every craft, every fill in the blank from scratch and that’s ok. I don’t have to compare my motherhood to others, but I do need help from others. I learned to take people up on offers to help me out whether it was stopping by with a meal, helping me plan an event, bringing my daughter to an appointment, etc. It truly takes a village to raise a mom.
Gentle Parenting is worth the effort – I had to be willing to re-look at what I thought parenting was. I’m not the same person I was before my daughter was born. I see things differently now – for better or for worse. I learned that being a healthy parent takes work – lots of it. Gentle Parenting has taught me several lessons such as listening – really listening to my daughter, practicing kindness with her, myself and my spouse especially when my patience was low, allowing her life to bloom and not reading my story into it, and so much more.
My baby is turning 2. I am going to to look through pictures, watch videos and enjoy this birthday. I’m relishing all that she has taught me and all I have yet to learn.