There are plenty of less-than-glamorous parts of being a mom. Diapers, blow-outs, potty training; pretty much anything having to do with a butt. When you're a parent you're in for years of sleepless nights and thankless work. Fortunately, there's also a bunch of freaking awesome stuff to make up for it. Personally, I desperately wanted to be a mom. In fact, there were several
motherhood moments I just couldn't wait to experience. I've wanted to be a mommy for as long as I can remember. There's a picture of 10-year-old me holding my 2-year-old cousin. He must have weighed as much as me, but there I was, jutting my little hip out for him like a natural. Whenever I was anywhere that a baby was present, I tried to get my hands on them (even if I'd just met their parents, which is super awkward but whatever I can't help it don't judge me). As a nanny, volunteer, and teacher, I was constantly around children. However, even when I was in a classroom filled with happy faces, what I really wanted was my own.
I never imagined I'd have to wait so long, but
I had my baby at 32. Honestly, it's been everything I imagined (and more). It's not that it isn't challenging or exhausting, because holy hell it is, but after so much time, I feel like I appreciated each of these incredible moments as they happened. Giving Birth
I can't say that
I was scared to give birth. I knew it would be painful, but I figured I could handle it. Mostly, I was just really excited.
Turns out, I wasn't disappointed. Giving birth to your child is an incredible sensation.
I had a vaginal birth, and my final push took everything I had in me. I burst into tears as soon as my daughter was out. I felt an overwhelming sense of accomplishment and all-encompassing love. Breastfeeding
I think women's bodies are miraculous. The fact that some of us can and choose to nourish our babies with something we produce ourselves is pretty freaking special. (OK, so all mammals do it. Still, it's pretty cool.)
Breastfeeding wasn't easy for me and I ended up
supplementing with formula. Still, I was grateful for the seven months I was able to do it, and the continued physical connection it allowed me to have with my infant daughter. Holding My Baby
The moment when
you hold your baby for the first time is like no other. Suddenly, this little being that you carried with you for nine months is in your arms; breathing and living all by themselves. It's pretty incredible to know that you had a (major) part in creating a person. Hearing Her First Words
I stand by this, even though
her first word was "Dada." Yeah, I was a little jealous, but it's fairly common. I also think it speaks to her special relationship with her father.
Honestly, it didn't take anything away from the first time she called me "Mommy." Language is something unique to human beings, so seeing my child's first efforts at communicating verbally was really something significant.
Watching Her Take Her First Steps
My mom says having a child is like having part of your heart walk around outside your body. That's never more true than
when they actually start walking. When you're carrying them around all the time, it's easy to forget they're not still physically a part of you. Those first steps are steps toward independence. The fact that it's a relative given for typically developing children doesn't lessen the pride you feel as a parent. Seeing Myself In Her
My daughter has my coloring and my mouth but, other than that, she's all her daddy. In fact, more than once I've told her to wipe that "Joe look" off her "Joe face" (in jest, of course). I have to look to her personality to see myself reflected, and you'd better believe she got a few things from her mama.
Baby girl is
just a She rearranges her shoes in a more pleasing arrangement to her. She loves to put things away. One time, she was playing with a bunch of little pompoms. I went to go pick them up later and found them in the bag little bit OCD. with the zipper closed. *swoons* Packing Her Lunch For School
*Cue laughter from experienced parents everywhere.*
OK, so to be fair, I only have to do this twice a week. I may decide it's not so fun when I'm packing lunches every day (although by that point, I hope to enlist my daughter's help).
I'm not a Pinterest Mom who creates elaborate artwork out of sandwiches or designs adorable bento boxes. I did, however, slice apples into doughnut shapes and top them with peanut butter and rolled oats. Preparing something that my little girl will enjoy at a time when she's away from me makes me really happy. Watching Her Play Mommy
My daughter received a soft baby doll with a magnetic pacifier and bottle (because someone is a
genius) for Christmas. She loves taking care of her baby. I have watched her feed her doll peas, give her a bottle, wipe her face, and pat her on the back. It's pretty incredible to watch your baby with her baby. I hope I'll get to see it for real as a grandma someday. Reading Aloud Reading aloud was always my favorite part of teaching. I was well known for reducing fourth graders to tearful puddles upon finishing Where The Red Fern Grows.
Each time I expose my daughter to another book from my childhood, the memories come flooding back. I cherish this opportunity to foster a love of reading in my child. So even though I've read
Are You a Cow? a bazillion times, I won't deny her . All The Lovies I kiss and hug my child all the live long day, and I make no apologies. Granted, when she was very small, the affection was pretty one-sided. However, the first time she gave me an unsolicited kiss was the sweetest. She was lying in her crib and pulled me in for a big old smooch.
This just happened yesterday:
Me: *toddler crawls into lap between me and book* "Hello. Can I do something for you?"
Adorable Child: "Yeah." *goes in for a hug*
From her little fist curled around my finger to holding her hand as a fully mobile toddler, every moment of love and affection makes every dirty diaper worth it a thousandfold.