Baby Steps: 10 magical moments that make your heart melt

IMG_20131030_140308If you read my last blog that described in what may have been too much postpartum detail (see 10 things to enjoy as a woman before becoming a mom), then you understand how… let’s say challenging the first few months of motherhood can be. You’re exhausted. You’re not used to taking care of someone else all the time, and have little chance to take care of yourself.

After having ranted about all the things women can’t do once a little human escapes from within, I feel the need to produce a blog detailing the other side of the spectrum, you know, the side that makes you want to be the best mom you can be and offers a beaming bright light at what can, at times, seem like a very long, very dark, very lonely tunnel.

In essence, this split between ranting and glowing is what characterizes parenthood; the simultaneous ups and downs triggered by a mixed sense of helplessness when your baby is fussy and of accomplishment once you finally figure out what was wrong, and how to fix it. As a mother, you hit extremes of both sadness and happiness you never knew existed. You feel emotions you didn’t know you had yet to experience. And you start understanding the real meaning of both patience, and unconditional love.

So, without further ado, here is a list of (the first of many) wonderful moments that really do make being a mom, feel like the coolest job on earth.

Your baby’s first smile (that is, in no way, tied to gas)

Your heart will melt and you will spend every waking moment trying to earn the next.

A full night’s sleep

This is the day you wake up panicking because the clock says 5:30am when you put her down at 11pm the night before – and then realize she’s fine, and just gave you 6 and a half hours of uninterrupted slumber. Magic.

Bath time

Seeing your baby splash around in a pool full of water reminds you how comfortable she felt in the womb and is a nice way to reconnect with your little love-nut. She really did love you (love you/need you) before she was even born. Note – Putting enough water in the tub and making sure it’s nice and warm is key to a happy bath time experience!

Cooing

You will swear she’s talking to you. And then you’ll answer her. And then the conversation will go off in hilarious directions that make you feel less alone and more in the company of someone who really gets you.

Eye contact

The moment you realize that your little one can not only see you, but recognize who you are makes all your hard work worthwhile. It’s the little bit of thanks you need for milking like a cow, looking like a slob and being at the beck and call of a pint sized rug rat.

A good pooh

Honest to God, who knew that feces could bring a woman such happiness? Two in one day of appropriate colour, texture and smell? You just won the lottery. Twice.

A solid belch

Runner up only to a good bowel movement is a nice loud burp! There is no sense of accomplishment like hearing the resounding exit of gas from either extremity following a feeding. A job well done for you, and baby.

Being the perfect pacifier

Having your little one fall asleep on you or stop crying when she’s in your arms can at times feel like you’ve tamed a wild beast, but it’s more than that, it’s the sense of trust that comes with responding on a daily basis to the cries, discomfort and whimpers of a little one who can’t tell you what’s wrong but hopes you understand anyway.  I can’t help but smile when I’m visiting friends and family and notice Luna’s eyes scanning the room, following me everywhere I go. In my head I’m saying “Yeah, that’s right! Who’s your mama!?” Having your little one look to you for comfort seriously validates your efforts as a (possibly reluctant and used to doing fifty billion things at once) stay at home mom.While I in no way hope to have a child who can’t be away from mommy for more than a minute at a time, it does feel good to know you’re meeting some or most of their needs on a regular basis. Maybe I really can do this after all?

Hand holding

The moment they raise their little fingers and wrap it around yours as they’re feeding, or refuse to let go of your finger as they drift to sleep. Bliss!

Snuggles

Hands down. When they burrow into you like they’re digging for lost treasure only to fall asleep face up, mouth gaping wide open, arms clasping you on both sides. It’s heaven. Pure heaven.

Yup, it’s a tough job (some days, it’s tougher than others) but somebody’s got to do it!

10 things every woman should enjoy before having a baby

10 things every woman should enjoy before having a baby

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Having a baby is a big decision, and while you ought to be prepared to give it all up in an effort to be the perfect mama, saying goodbye to those precious moments of respite you savour when trying simultaneously to juggle a career, a household, a rockin’ bod, a social life and a full refrigerator (unless your husband actually does the groceries?) isn’t always as easy as it seems. Once your little one makes his/her arrival, all your minutes are instantaneously redirected towards feedings, diaper changes, doctors appointments, and bouncing up and down like a maniac trying to soothe a crying baby. They say this will only last for a little while (I’ll let you know in another month or so).

The point is, people don’t really tell you what exactly you’re giving up as a woman once you decide to have a baby (and it’s a good thing, otherwise human procreation would surely come to an alarming and immediate standstill). This is of course because the pay-off (a super cute, loving, minion sized bundle of joy) is totally worth at (and because woman have a biological component that deletes the trauma of birth and the time that immediately follows). Whatever the reason, there are a few things I wish I’d known before taking the dive into motherhood – not that I wouldn’t have done it anyways, but at least I would have had a better idea of what the first few months had in store. So, here it is; the stuff that every woman should know before dropping the pill and pinning their legs against a headboard in the hopes of sending swimmers to meet their mate. Do these things while you can ladies, and savour them for all of us.

*note: drinking wine is excluded because after giving birth I immediately reinstated a glass or two every other day – let’s be honest, that’s just responsible parenting. Continue reading “10 things every woman should enjoy before having a baby”

Strangers: Friend or Foe?

Strangers: Friend or Foe?

The Stranger.

As children growing up in North America, we are taught to actively avoid people we don’t know. In order to ensure that we don’t jump into the car with the first person who offers us candy, parents paint a picture of “the stranger” as someone dangerous, someone foreign, someone who could easily take us away from everything we know and love. While most stop at striking the fear of God into wandering offspring, some parents go to such lengths as keeping their children on a leash-like lead to monitor their safety 100% of the time. Not my style, but who am I to judge? When I have kids, I’ll blog about it.

Continue reading “Strangers: Friend or Foe?”