July 31, 2014

48 Ways My Life Changed in the Last Year

Our kid is turning one.

Needless to say, our lives have changed in the past year. A LOT. Because of that one year old.

There is so much I have learned through the hard course of Parenting 101. The entire class is field experience, and will rip you to shreds without supportive family and friends, a sense of humor, and during extreme times, a hearty glass of wine.

But no matter how tough it is, I love it. Being a mom might be the coolest thing ever.

So here are a few things (only 48) that I have learned during my first year of mommyhood. They are in “A.D.D. brain” order.

1. During the summer, I am only able to get “Mom Tan.” The kind where the front of your legs are golden brown and the back are baby butt white to ensure proper pouncing position to save a drowning child.

2. I now have an audience for every shower and every trip to the pot. I’m still waiting to get a standing ovation.

3. The invention of cheerios, animal crackers, and Dum-Dum suckers makes me want to write a big, fat “thank you” letter to the world.

4. My “Music’s Top 40” was replaced by “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”

5. My new definition of a party is any activity that can be over in time to have our kid in bed on time and me sleeping by 10 pm.

6. I learned that shoes for babies aged 0-6 months may possibly be the most useless invention ever.

7. I learned to choose a shirt based on whether the color and pattern will mask spit up and/or a mushy animal cracker handprint.

8. Packing for a road trip requires more than a single suitcase. It requires a trainload of baby crap.

9. Getting ready for the day sometimes means only brushed teeth and body spray. A LOT of body spray.

10. It doesn't matter how skinny you get. After a nine month pregnancy, and  labor and delivery, every square inch of your body will never EVER be the same. Ever. #wigglewigglewiggle

11. I learned to appreciate the beauty and priceless gift of a supportive and helping husband.

12. I transitioned from “I will do anything to get her to stop crying!” to “My dearest child: cry me a river, build a bridge, and get over it.”

13. Time is not thought of as “o’clock,” but as the amount of time until the next nap.

14. If babies wrote commandments, one of the top five would be “Thou shalt not change my diaper, or I shalt scream bloody murder.”

15. And another top five would be “If thou is not using thine object, thou must torpedo thine object to the ground.” #sippycup

16. Apparently saying “no” is just as cruel as giving your child a beating.

17. I wonder if it is legal to get high off of sniffing a baby’s freshly shampooed head.

18. The phrase “everybody likes their own brand” does not apply to your own child’s diapers.

19. Everyone has a different favorite “baby stage,” and it always seems to be the one that our child is in, and that we struggling to not hate.

20. No matter how much time a stay-at-home mom spends with their child all day long and every day, her first word will probably still be “dadda.”

21. I realized I should have been a lot more careful declaring to the world how I would parent before I ever had any children.

22. I learned that teething is for the birds. And could be described with a few other “b” words as well.

23. Sometimes parents just need a break. Any short amount of time to make them miss their kids for a minute. The saying rings true, “I can’t miss you if I don’t leave.”

24. I can’t sing that new hip praise song at church with a straight face: “The God of angel armies is always by my side…” Does anyone else call child pool floaties “armies?”

25. I finally gave in and let myself use that square babysitter called the TV every once in awhile. That was a game…and life…changer.

26. I fell in love all over again. In a different, but just as exciting way.

27. I learned to function on so little sleep. SO. LITTLE.

28. I rode the “Mommy Rollercoaster” of “You are awful! Just kidding, I love you! But the sight of you makes me cringe! Actually, I can’t live without your chubby wubby face!”

29. If I ever want a self-esteem boost, I simply walk out of the room for a minute and walk back in. And then watch her face light up like a Christmas tree.

30. I realized during the first few months of her life that it will probably take me three hours to shower, nurse, get us both ready, nurse, pack everything up that we need in order to leave the house, nurse, and then leave the house, as to which I need to find a private place to nurse. And therefore, learned that during the first few months of her life that I should never, ever make plans outside of the house before noon.

31. If there was something called Baby Olympics, taking stuff out of cupboards and off of shelves would be an event.

32. I learned that my baby has the moves to be a ballerina, because I tried to put sunscreen on her.

33. I wanted to scold and yell and scream at every mother I have ever known for not warning me about the train wreck my body would go through the first few weeks after you have a baby.

34. I realized that the nicest thing anyone could ever do for us after having our baby was to make a casserole, do the dishes, wash a load of laundry, and then hold the baby so that we could eat the casserole.

35. I have thought about punching people without children in the shnozz when they complain about being “so tired.”

36. I changed from being a dog-hater to a dog-who-entertains-your-kid lover.

37. I learned to word my parenting complaints in such a way as to not receive unsolicited parenting advice from every Jane, Dick, and Harry who knows “everything” about parenting but has awful children.

38. I realized that it is a cardinal sin to wake a baby. And every child, adult, or dog who commits such sin deserves a day-long shunning.

39. I found that while it is socially appropriate to make eye contact with a person while in conversation, this rule does not apply to a child who has fallen to the ground.

40. I learned that there is nothing worse than a baby falling asleep in their car seat on the way home from the grocery store. And nothing better when you are on a long road trip.

41. Sometimes I think I need oxygen because of how much my breath is taken away by motherhood.

42. The world might be a funnier place if we all decided to communicate like babies: uninterrupted eye contact, drooling, screaming and pointing instead of “using our words,” and rubbing our feet together when we want something.

43. I can completely disguise the fact that I am talking to myself in the grocery store by using a high-pitched voice and pretending to talk to my kid.

44. I learned to accept any form and volume of noise that distracts a baby from crying.

45. I no longer judge parents whose kids are screaming while they shop. These parents have simply learned the wonderful art of parenting called “Tuning Out.” Which is usually the result of the lost fine art of parenting today called “Saying No.”

46. When I say no and she looks me in the eye while doing it again, I know that the Bible is true: “Surely she was sinful at birth. Sinful since the time her mother conceived her.”

47. I appreciate the new, automatic bond I now have with millions of other men and women who are in the same battle/theme park/game of life with me.

48. I realized that any person who wants to learn more about how God sees them and how He loves them unconditionally, and how He is full of superior knowledge, should try parenting.

What do you think? Can you relate? And are there probably 50,000 other ways our worlds are rocked by these beautiful, messy, awesome little beings that could be added to this list?

Grace and Peace, and Happy Parenting,