Today my little girl turned 9. Even typing that seems absurd to me. As I look back I just can't believe how quickly time has flown by.
When Emma was born I was a working career woman. I was exhausted. And confused. And I felt alone in the whole new-mommy thing. I wish there had been things people had told me. Here are a few things I've come up with along the way that I would tell all of you new Mommas. Or even Mommas who aren't so green to this game we are all playing:
1) Write it down. When I was with Emma and she was tiny I remember smelling her and looking at her so intently that it was like I was trying to consume her. I was sure I would never ever forget those moments, that those would be permanently stamped in my brain and when I get old and gray those would keep me warm at night. But the fact of the matter is that due to hormones and lack of sleep and life moving so fast, I can hardly remember any of it. In fact when I squint really hard and cock my head to the side, trying to remember the newborn days, all I can really remember is the feeling of engorged breasts. And let tell you, I'd rather that doesn't follow me into my golden years.
I wish I had scribbled things down. Things to jog my memory or little moments that have all meshed together into a giant fog of love. I started this a few years ago and it does help. I write them in a format that I can someday give to my kids or at least share with them if, when I try to give it to them I find myself screaming "mine!mine!mine!". After all, they can have it when I'm dead.
Just write stuff down.
2) Do not wish the days away. Ever. Even in your worst day there is someone laying in a hospital bed praying to the Lord to have one more day. Never ever think "God please let this day just be over". I've been there and I've done it and now I really would do anything to be back in those nasty days of diaper pails overflowing, three days of dishes in the sink, and a fussy baby wanting nothing but time with their Momma. Those days don't come back to you, trust me, I've tried. No DeLorean can do it for you.
3) Just savor it. Multi-tasking: that's my middle name. I blog while family movie night. I do devotions while folding laundry. It's totally a mom thing to do. But while you are sitting there breastfeeding, I invite you to put the God-forsaken facebook down and just breathe in the moment you are in. Cry about it. Pray about it. Thank God for it. He will meet you wherever you are. Just take it all in and don't let the moment pass you by.
4) Don't forget they're still little. My Emma-Kazoo is 9 and I so often find myself thinking "wow, she's so big" but the truth is that she is so much smaller than she will be in 9 years when she is out making her own way in the world. So don't stop doing the handprints and the painted feet just because they aren't simply toddling around. You'll want these soft small hands recorded as well.
5) It all works out. If you are having your first baby, you're probably freaking out about everything. I remember Emma had really bad cradle cap and fretting and worrying about it. But here she is 9 years later and not a smite of cradle cap exists. Even the big problems all work out. It all seems to work itself out in the end and nothing ever seems as bad as it does when you have too many hormones and too little sleep. Just remember that.
I hope my experience with my sweet baby girl helps you to stop and enjoy your sweet littles. They are such a blessing from God and worth every bit of worry and sleep deprivation and vomited nights and engorged boobs :)