I'm finding myself surprised as I process my thoughts about this job of motherhood. The last twelve months have been amazing, hard, confusing, exciting, wonderful, and awful. Motherhood is scary. And scarily awesome.
I didn't realize how unpredictable having a baby would be. I'm a schedule-lover, so the days when Charlotte didn't nap well or woke too soon really threw me through a loop. Motherhood brought out some nasty parts of myself: my pride, my impatience, my self-doubt, my unkind tongue... Sin reared its ugly head more this year than it ever has in the past.
But in many ways, motherhood has softened me. I am gentler now, and I have learned to quietly observe. I play more easily. I sing more silly songs. I read a lot of books sitting cross legged on the floor. :)
And motherhood has humbled me, too. I find myself less judgemental of others and less convinced that MY way is better than the next person's way. Many of the things I thought were so important or SO black and white are now a bit more gray, a bit less crucial...
I imagined I would be super passionate about cloth diapering. But I'm not really; I think our system is great and I like using cloth but I'm totally fine using disposables at night and having a pack of diapers sitting in the closet to be used for all-day outings or long car trips.
I thought for sure I'd be passionate about some specific type of sleep training. I'm totally not. I broke all sorts of "rules" and tried all sorts of things. Some nights my kid sleeps and some nights she wakes up. Sometimes she naps easily and sometimes she boycotts naps completely. One thing I feel confident about is that getting Charlotte used to her crib was an important thing to do early on. I'm glad we went that route, for our own sanity and for her to get uninterrupted sleep. Otherwise, I'm no expert and definitely can't say one way is better than the next.
And then there are things I am unbelievably passionate about, such as baby led weaning, breastfeeding, and natural childbirth. As I experienced all of these for myself, and did extensive research over time, my enthusiasm and excitement have continued to grow. I could talk for hours and write for days about such subjects and I will do whatever I can to help, guide, and support anyone who might want my input. (Though I try not to talk for hours to people who DON'T want my input...)
Looking back on this year, I feel so incredibly blessed. Blessed to have gotten pregnant after a hard season of waiting. Blessed to have gotten to experience Charlotte's birth in exactly the way I hoped. Blessed to be partnered with the amazing man who is my husband. Blessed by friends and family who have cared for us and helped us raise this babe during a vital time in her life. Blessed, actually, by my darling Charlotte, who is such a sweet, hilarious, fun little girl.
What an honor to be on this scary, awesome journey of motherhood.