15 Surprises, Challenges, Endearments & Life
Affirmations of Motherhood
On Baby Dude’s third day of life, I looked at him and thought,
“I already can’t imagine my life without you.” Time seems to be
passing at warp speed and he’s now two months old. He’s woven
his way seamlessly into our lives. That said, there’s so much novelty
with each day I’m blessed to spend with my son (and I praise the
Lord He’s placed me in a full-time position to be a stay-at-home
mom and freelance writer). I’ve experienced surprises, challenges,
endearments and life affirmations in the first 60 days of mother-
hood, and here are 15 to share with you.
- Nursing is a joy, not a chore. My friend Christina wrote on her
New Mommy Advice card to not give up breastfeeding. She said
though hard at first the rewards would be worth it, and that’s
sound advice. Difficult and awkward in the early weeks, I now
look forward to nursing, even in the middle of the night, which
brings me to the next surprise.
- I (usually) feel rested. As with nursing, feeling well-rested took
a few weeks. I applaud mothers who work outside the home,
because I don’t know how you do it (and I invite you to share in
the comments below). If I had to be at my former desk at 8 a.m.
every morning after awakening several times a night, I think I’d
be a zombie. I also couldn’t do it without my husband, a wonderful
hands-on dad who takes the baby when his schedule allows so I
can sleep, including an overnight when I slept seven consecutive
blissful hours (insert applause for single mothers here, and please
share how you get sleep with a newborn in the comments). Some-
times I nap when baby naps, and the bedside bassinette helps. I
learned how to nurse lying down, too. The restful position com-
bined with the hormones prolactin and oxytocin released during
breastfeeding contribute to relaxation.
- The loss of my former life doesn’t feel like a loss. In fact, I like
the new life much better.
- I still have time to do stuff like writing. I’d decided before I gave
birth to take a break, but now that he’s here I write more. Again it
helps to trade the day job to have more time to pursue my love of
writing. I also take the time when Baby Dude naps to do other
things, which brings us to the next surprise.
- I’m more productive now than before baby. Once we settled into
somewhat of a routine, I have at least an hour to sit down and write
or work through my to-do list at naptime. I get right to it, pre-mom-
my me often procrastinated after work.
- I felt a lot less nervous with the baby a lot sooner than I thought.
The instincts kick in and the next thing you know you just do it.
- Physically and emotionally healing from my emergency C-section.
The only major surgery where you’re expected to care for a child
afterwards is a C-section. It’s not feasible to lay in bed all day and
heal, even with all the help God blessed us with. I’m thankful the
worst of the pain is gone and I recovered without complications,
because let me tell you, I have a lot more fun with Baby Dude when
I’m not constantly aware of my abdomen and my brain isn’t fogged
- Not having my dad around. I lost my dear dad to cancer on July
13th, and Baby Dude arrived about a month later. To experience
death and birth so close together has been one of the darkest and
happiest times of my life, with tears of sorrow and joy amplified by
postpartum hormones. I can imagine Dad’s silly faces and noises
to amuse Baby Dude. My heart aches when I think about how Dad
won’t meet my son on earth, but I’m comforted with the knowledge
of God’s plan. I don’t understand the reason, but I have faith God’s
plan is perfect.
- Baby Dude’s smile. His big toothless grin lights up my heart and soul.
- The giggles and smiles while he sleeps. Sometimes I watch him
sleep and capture video and audio on my phone.
- Watching Baby Dude with my husband. Talk about your heart
overflowing with love.
- The grip of baby’s tiny hands. When he clasps my fingers I
think of Dad’s hands squeezing mine two days before he passed.
Nothing affirms life more than one human’s hands holding
another’s, whether those hands are 76 years or two months old.
- Watching him grow. As he’s gained weight and a double chin,
to see the facial and other changes in him is a privilege.
- Observing as he absorbs the world. I took him to Target the
other day and he gazed at signs and people. His eyes follow his
childhood home as I carry him around. It’s a treat to take him
for strolls outside and watch him look at autumn foliage.
- Baby Dude makes a face like my dad. This is hard to put into
words, but suffice it to say when this look crosses my baby’s face,
I see Dad’s legacy and know he lives on through my son.
Raising a child is one of the most important and daunting things
we can do. As moms and dads, what have you found to be sur-
prising, challenging, endearing and life affirming about parent-
hood? Please share your thoughts and stories in the comments.