You guys, I have a one year old? How did this happen so fast? It’s seems like just yesterday I was pregnant then holding my baby boy for the first time. Everyone tells you it goes by fast but I don’t think I was prepared for how quickly this past year has flown by….
I’m a mess of emotions as my baby boy turns one today; filled with joy, love, excitement and even sadness as we have made it through the first year. I’ve tried to chronicle my journey as a new mom, but most recently really opened up about what is has been like for me. This little monkey (yep, one of many nicknames) has brought me more joy that I ever thought possible. I have the most amazing husband and wonderful life, but Carter has become the missing puzzle piece. True story? I didn’t really think I was someone who wanted to have children and it wasn’t until I was with Ryan that I changed my mind. Now I look baby and feel bad for people who don’t want kids, not that they cannot have. It’s the most beautiful blessing, scary journey and exciting ride I have ever been on.
He’s the true meaning of selfless unconditional love. He’s the reminder that little things are such a wonder. He’s the light that brightens a room. He’s my baby boy.
From the moment I first laid eyes on this beautiful little child my heart was stolen. I knew then I would do anything and everything to show my child how much I love him and what he means to me. Of course there’s been challenging moments and rough times, but the giggles and the hugs from nowhere slowly fade those memories. Today he is not so much my baby anymore but my little toddler full of life and curiosity. He has eight teeth, a full head of hair and is walking around trying to explore anything in site. His appetite is absolutely amazing and the truth is we order kid’s meals for this little Italian eater. From the beginning he’s shown the warmth of his heart with cuddles, the goofiness of his personality with his laughter and his true happiness with endless smiles. I don’t know if they make them much happier. He’s now babbling and says a few words, which before I know it will turn into sentences. I’m so looking forward to having conversations with him this next year and I might die the first time he says ‘I love you mama’.
It’s exciting to look forward to what is to come as he continues to grow up, but there is a pang of heartbreak that I don’t have my little baby anymore. Thank goodness for phones, social media and this online diary for allowing me to try to bottle it all up as much as one can. I’m ready for the next challenges motherhood will be bringing like setting limits, learning to discipline and who knows what else. It’s so scary to be a parent but luckily I have the best partner helping me figure it all out along the way. And a big thank you to the readers of this diary who are so kind with comments and messages.
So with that, I leave this one year anniversary with a letter to my little boy. You may remember this first one? Also, when you’re child has a love of food like mine does, you’re not not going to have your friend come over and take professional photos trying cake for the first time. Right? So enjoy the best pictures of my little man enjoying his first birthday cake.
I hope you keep your infectious laugh.
I hope you continue to love me as you do.
I promise to give you endless hugs.
I hope you and your dad always have your silly relationship.
I hope you know one day how much you’ve taught me.
I hope your mischievous sense of humor continues to develop.
I promise to allow you to explore with your independent spirit.
I hope you only grow to love more foods.
I pray you learn giving is a key to happiness.
I hope you possess your father’s qualities as he’s pretty remarkable.
I hope you know I had no idea I could love you this much.
I promise to cherish in my heart forever the good and the struggles of year one.
I hope you know I wake up with a warmth in my heart everyday knowing I get to see you.
I hope you continue to love your doggies.
I hope you live each day to the fullest.
I pray you find faith in whichever way suits you.
I hope one day you know the amount of joy you bring to all those around you.
I hope you find something you would die for and live for it.
I hope you know there’s nothing I love more than your hugs.
I hope you learn the scariest things are often the most rewarding.
I hope you know if you see me crying they’re often tears of joy for how much I love you.
I hope you see your father is my best friend.
I pray you find a partner you can share your world with.
I hope you never miss the moment.
I hope you learn to find silence in your day.
I hope you never bite your nails.
I hope you walk with your head up.
I hope you learn there’s positives in being broken down.
I pray you love to read.
I hope you learn if something’s worth fighting for give it all you’ve got.
I hope you know ice cream fixes many problems.
I hope you strive to love.
I promise to be your best friend if you let me.
I hope you know miracles are out there everyday.
I hope you know the best is yet to come.
I promise to do all I can to give you a memorable childhood.
I hope one day when you have a child this will all make sense.
Within days my baby boy is turning one and the whole concept is quite crazy to me. My minds seems to be racing with how to summarize the past year and the wheels just keep spinning. The fact I was pregnant, the fact I had a child, the fact this completely dependent human being is mine and the fact that I am a mom. I want to express my love for my Carter and what he means to be, but honestly he has taught me more about myself this past year than I ever thought possible. Being a mom is the deepest, scariest and most rewarding love.
I had always grown up babysitting and was even an au pair for a family so I knew I was good with kids, but they weren’t mine. Going into this new adventure was different. How was I going to handle my child? For whatever reason, as I’ve mentioned here, the whole “becoming a mom” felt very natural for me. I felt comfortable with my decisions, how to go about day to day and the transition wasn’t that difficult. Of course I had some nights I cried because I was tired and didn’t want to whip out the boob at 2am to become a human cow. There’s always challenging times, but our lives continued. We went out to breakfasts. We went on dates. We explored. Being a mom taught me to have our child adjust to us.
What I wasn’t prepared for what the loss of control that really came into my life. As most people with OCD and Type A, I’m organized and like to be in control. I keep to-do lists in my phone that are of course alphabetized and my cash in my wallet all face the same way. Our house is always clean, laundry in the hamper and floors swept. So naturally imagine my worry, well really my husband’s, with a baby coming into the picture. Where was the time going to be for all this? Though challenging at times, this past year I’ve learned it’s ok to have dirty dishes in the sink for a night. It’s ok to having your bed not be made because you’re running after an explorative little soul. It’s ok to not want to do laundry and just sit on the couch and catch up on your reality shows for a moment of peace. Being a mom often takes you out of the driver’s seat and has you riding passenger to your child.
While on the topic of control, becoming a mom means you’re the last to get taken care of. Those times you might be excited to get your hair done but can’t go because your baby gets a cold for the first time and leaving would be unbearable. Or you’re ready to run into the store to get a cute top but there’s a meltdown happening so plans have to change. You spend you days taking care of this amazing wonder and makes sure he survives to see the next day. Then throw in possibly cooking dinner, doing laundry, feeding the dogs and add in paychecks and work that needs to be done. And when your husband walks through the door you have a big smile on your face and might be a bottle of wine deep. It’s hard to find the time for yourself and moments to just relax because it always seems like there’s something to do but when you lie in bed at night and think about that day it seems silly how “busy” you are. I’ve finally gotten to the point where I have help for a few hours two days a week so I can go to the gym, get my nails done, return work calls…all in peace. Took a while but it has been the best decision to be ok taking off the Super Woman cape every so often. Being a mom is selfless.
When people ask what has been one of the hardest thing this past year I’m honest with the fact it’s what happened to my body. Some people were meant to have kids, but I my friends am not one of them. I look at myself in the mirror and can hardly recognize who I see. It’s ok to be upset by it and not like what you see. I know I birthed someone amazing and am so grateful but I can also hate the tiger claw looking marks I obtained in my last month of pregnancy. Something about being 26years old and not wanting to be in a two piece is hard. Thank goodness for cute one piece suits now. Being a mom is full of unexpected sacrifices.
It’s amazing how the little things seem so big these days. From the first time Carter smiled to the first time he found his toes, it’s the most beautiful gift to watch your child take in new experiences daily. As he’s gotten older it’s the pure glee when he gives a high five or the giggle when he sneezes. In our fast paced lives it’s easy to take for granted the little things, but having my son helps me remember the beauty in the smallest moments. Being a mom gives your world daily miracles.
Is he warm enough? Is this safe? Should he do this? Can he do that? These questions are constantly spinning in my head and there’s so many times when I rely on my mom instinct to take over my mom doubt. The responsibility of growing with your child and trying to provide every possible opportunity is exciting yet daunting. Are they in enough classes? Do I read enough? This kid is clapping but mine is not, it this ok? Learning to accept that you’re doing the best you can and your happy child is all the proof you need is such an important lesson. Being a mom is full of self doubt.
Loving my child as much as I do hurts. It pains me to see him in pain and I’m worried he will never know how much I truly love him. His hugs, cuddles and kisses are what keep me going on the tough days and bring a smile to my face on the good ones. It scares me to know how vulnerable I have become through his love. Being a mom is to love and be loved like nothing else.
Between running a business and working from home, having a child, keeping a strong marriage and having both immediate families within miles, things can get a little crazy. Throw in trying to have a social life with friends and get in date nights here and there to the crazy equation. It’s a blessing but also a curse sometimes as there don’t seem to enough hours in a week to please everyone. You have to learn to keep your marriage and little family as the priority and do what is best for you. This is hard. Really hard. For me I struggle as I like to people please and not hurt anyones feelings, but sometimes (actually quite often) I just want to be “off”. And I’m learning that it is normal and healthy. Being a mom is learning to have balance.
What will they be like in the future? What will tomorrow bring? Am I prepared? I lie in bed at night with my mind spinning about what it to come. It goes back to making sure I am doing everything I possibly can to make sure my child is happy, educated and healthy. What’s to come is a scary thing, and obviously with my OCD personality because you can’t plan, it’s even scarier. Duh, I can self diagnose. Being a mom is having a daily fear of the unknown.
I look back on this past year and it’s hard to remember my life before Carter. He has brought me more joy than I ever knew possibly. He has made me want to be the best person I can for him. He has made me want to continue to grow with and love his father more than ever, as we are the foundation to his well-being. He has taught me lessons about myself I didn’t think I would go through. He has become my littlest love. Being a mom is when I truly started living.
With just a few weeks left until little man’s first birthday, guess what? We did it! It’s almost been a year and our child is alive. He’s happy. He’s healthy. He’s simply amazing!
Going through this exciting journey is scary enough, but to go through it with the most amazing partner has made it something that’s so hard to describe. From the moment Carter was born I’ve been so lucky to have a hands-on partner ready to give this child so much love. I didn’t change one diaper in the hospital, I had help during those nights that seemed endless in the beginning, I have been able to take showers, but most importantly I still have my best friend. Becoming parents together is hard. You have different opinions, you might be a little tired and sometimes it’s hard to find time for each other while giving all your love to this new gift that has come into your lives. Sure we have had our arguments but this past year has brought us closer together in ways I didn’t think possible (not just talking delivery room).
To see my child so enamored with his father is truly the greatest gift:
To hear laughter from down the hall with the two of them together.
To find them fast asleep for an afternoon nap in bed.
To watch them eating spaghetti and ravioli.
To seeing them splash and blow bubbles in the pool.
To listen to them crawling down the hallway.
To enjoy seeing them in jerseys on game take taking in some football.
To love those moments when they’re together and time seems to stand still.
Is there a greater gift? These two men in my life are my biggest and littlest loves. To think of a day without them or when they weren’t in my life is something so hard to fathom. Each day has been such an amazing blessing even when filled with being peed on, a couple hours of sleep or avocado thrown in the face. It’s been an adventure, a wild and crazy one, that’s made me cherish the time my husband and I have together. Those nights we stay in and have a glass of wine while catching up on our favorite show, or going out to dinner and eating warm food at the same time. I’ve come to appreciate “us” time more and value the friendship and relationship we have.
With that and in celebration of our child being alive we’re headed off for a few days of mommy and daddy time: Drinks without having to ‘rock-paper-scissors’ over being the designated driver, sleeping in past 7am (if we can), not changing diapers, nowhere to go or nowhere to be and un-interrupted meals. Cheers Ry, we did it!