As I've reflected on the past year, I've been surprised at the number of aspects of motherhood that are different from what I was expecting.
Here are a few of them:
I thought I would mind changing diapers more than I do.
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Before Heather was born, I would guess that Eric and I had disagreed with each other a total of probably three or four times. After Heather was born? . . . Well, let's just say that there's been a lot of compromisin' on the road to our horizon.*
I wasn't really expecting that.
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I didn't know that spoon-feeding and cutting food up into bite-sized pieces would get sooo old soooo quickly. (Sigh.)
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Much to my surprise, I found that I relish nursing. In fact, once the frequency diminished considerably from those "at-least-every-three-hours" days, I started counting the time I spent nursing Heather as some of the very best moments in my day.
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I was stunned (and discouraged) to discover what my body does when it isn't able to get more than three consecutive hours of sleep. In Heather's first few weeks of life, I would keep track of the sleep that I was getting, and when I added it all up (naps included), I found that I was often getting as much or nearly as much as in my pre-Heather days. Man, oh man, though, the results manifested in my life were NOT EVEN CLOSE to the same. I was grouchy, tired, irritable, emotional, and often felt as if I was clinging to my sanity by the skin of my teeth. (remember?) I honestly don't know how I would have survived if Heather hadn't learned to sleep for several hours at a time at a relatively young age.
Along that same line, I was shocked at how much difference it made when I was able to sleep for five or six hours in a row, uninterrupted. Even now, (nearly nine months after Heather started sleeping for seven hours at a time), sometimes I wake up in the morning and am thrilled to realize that once again, I've been able to stay in my very own bed all night long.
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I was not expecting to feel so much joy as I saw Eric play with, read to, bathe, care for, and otherwise love our daughter.
I know I say this often, and perhaps I say it too much. All the same, I'm saying it again.
*can you name the song that contains this phrase? 10 points are waiting for the person who can.