Saturday, September 28, 2013

On Becoming a Parent

Today marks Cali's 1/2 birthday... 6 MONTHS OLD.

How in the world did we get here??? I feel like I just had her yesterday.

Well, I'm exaggerating but it doesn't feel like it's been 6 months already! Next thing I know, I'll blink and she'll be driving a car and hating me because she's a girl and I'm her mom and that's apparently a phase they go through.

In my old world I would cope with such an emotional day by binging on Ben & Jerry's Half Baked and vegging out in front of a Gilmore Girls Marathon. But, alas, my daughter doesn't have the stomach for Ben & Jerry and I no longer have the time for my beloved Lorelei's. Thus, I am sitting here eating smoked meat (for breakfast), a pear (booorrriinnnggg), and tearing up over newborn pictures of Cali. 

Hey. Whatever works, right?

Becoming a new parent has taught me a lot... How to change a diaper, how to get poop out of clothes, how to take a shower in under 10 minutes, how to find a pacifier in total darkness, or how to hide the spit up on my clothes.

You know, important stuff.

But there is a lot that parenting has taught me about myself. Stuff that I, honestly, probably, would've rather stayed covered up but it is what it is. And I suppose that self revelations probably help us grow into better people. 

I've learned just how much I value(d) sleep and just how grumpy I can get without it; how quickly I can say hurtful things without thinking about the effects they have on others. I used to get at least 10 hours of sleep every night. Now, between Cali waking up early and T and I having late date nights, I'm lucky to get 5 hours straight. 

I see now just how much I *cringe* idolize perfection and a clean home. I spend way too much time stressing over whether or not things are just so and if the house is in order, and not enough time enjoying the small moments with my new family. T is amazing at helping me slow down and realize what's important and worth my time and energy.

Having Cali has also taught me how to not cut corners. With all of her digestive issues, and me having to cut out my favorite foods, I have to put aside my own wants and desires for her. And it's totally worth it. I want her to look at me one day and be proud of me. Proud to call me her mother. I want her to see admirable qualities in who I am as a wife, mother, and - most importantly - child of God. I want enough self-control in all areas of my life that her betterment ALWAYS comes before my weaknesses. 

She has taught me just the tiniest amount of how much God loves us. As much as my heart is filled with her, and as much as I would give to keep her safe and happy, God loves us more. Unbelievable. 

Being a parent is amazing. It's hard and exhausting, and reveals a lot of ugly truths about myself, but I FREAKING LOVE IT. 

And her.

A lot.

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