Friday, April 11, 2014

12 Things I've Learned Since Becoming a Parent

The other day Cali, T, and I were all in her room while I was trying to (unsuccessfully) unpack from Boston (for the 4th day in a row). T realizes that Cali has a gross diaper situation happening and (of course) tried to get out of dodge ASAP. 

No worries though. I assessed the situation and used my lightning fast ninja skills to trip him in the doorway. Then I plopped Cali in his hands and we set out on what has become an increasingly impossible task: changing Cali's diaper. 


And wouldn't quit moving.

T is holding her up with his hands under her armpits while her legs are kicking and hips are swinging. I am trying to very carefully yet quickly take off the diaper while trying to keep the poop inside the diaper and not let it fall out while she's doing her acrobatics.

With a diaper full of crap in one hand and a million wipes in the other, I look up and see the biggest smile on Cali's face.

It's like she knew what she was doing and started taunting us. 

T and I laughed with her. It was hard not to. 

Two grown adults were being swindled by a 20 lb. 1 year old. 

And we loved every second of it.

In that moment, I couldn't help but be filled with complete happiness. My heart almost exploded with happy. But it also made me think about things. That's not exactly the scenario I pictured when I dreamt about having a baby. There have been a lot of things I've learned since having Cali and I thought I'd share them here.

These are things that I've learned since becoming a parent.

1. Perfection is not only unattainable, but boring. That diaper scene wasn't pretty. There is a very good chance I had any amount of fecal matter somewhere on my body and Cali never stopped moving. But our family had a moment. A sweet, funny, albeit smelly, moment. And moments are memories.

2. "Predictable" is something you can live without. Not that baseball lent itself to predictability before Cali, but at least I could take an educated guess as to whether or not I would shower on a daily basis. Now? I can't even tell you if I'll get to pee alone today. But I'm actually alright with that. Surprises are fun.

3. You will never, ever, ever, never, make everyone happy. Whether it's Cali's nap schedule, my food choices for her, what toys we do/don't own, what clothes I put her in, etc. there are always people that agree and people that disagree with my choices. It will always be that way. I eventually had to realize that I can't please everyone and have to do what T and I feel is right for our family.

4. Don't judge. Because chances are you'll end up doing something one day that you've judged someone else for in the past. It never fails. 

5. Lack of sleep can make you mean. It's true. I think I've mentioned before that sleep deprivation is a form of torture in war and I totally get it. T knows not to talk to me until I've had at least 3 cups of coffee. Before that, I'm not liable for anything I say or do.

6. Sometimes in life, you have to do what you don't want to do. You know what I'm talking about. Sometimes you just have to accept that it is what it is and put on your big girl panties and get it done. Whatever it is, it's worth it for that tony human you're raising.

7. Germs might not "build your immune system" but they won't kill you either. I wouldn't say that I was ever a germaphobe but I definitely never thought I'd stick Cali's paci in my mouth to "clean" it or let her feed the dog with the same hand that she feeds herself. Go ahead and judge me but read #4 before you do.

8. Single parents are super heroes. And that's a fact. I wouldn't make it through most days if it weren't for T helping me keep my sanity.

9. I am capable of doing hard things. You know, like, parenting. 

10. Internet searches are the devil. My Google searches have been known to turn my pregnancy into a brain tumor, make me think I should have a 2 week old (or a 1 year old for that matter) sleeping 12 hours straight, and introducing me to coconut butter (which is the cause of 5 extra pounds hanging around). 

11. Your "ideals" are probably not realistic. Whatever it is that you think is ideal, is probably not how reality will turn out. Everybody has their own scenarios but you have to learn to enjoy the "imperfect" moments.

12. Family and faith are what truly matter. Not a new car or a big home. Not what kind of or size clothes I wear. Not where we live or what the weather is like. If I have my God and I have my family, I am perfectly great.

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