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Sunday, November 8, 2015

thoughts on motherhood (20 weeks) + an announcement


First, the announcement: we're moving to St. Louis!  This decision has been a loooong time coming.  Like seven years coming.  Paul and I have been trying to figure out the best city to settle in, and with Theo's arrival, we were pushed to finally make a decision.  Paul found a good job in St. Louis and that helped confirm it was the right choice for us.  We move very soon and have lots to do before leaving Milwaukee - people to say goodbye to, jobs to wrap up, things to pack, favorite restaurants to go to one last time.  It's bittersweet to leave a place that's become home and people who have become like family, but I think it's the best decision for us right now.  With all the craziness of this move, I haven't been keeping up with the blog well (there's always something!), but here are some recent thoughts on motherhood.  I keep learning some wonderful lessons and gaining wonderful gifts thanks to my sweet boy. 

- Theo's done a little sleep regression and gets up about twice a night lately.  I can't complain though since overall he's been a really good sleeper.  One good thing about getting up in the middle of the night: when I walk him back to his room, he rests his head on my shoulder until I lay him back in his crib.  So simple, so wonderful. 

- Other notes about sleeping.  We take an afternoon nap together most days after work, and I love the excuse to rest and to cuddle.  We've also got more of an evening bed routine going now.  We sing songs as he gets his pjs on, we read a board book, then he gets kisses, and we turn out the light.  Nothing fancy, but I have a feeling I'll remember it my whole life.  

- He's such a good blend of us: Paul's eyes and nose, my mouth and cheeks.  I hope it continues, and with things that aren't as obvious as our facial features.  

- There is so much happiness and laughter in our house.  We were happy pre-Theo, but there's a marked difference in the amount of outright laughter and joy in our house.  I'm so grateful for the gift of Theo in our lives.

- Part of the reason for all the laughter is that Theo *cracks up* at Paul.  All he has to do is look at him, and Paul gets a smile out of our boy.  I got a little jealous that Paul could make him laugh so much more easily than I could, but I got over that because it's just so fun to see my husband and my son having so much fun together.  

- I had a conversation with a friend last night about how I'm still struggling with my new mom body.  Lots of people say that whatever they go through in pregnancy and post-baby are "worth it," and I totally agree that to get Theo here everything I went through was worth it.  But if I had my choice between my pre-baby and post-baby body, I would hands down pick my pre-baby body.  This is something I'm still struggling with and hopefully will eventually make peace with.

- Relatedly, it feels like motherhood is slowly rubbing off more of my rough edges.  Loving so much and sacrificing so much for another person helps you become a better person.  And maybe embracing this part of motherhood will eventually help me make peace with the sacrifices I made to bring Theo into the world. 

- Even though motherhood is awesome, it's hard.  I've noticed that I'm a better mom with lots of support from family and friends and little breaks for myself.  When I feel like I'm going stir crazy and slightly suffocated, a quick fro yo break or walk around the block is surprisingly just enough to make me feel like myself again.  It's good to know that breaks and me-time don't make me selfish, it makes me a better caretaker and a better person.  

- Nursing is one of the coolest parts of being a mom.  It doesn't hurt that it helped me lose my baby weight while eating pretty much whatever I've wanted.  It's going to be tough when Theo moves to non-exclusive nursing right around the holidays.  Cue time for a new exercise plan.

- This Halloween was the first time in years that I've enjoyed the holiday (not counting the year we spent Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts).  I always procrastinate picking out a costume, and then I'm disappointed it's obvious I put together an outfit at the last minute.  But this year was so fun to dress Theo up as a little lion (a hand me down costume from a friend) and take him to a few houses.  I bet next year will be even better since he'll be able to collect his own candy.  

- Time is flying by.  Theo is rolling over and getting closer and closer to crawling.  I look back at pictures from even just a few weeks ago, and he's so different.  Sometimes he changes way too fast for my liking.  I want the sweetness of this time to last forever, but it seems like each new stage has a specialness of its own.  More incentive to actually remember to take pictures of my growing boy!!

Thanks so much for reading.  And thanks for sticking with me with me during my spotting posting!

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