Life After Birth: The Only Constant is Change
So you've been a mom for 6+ months now, and you've found your groove. Your babe is almost sleeping through the night, eats solid foods well, and handles diaper changes like a champ. You've perfected the art of multi-tasking, and life is going pretty good because, baby laughs, obviously. But what happens when your baby decides to throw a wrench in your perfect world?! For example, teething. What then??
I have to laugh at myself as I write this post, mostly because I decided to write about how constant change is, and then I literally just found out I may or may not be moving to a different state in the somewhat near future. Ha! But, that's the truth. Once you have it all figured out, life throws a curveball at you. It may be a good curveball (i.e., a new cushy job), or a not-so-good curveball (a serious health problem or your child suddenly throwing 3-hour fits). Whatever life throws at you, just know that you are one of millions that are navigating the never-ending roller coaster called motherhood. That usually makes me feel better about it.
Some people like change, and others resist it with everything they have. But here's the dirty little secret: motherhood = constant change. Moms don't say clichés like, "They grow up so fast!" for nothing. Baby's first year is also known as the year where your baby does something new constantly and always looks a little different because he/she is growing every.single.day. So how do you deal?
Keep Moving Forward
As they say on "Meet the Robinsons," keep moving forward! You have no way to predict what tomorrow will bring, but you have the choice to roll with the punches. Tomorrow, your child may suddenly stop napping, sprout another tooth, become obsessed with blanket tags and freak out when he/she can't find said blanket tags, or only prefer to eat peanut butter and STRAWBERRY jelly sandwiches (not grape, duh, mom!) even when they had a wide and mature palate up to that point. Yeah, things change. And that's okay, because otherwise, life would be pretty boring.
Moms also say things like "Live in the moment!" and "Don't forget to cherish this time!" It's easy to say in hindsight, but not always simple to apply mid-mothering. Just do your best to embrace the changes as they come, because fighting them usually backfires, especially when it involves a toddler. Hell hath no fury like a toddler that is told they can't suddenly start dressing themselves.
If at all possible, keep yourself flexible and open to change. When it comes to babies, infants, toddlers, and the like, there's no predicting how things will compare from last month to this month. All you can do is try to be open to things like your child sleeping in a toddler bed, or your baby suddenly wanting to face out and see the world, as opposed to snuggling into your chest.
Let your little ones change as they grow and learn. Cherish the moments, but cherish the change as well. It's that pesky change that allows your children to be free and explore who they are becoming. So, although it can be annoying when champion sleeper baby suddenly hits a growth spurt and wants to eat every three hours again, it's a wonderful sign that he/she is growing and progressing.
Take the Good with the Bad
Motherhood is bittersweet because of this thing we call change. We change their diapers and meet their every need, and suddenly they want to dress themselves. We teach them their ABC's and read books to them every night, and suddenly they want to read chapter books on their own. And on it goes. Cherish each moment, yes. But don't forget to revel in the change, too. As your child changes, you can celebrate their progress and growth. Be proud of all they've accomplished, and all that you've accomplished, too.