It’s been one year — one trip around the sun, 365 days, 52 weeks — of raw, real blogging about parenthood, breast milk donation, dairy-free living, postpartum, infertility and delivery, and life in general. What has changed in that year?
365 days ago, I had two kids in preschool and a 9-month-old at home. Now I have a kindergartener, a preschooler, and a toddler. The amount my kids have grown, both physically and developmentally, is astounding. My littlest is highly mobile and increasingly verbal with a penchant for mischief. My cuddly, beautifully unique middle son is speaking clearer and beginning to write his name. My daughter is starting to read, controlling her emotions better, and blossoming into a headstrong, thoughtful, driven individual.
One year ago I could put down my littlest without him running in the opposite direction to eat, climb, or dismantle something. My middle son loved “Bubble Guppies” and princesses, mermaids and “Paw Patrol”. Not much has changed there, except now he adores “Superhero Girls” too. My daughter had big feelings and not enough self-control to steer herself through emotional storms without pulling us all into the swirl. Now, she’s able to attend full-day kindergarten and do extracurriculars or playdates after her school day, and generally maintains a human — as opposed to demonic — demeanor.
One year ago I was up to my ears in childhood needs, inundated by the monsoon of duties; I had to be everybody’s everything all day, every day… and night. Little sleep, lots of responsibility, even more tests of patience… it was trial by fire. Now, the neediness has lessened a bit and I have adjusted. It is controlled chaos now and I am increasingly at peace with it.
One year ago I was grappling with the decision of whether or not to expand our family. I struggled with the conflicting fears of over-extending myself and The Hubs and of future regret if we did not try for another baby. Now, I am gradually settling into the reality that we will likely stick to our party of five, but I am still wary as numerous mamas around me are popping up with surprise babies.
One year ago The Hubs was adjusting to working from home with constant chaos around him. Our days were split in half: mornings at preschool, afternoons at playdates, with a brief respite in the middle for the boys’ naptime. The Hubs had yet to determine the best way to manage a conference call was to ensure that the children were not at home. He has since learned our routine and schedules accordingly.
One year ago my littlest spent his mornings in the Ergo 360 carrier as I ran errands and occasionally either slept or nursed his way through library story time. Now, my littlest has swim class once a week, nurses and dances at library story time, tantrums in Target, and scampers about from one mischievous scenario to another during playdates. Errands are very different now than they were a year ago, but still calmer than they were two years ago when I was pregnant, thus suffering monstrous Braxton-Hicks contractions, with a 3-year-old and 2-year-old to wrangle while shopping.
A year ago, I was simply dairy-free. Now I’m a transitioning vegan. I used to struggle to find any time to exercise. Now I do yoga daily. I used to pump 20oz of milk per day to donate. Now I’m happy to get 6oz, but I still donate! I used to have to use hair powder to disguise the risidual patchiness from postpartum hair loss. Now my hair is fuller and healthier, especially since adopting the Curly Girl Method. I used to be unable to have “me” time. Now I have a weekly or biweekly mom outing to grab a quick early dinner or a weekend coffee with a friend. What a sanity-saver!
A year ago I lived a beautiful, blessed, chaotic, new, overwhelming, and wholly exhausting life. Now I live a still-beautiful, still-blessed, and still-chaotic life, but it is no longer new or overwhelming and it’s a bit less exhausting.
I am happy. I am finding balance, I laugh every single day, as I always have. I have love — so much love — and even better, I have this blog as my outlet to share my journey and to help others traveling this same winding, bumpy path.
Parenthood is both a challenge and a gift to be survived and savored one day at a time. Thank you for following on this journey! I look forward to seeing what the next year brings. I hope you join me.