Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Finding Joy Again

I couldn't be more thankful for the warming trend going on right now.  As long as I can remember I have LOVED winter.  After experiencing my first winter as a mother I have come to the conclusion I despise the season now! Ha! It is seriously a lot of work getting a baby out the door in cold temps.  I have decided I'm going to have to move to Florida every winter! Just kidding! I'm hoping I can learn to like the season again, but I assure you it's currently not high on my list right now.
Harper-Lynn is less than a week from turning nine months old.  I feel like the time since her birth is an absolute blur.  Some days I just can't believe how fast it has gone by. 
I think the first six months were the hardest for me.  I was a nanny a decade ago and pretty much had the basics of baby and toddler care down.  What I didn't anticipate was how much I would come to doubt myself during those first months.  I think a lot of it had to do with Harper's reflux issues along with her E-Coli hospitalization and colic.  I can remember some days just crying.  I was exhausted, alone and so overwhelmed.  I tried to pretend I had it all together, but I'm sure there were cracks in my facade. 
I think I put a lot of unrealistic pressures on myself.  I'm sure it's something most moms do.  I felt like I needed to have everything just perfect.  When something would go wrong I would feel like I had failed Harper in some way.  My marriage suffered a lot during the time period too.  When Keith moved out I felt like I would die.  How was I going to provide for me and my child? There were so many questions going through my mind. 
Despite being devastated by my husband's decision, I think it helped me snap out of the funk I had been in all those months.  At some point I just pushed myself through it and found the strength to admit it was okay to not have all the answers when it comes to raising Harper.  There are things I'm going to fail at.  There are things I will wish I had done differently.  But the one thing I can do is to learn from my mistakes and continue to show Harper the love I have for her. 
The past three months have been a lot better for me.  I've stopped questioning myself every time I'm not sure of what to do in a situation.  I'm trying to trust my instincts more and ask other moms when I have no clue about things.  My marriage is back on track and I couldn't be happier with the direction things are heading.  Harper is a very happy, well-adjusted baby and I am so proud of all the things she's learning and doing each day. 
From this point forward I vow to be okay with not having all the answers.  We will just take things one day at a time.  I'm going to enjoy this time more, too.  I don't want to look back and realize I rushed through it all.  Whether I am out and about with Harper or at home unshowered, still in my pajamas with a pile of dishes, I am going to find joy in ALL situations life brings me.