It is that time. The time when months of routine, schedule, and learning come to an end. It is the end of the school year. Whether you are cheering as a parent or anxious at the idea of adjusting to summer, no matter the feelings all of them are valid and its OK. For some the shift brings some stress as it is a new adjustment. For some it is seamless and easy.
For me I am mostly feeling excited.
There will be some challenges to adjust to I am sure. I work from home a lot. Figuring out those hours again that I can focus on work while we are all home together will be an adjustment.
But my kids are still little. They grow so fast and I swear by each day their independence increases with leaps and bounds. I want to enjoy the moments. And for the record I will focus on moments. I know I will hear, “Mom, I am bored.” “Mom can we do this? That? What about this?” I know my patience will shorten and some days I will be irritated. That is life as a parent.
But there will be days of snuggles, and sun, and play.
I will rub sunblock onto their creamy soft skin. I will get to judge them on their underwater handstands. 10’s seem to be the best answer every time! I will cut up fresh fruit to enjoy in the blistering sun. I will ride my bike alongside them setting goals to go on farther, longer, rides this summer. I will wipe dripping melted popsicle off their cheeks. I will veg out with them and watch their favorite shows. I will pop popcorn over the stove for family movie nights. I will sit out back and watch them play with the neighborhood kids. I will roast marshmallows and make smores over the bonfire. Limit 2 kids! OK maybe 3! We will read together, we will draw. We will run through the sprinkler and slide down the slip-n-slide. I will let them stay up late and sleep-in in the morning. I will have mornings of homemade pancake breakfasts, and others of quick cereal.
I want to embrace this summer. We may never get around to making those cute summer bucket lists. We may not spend enough time outside. We may have lazy days. We may have boring days. We may have busy days. But we will do them together.
As the school bus makes its final stop for the year I may cry. Tears of joy that we get a little time more together. Tears of “I can’t believe how much and how fast they are growing.” Then I will offer my hand to my girls, see if I get to hold one of theirs one last time home. Then we will embark on our remarkable summer.
1 year. When your baby turns one there is a roller coaster of emotions. Often we feel happy. What a thing to celebrate! One orbit around the sun completed! But sometimes it feels bittersweet and brings you to tears.
Babies do so many milestones in that first year. Sitting up. Crawling. Eating. Some may walk. First smile. First laugh. First poopy blow out. So many moments to cherish!
The first year is also has its hard moments. Take time to congratulate yourself on getting through the more difficult parts. Some nights your were surely more awake than blissfully asleep dreaming. Sometimes your baby cried. Just cried. And all you could do was hold her close and let your warmth hopefully calm her. You put baby first and yourself second often. Normal, and totally ok. But that means you likely spent some days in pajamas…the same pajamas you wore yesterday.
The first year means you became a parent.
You know what it is like to be able to burst into tears just thinking about the love for your baby. You know what it is like to be selfless and altruistic. You know what is it like to see hope and joy for new life. You know so many more children songs than ever before. Those suckers get stuck in repeat in your brain, don’t they? “Baby shark do do do do do do!” You understand your kiddo so much more than anyone else. You hear their language and understand their needs. You are a superhero. And your baby loves you more than anything. You are your baby’s world.
The days are long but the years are short. This sentence likely speaks volumes to you. So as you celebrate one marvelous year of life with your favorite little human, let yourself feel. Feel the happiness, or cry if you want to. No matter what you’re feeling it can be fun to dream up a fantastic celebration or maybe simply snuggle close as a family. Happy birthday to your baby! Now go embrace that sweetie pie and dream of the next year ahead!
Self-Care. Self-care seems to be a buzzword now of days. And for good reason! Life is busy, hectic, hard, and we often forget to check in with ourselves. Just like our cars, we all can eventually run out of gas and when we do it can be dark, sad, and lonely.
So life after giving birth is no different.
You have this sweet little newborn. Sweet as a ripe juicy orange, yet demanding, and time consuming. So time consuming we put ourselves last. We are lucky to brush our teeth before 5 p.m. sometimes.
So try not to let things slide too far. Make sure everyday you find moments. MOMENTS. One small moment to yourself can mean a huge deal to your mental load. These moments can look like sneaking in a few pages of a good book while baby naps. Maybe even resting your own eyes.
When feasible set up support. DO NOT HESITATE TO ASK FOR HELP. Have a visitor or a Postpartum & Infant Care Doula? Let them tend to the baby for 30 minutes (or more) while you shower undisturbed! Or read a trashy magazine! Or fill in the blank here! Try to do something that doesn’t require any thought about anything else. Clear your head.
Have a goal each day to do at least one thing that is just FOR YOU.
Something that fills your bucket and makes you breathe a little easier.
Caring for others can cost us a lot sometimes. So check your receipt! Make sure there are some deposits going in! Take care of yourself and in turn you will be able to better care for your newborn.