Little Shrimp (my sister’s affectionate nickname) is three weeks old. My mom kept telling me that she had things she wouldn’t be able to share until he was here, simply because I wouldn’t understand. Considering I learn best by doing things myself, however awful that may turn out, I love my mom for letting me learn things on my own. So far Terry, Edgar and I have been doing really well adjusting to each other, and it has definitely been a learning curve. Here are a few of the lessons I’ve learned the last three weeks, in no particular order:
- Trust yourself. If something is working it doesn’t make a damn bit of difference what anyone else says. Parenting comes in many forms and what works for one probably won’t work for the next.
- If you make a choice to not be frustrated every single time a frustrating or angering situation comes up it is easier to live a less frustrated life. For me this is easier with Edgar than it is with other things, but deep breathing, taking my time, and having terry sew the wipes when they need to be finished seems to help. This is something I did with my students at school too, I actively worked on not being frustrated by them and it lead to a really pleasant classroom experience. I’ll eventually learn how to sew, it’s just more difficult for me to treat myself and inanimate objects with the same kindness I provide to children.
- Procrastination is the enemy! If I delay pumping my milk supply dwindles, if I delay laundry we run out of diapers and wipes, if I delay feeding my kid turns purple with anger…all of these are necessary to do on time. Something I’m hoping to apply to my schoolwork when I return in the fall, something I did apply to my schoolwork when I had school full time and a job full time. There was no wiggle room for procrastination at that time and there absolutely isn’t now.
- Really process the joy in little things. This is something I already do a lot, but it’s a lesson worth learning time and time again. The green grass, the bright blue sky, a super awesome rainbow, the sound of rain, my son doesn’t have the ability to take joy in those things yet, but I sure do. Every new thing he learns is a joy too. He’s discovered his arms, he recognizes the shape of the bottle when you show him, he knows different voices and is almost at the brink of playing. I wrote about Silver Linings Playbook a while ago and this lesson was in that book too.
I’m looking forward to all kinds of new lessons, and I am so grateful that I have not had any postpartum mental health issues!