Help! My Daughter Is Growing Up…
“Enjoy every moment”. “They grow up fast”. One of the first things my Grandma said to me after my daughter was born. I’m sure many of you reading this were told the same thing. Fifteen years later and my Grandma was right. Where have the years gone?
I remember leaving the hospital and thinking…how can they let me take this baby home. I have no idea how to take care of her. I was blessed to have the help of my amazing mother to help me out while I had the new mommy jitters. She recognized the symptoms of jaundice as soon as they appeared. She even proved the doctor wrong when he said, “no, I think she’s fine”. The lab work showed my mom was right.
Everyone always has advice and wisdom to pass on to new mothers. Sleep when the baby sleeps. Don’t hold her all the time, you’ll spoil her. Do this, don’t do that…we’ve all been there.
My daughter had the cord wrapped around her neck when she was born and didn’t cry like most newborns do. They immediately took her and evaluated her on the other side of the room. After what seemed like forever, she began to cry, and she didn’t stop for the next six months! The next night while we were still in the hospital they brought her to me from the nursery and said, “Here’s your baby. She hasn’t stopped crying all night”. True story…this really happened! There were times I felt like I’d never sleep again.
No one told me I’d have postpartum depression or that breast feeding isn’t always as easy as it looks. About the time I was ready to say forget it, get me some bottles, my daughter and I both got the hang of it. As a matter of fact, for the next seven months, we were pros!
The little baby I was so scared to bring home became my whole existence and there was nothing I wouldn’t do for her. I’d worry and fuss over her, check on her when she was sleeping to make sure she was still breathing, made sure she always had a clean diaper, she was never hungry…I even made up songs to sing to her while I rocked her to sleep. Don’t hold her too much, you’ll spoil her? I held her anytime I could because I knew I’d never get those days again. I was no longer scared and was becoming comfortable in my new role as mommy.
I received a lot of advice from family and friends and am so thankful I had a good support system.
I think most of us moms think as our kids get older, things get easier. In a way they do. No one told me the sleepless nights in those first few months would be replaced by sleepless nights when she became a teenager.
Instead of worrying about her not breathing in her sleep, I now worry about her when she goes to the mall or movies with her friends. Boys? Don’t get me started! She’s learning to drive now and right there are a million reasons for countless, sleepless nights.
No one told me when she started kindergarten that I’d cry on the way home. They didn’t tell me that it would feel like she ripped my heart from my chest the first time she said she hated me. They forgot to tell me about the eye rolls, the sassy attitude, the smart mouth, or the fact that I would know absolutely nothing for years to come. I’m convinced God makes childbirth so painful and those first few years demanding yet rewarding, so that you don’t want to give them away when they’re teenagers! Of course, there are many good moments too, but I’ll save those for another time.
Motherhood is the most rewarding job there is. I can’t even remember what life was like before her and I wouldn’t want to. Tonight, she grabbed my hand and told me how much she loved me…even tho hours before she didn’t want to be in the same room with me.
What advice would I give to any new mothers reading this? There will be days you’ll cry right along with your baby. You’re gonna have many sleepless nights for many different reasons. Strong willed toddlers grow into even stronger willed teenagers. For a season, you won’t even be able to go to the bathroom alone. But oh the JOYS…the first smile, the first laugh. The first time they crawl, walk, say mama, tell you they love you. Every milestone will bring you greater joy than you can ever imagine. Those are the things you will always remember.
The best advice of all still comes from my Grandma…Enjoy every moment. They grow up fast!