By Aimee Daly
Becoming a parent for the first time is kind of like taking on a new identity overnight. One day you’re wearing a suit, reading the Times on your way to the office, and the next you’re lucky if you’ve showered and reading Dr. Seuss.
I, like most mothers, had a vague idea of what parenting would be like, but in a matter of weeks after my daughter was born I realized that that there were some surprises that went way beyond what I’d be wearing and reading each day. Here are five things that took me by surprise upon becoming a mom:
Breastfeeding is a way of life. Pre-mommyhood, I thought breastfeeding was just another way to feed a baby. Real-life experience and research has taught me that breast milk is not only jam-packed with nutrients specifically designed for baby’s needs, but it’s also a sleep inducer, a boo-boo healer and it can calm my daughter’s fussiness. I never imagined we’d be nursing past infancy, but here we are, marching through toddlerhood with mama’s “liquid gold” on the menu.
Keeping a child occupied is hard work. I used to refer to my daughter as “High Maintenance Baby.” Ever since she was a few weeks old, she constantly required adult attention and she let you know it. It’s not easy to find ways to keep a baby or toddler occupied each day, especially when his or her attention span is just a few minutes long. And if you think your kid will be happy sitting in a playpen or swing while you go about your business, you’re probably mistaken. Accepting that I had to put my daughter’s needs first was a big realization for me. I had to learn to be okay with housework, errands or my personal needs being put on hold.
I miss working. Part of me isn’t sure whether or not I really want to admit this, given that I do not miss setting goals, meeting deadlines, or pushing paper. I do, however, miss doing a job I knew I was good at and I sometimes find myself longing for office camaraderie. My old role was very people-oriented and I loved interacting with so many colleagues on a daily basis. Especially at first, my new role as a SAHM left me feeling isolated at times, and I wasn’t always sure that I was doing a good job. However, now that I’m almost two years into this parenting gig, I can look at my daughter and feel confident that I am doing everything right for her.
To read the full article at New York Family Magazine click here.
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