After a few posts about the unspoken challenges of motherhood, it’s time to take a look at the other side of the coin. Sure, being a new mom is really tough, but there are some truly amazing parts to the job too!
Whether you carried your child in your womb for 9 months, or whether your child was adopted, there is something really special about the bond between a mother and her child. For me, this bond has really become much stronger now that Céline is almost 5 months and we’re out of the craziness of the first 100 days. She will be my daughter, forever. And that’s really special. Sure, I knew what it was like to be a daughter and the love I have for my mother – but it’s different when the relationship is the other way around. I truly never knew I could love someone so much!
Many of you read about my struggles with breastfeeding and now, I’d like to add it to my list of joys in our lives. Once I gave up the pills and the pumping, and just enjoy having her nurse, it’s become something I look forward to. She does get formula in bottles but we are still enjoying that special time together, sharing something that is truly a mother’s gift to her child. I was certain that I would have given up on breastfeeding by now, but I’m not ready to and neither is she. One of my favorite times to nurse and feed her is at 10 pm. That’s when I do her “dream feed” – that is, feed her while she is still asleep. Often my husband has put her down to sleep while I’m out tutoring, so I haven’t held her in 4-5 hours. I pick her up from her crib and she snuggles into my shoulder. She finds a way to nurse, still asleep in my arms. It’s a quiet time and it allows me to just hold her and enjoy her little feeding noises.
Another wonderful thing about being a new mom is the connections you make with other new moms! Going through the good, the bad and the ugly together really brings people closer. And there is always something you can learn from other moms, those that are at the same stage as you are and those that have much more experience. I’m blessed to have a great circle of girlfriends with children the same age as Céline, so that our kids can grow up together (at least for now since we all live in Burlington).
Now that Céline is a bit older, she is much more interactive as well. She has also found her voice, so she likes to talk and sometimes scream (in happiness). We can get her to laugh and giggle, which makes us laugh even more. She is learning to sit up on her own and loves to have help to sit and stand up. It’s true that all of the little milestones are very exciting. We’ve also started to figure her out a bit more, we can (for the most part) understand her different crys now. Of course, I’m not always able to console her, but there is a certain pleasure in knowing that my child and I can communicate on some level and I’m not always guessing. Figuring out when she’s tired has been a big step, so now she is napping better and is a happier child all around. To me, this a joy in our lives right now!
Finally, I have to say that baby snuggles and hugs are just the BEST! I love holding her when she’s in a cuddly mood and feeling her heartbeat on my chest. Even if she’s crying and I’m trying to console her by rocking her in my arms, I still love it. She is a much heavier baby now, of course (around 15 lb), but I will hold her and carry her as long as I possibly can. That is the true joy of being a mom!