13 things I've learned in the last 22 months of Parenthood.

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Theodore turned 22 months old yesterday. I’m not sure if that number itself is more boggling, or if it’s the fact that he will be 2 years old in a mere 60 days. I swear that there is some weird, parent-focused voodoo that happens when you have a child that makes the years go by freakishly fast. There have been a lot of lessons in these past 22 months though. Some of them good, some hilarious, some have actually made me cry.

Here’s 13 things I’ve learned since giving birth, 22 whole months ago.

  1. Poop comes in more colors than I ever had any idea of. Seriously. I feel like an unwilling expert on poop now.

  2. I cry at the most unexpected milestones. Of course I cried when Theodore said “Mama” or when he walked for the first time. But I also cried just yesterday when he said “I want apple peas (please)” because it’s a full sentence. When did he get big enough to speak in full sentences????

  3. Parental intuition is freakishly accurate. I’ve taken him into the doctor with no symptoms of an ear infection - no fever, whining, nothing - and just had a gut feeling that he had one. Our Ped looked at me kind of funny when she heard why we were there, but lo and behold he had a nasty infection.

  4. Not only can I survive the difficult days, I can let them change me for the better. Some days of parenting are nuclear. They’re difficult in ways that I never imagined they would be. Those are usually the days I learn about my son and myself and we both grow as humans. “For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must be completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.” Cynthia Occelli

  5. I really, really like sleep and coffee. I thought I knew what sleep deprivation was from working on papers late into the night in my 2 years of college. It’s a totally different level when you’re trying to keep someone else alive AND suffering sleep deprivation.

  6. Breastfeeding is awesome and exhausting and weird. I had a hell of a time breastfeeding Theo for the first 3 or so weeks. He had an (at the time undiagnosed) tongue tie, lip tie and it took 6 full days for my milk to truly come in. It was a humbling experience to say the least.

  7. I don’t love my body every second of every day - until I remember it’s capable of literally growing humans.

  8. It’s okay to ask for help. I’ve never been super good about admitting that I need help - it’s actually something that irks John to no end about me. But after having Theodore some days you just need someone else to take care of the dishes. Or just leave them be for another day.

  9. Toddlers can run away from you in the grocery store so fast it puts Olympian sprinters to shame. It also can be terrifying.

  10. You are beautiful even when you do not feel like it.

  11. It’s okay to work time in for yourself during the day/week. We parents need to replenish their emotional/mental stores to be the best that we can be. It’s really hard to be patient if you’re on day 191 with no breaks from your kiddo.

  12. If you don’t think you need extra diapers on a trip, trust me. BRING EXTRA DIAPERS.

  13. Watching a toddler blow kisses is seriously THE CUTEST THING EVER. And sometimes you just have to take ahold of the tiny, sweet moments to get you through the day. Write them down and take them out to read on the days that you just don’t think you can do another minute of parenthood.

You’ve got this. You’re doing great! And if you’ve pulled an all-nighter, don’t get a sugary coffee drink. Get a Black Eye coffee instead (it’s drip coffee mixed with two shots of espresso). Sip it slow or you’ll give yourself the jitters!