You can read all the books, take all the classes, and seek all the advice you want prior to becoming a parent, but what I quickly found out is that you can never be fully prepared. It’s all about “on the job” training and learning as you go. After 6 weeks, I’m getting to know myself as a mom and have already learned some important lessons. Here are but a few of many…

    1. Postpartum hormones are no joke. Several friends warned me that there would be lots of crying and emotional meltdowns in the days and weeks following the baby’s arrival, and boy were they right about that. I’m lucky that the hormonal craziness went away for the most part after a couple weeks, but I still have my moments.
    2. It’s possible to become a “baby person” if you weren’t one before. I never was, but just as I’d heard, it’s totally different when the baby is your own. I am so, so in love with my son and could kiss and cuddle him all day long.
    3. I have incredible respect for parents who don’t have family living close by. Honestly, if not for our parents, I’m not sure how I would have survived the first weeks of Parker’s life. Even now, my mom comes over almost every morning so that I can get a few things done around the house and take a shower.
    4. “Letting things go” is not something I’m good at. Everyone kept telling me to forget about doing laundry, cleaning the house, making the bed, etc. but if those things weren’t done, I might have gone even more crazy than I already felt spending so much time at home. When given the choice between showering and vacuuming, the latter will always win out.
    5. Typing with one hand is a skill that I have mastered. In fact, I’m typing this blog post with my non-dominant hand, because my other arm is indisposed while I feed Parker. Typing on the computer is a little trickier than the iPhone, which is where I do most of my emailing and Facebooking these days.
    6. Speaking of Facebook, I’m totally one of those people who posts pics of their kids on a daily basis (sometimes even multiple times a day). For this, I make no apology.
    7. Candy Crush Saga is addictive if you aren’t careful. I needed something to do on my phone during all those late-night feedings, so I thought this game would be fun and harmless. It’s fun all right, but I am getting a little too hooked for my own good. Not to mention that it makes me crave candy even more than I already do!
    8. Now that Zach is a dad, I see him in a whole new light. Never would I have guessed that he’d be willing to change diapers every night at 2 am, nor did I imagine he’d become a champion swaddler (it still counts if the blankets have velcro). I’m lucky to have such a wonderful husband and partner in parenthood.
    9. I miss working. I really thought that once Parker was born, I would completely dread having to spend hours apart from him when it came time to return to work. Don’t get me wrong: I’m loving my maternity leave, but I’m looking forward to seeing my kiddos, playing my instruments (I haven’t touched the guitar in 6 weeks…hope I remember how to play), and feeling productive. The fact that I’ll have the best of both worlds — spending the day with Parker and then working (at my home studio) in the afternoons/evenings — will definitely make for an easier transition.
    10. Being a parent really is the most amazing thing ever. 9 months of pregnancy, childbirth, sleepless nights, and dirty diapers are nothing compared to the joy of holding my baby and knowing that I get to watch him grow up. Cheesy, yes; but completely true.

I really could keep adding to this list, but my right hand is getting tired and Parker is almost finished eating. By far, the biggest lesson learned thus far is that I still have A LOT to learn when it comes to mommyhood. I’ll have to write a follow-up to this post in another 6 weeks…maybe by then my little guy will let me put him down long enough to type with both hands :)