I shared my feelings on being a pregnant newlywed with you in last year’s Mommy and Me section. I anticipated the challenges and joys that a baby brings and thought I was prepared. What I didn’t anticipate was how much a baby changes everyone, especially mommy.
My daughter Lily Marie is now 7 months, and her sweet, inquisitive nature and smile lights up a room. It’s delightful to watch others enjoy my baby. Since she arrived, I laugh a lot more, worry a lot less and experience pure joy with my family.
I graduated in Mass Communications from LSU, and being understood has always been important to me. But it’s not always simple with adults. Lily has taught me that true communication is shown through expression, not words. When she sees me she giggles with excitement, kicks her legs and outstretches her arms. My heart melts as I realize I am no longer a woman in the world with my own agenda, I am her mom, and she is my agenda.
My days are now dictated by a little person with a giant personality. I awake to my new alarm clock of baby crying at 6 a.m., letting me know it’s time to place her food order. My routine no longer consists of looking for high heels or applying make up; instead I shuffle in the dark to find a pacifier in hopes she’ll go back to bed and let me sleep just a little later. When she dozes back to sleep in my arms, my new day has begun in the best way imaginable.
Everything Lily does amazes me, and everything I do amazes her. We learn together, and our bond becomes stronger daily. I take cues and respond quickly to her requests, and she rewards me with a bright-eyed expression that says, “thank you.” I cuddle and kiss my baby girl and tell her aloud how much I love her so often that my husband made me give him a penny every time I kissed her. I was broke within a week.
I tried to settle in to business as usual and attempted to work from home in a new garage office where I am harvesting my new business. I was so excited to get to do it all: taking care of baby and making money doing what I love. I learned quickly that time and energy are hard to find and what I would hope to get done in a day now takes a week or two.
I’ll admit, my career ambitions didn’t always include changing diapers while making funny faces or doing back bends in the car to try and soothe a tired baby, but I’m grateful to be hired. I keep waiting for my check in the mail and wonder why my imaginary boss hasn’t given me a bonus for working with alacrity and ease through all these changes. But I’ve been able to explore my nurturing side and can’t wait to be creative and spontaneous with her as she grows. Being a mom has become my favorite job, and I’m thrilled to discover that I’m pretty good at it so far.
While it will be wonderful if I make Lily proud by achieving earthly goals, my new goal is to do my best to leave a legacy of love to my family. I hope to be there for her the way my mom is for me. From her first words to her wedding day – and then holding her first baby – nothing compares to the love shared between a mother and daughter. As good as it is now, I know it’s only going to get better, because “I’m a Mommy!”