December 2, 2013

Three Lessons on Love I've Learned in the Last Three Months

The last three months have been a crash course in parenting for me. I've learned how to master the art of changing a diaper - and how to change it again just a few seconds later. I've interpreted the cries from my daughter, differentiating "I'm tired" from "I'm hungry" and "Hey! Hold me higher so I can see everyone in the room!" But the biggest lessons I've learned all have to do with love.

Lesson #1: The Heart Can Hold an Infinite Amount of Love

Apparently I was the Grinch before my baby was born.
Remember how his heart "grew three sizes" on Christmas? As the anxiety/shock/weariness of childbirth wore off and the reality of this tiny new person's life set in, I took a look at her little hands and tiny lips and cried with pure joy. In fact, I would cry at everything. A sweet congratulatory card would make me whimper. The kindness from the lactation ladies helping me with nursing would trigger tears. Even commercials showing families excited over new cars would get me going.
My husband and I would look at each other and declare our baby's perfection. And I would bawl with happiness of our little blessing. I was one hot weeping new mommy mess.
And I loved every minute of it.

Lesson #2: Another Word for Love: YUM

During the first two weeks of motherhood, a bunch of friends from church stopped by to bring my husband and I dinner. Every time I would thank someone for making an extra couple servings of dinner for us, the response was, "No problem."
How scrumptious is she??!!
So maybe it didn't seem to be a lot of effort on their part, but to me, those meals helped me focus on my baby while I was still physically recovering from my delivery. In those few minutes of them dropping off food, seeing my baby, and declaring "What a head of hair she has!" I was able to visit with friends and remember how lucky I am to know so many great people.
Sometimes showing love can be done with a meal, a visit, a phone call. It doesn't take much. Just a little effort can change someone's day from frazzled to blessed.

Lesson #3: The Secret Sauce of Love is Made from Forgiveness

I'm pretty sure it was only the third day of being a new mom that I declared myself a failure. The baby was crying and I couldn't figure out what she wanted. I loudly sighed to my husband, "YOU take her!"
And then I felt awful. Was I the worst mom ever because I couldn't help her? Or worse - because I couldn't handle her???
I realized then that feeling like a failure probably just comes with parenthood. A sign of my earning my stripes. I know I'll have plenty of opportunities to mess up as a parent - and just as many opportunities to forgive myself and everyone else around me. Forgiveness seems to be the key to accepting that we're human and gives us the strength to move on and become better.

And I'm so grateful for my husband, who's already proved to be the world's best dad. I knew he'd be a great father when I married him and I'm so grateful I finally get to see him in action. Watching him as a dad makes me fall in love with him all over again.

I do feel like the luckiest mom in the world. This baby girl has changed my heart and life forever.
Happy 3 Months to my sweet little lady!

P.S. It's Cyber Monday. Books make great gifts! Grab a copy of 31 Dates in 31 Days today!

1 comment:

Connie said...

Absolutely beautiful, I love every word mama Tamara. Now you understand why I was so weepy when I saw you before little Effie came full force in your life. I wish we were closer so we could have a nice long chat about life over some hot cocoa and cookies, yeah right like we have time for it. Love you

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