This has been such a life changing year for me. Carrying a baby, having a baby, learning to knit, learning how to adapt to all things Molly, depression, days spent laughing at all the funny things Molly and Finn get up to... it's been a rollercoaster for sure.
This year I learned to trust my instincts. My worst moments were when I tried to fight the things my body and instincts were telling me, from trying to do too much, trying to continue breastfeeding when my body was screaming at me to stop, trying to stay up when I should be sleeping, trying to stay calm when I really needed to let my emotions out... everything improves when I listen to my body and follow my gut. I hope that in 2016 I am more in tune with my own needs.
This year I learned that I don't actually care very much what other people think of my parenting. In February, on the cusp of having a baby, all I could read were how people said to do things, how birth SHOULD go, how to raise kids that aren't jerks, how to make your baby happy, how to EVERYTHING. When Molly was about 4 months old, I stopped googling everything, connected with a small group of my favourite moms who I could hit up for advice in moments of need, and embraced not always knowing the right answer. This has been so freeing. We just choose what works for us as a family. And it means I can look at all the other parents and embrace their choices, too, because their choices apply to THEIR family. I've also tried to let go of my need to complain about stuff (not always successfully, ha!). Maybe Molly rejected all of her naps all day but instead of talking about it to the entire internet, I just laugh and go grab a couple of stories so we can cuddle... because those things are small potatoes, in the scheme of things.
This year I learned how to knit. And embroider. And crochet. Some days these crafts felt like all that stood between me and pure chaos. Some days those crafts felt like a cry for help that nobody could understand. Some days they were therapy and my best friend and my love and my need, and some days they were just fun. I've never in my life felt such a drive to produce things as I did this year. I funneled all my love and exhaustion and patience... all those hours of pumping milk and lying under a snoozing baby and crying and sipping tea and chatting to my mom on the phone... all those days where I didn't sleep enough or eat right or talk to any real people... all those hours where I just counted the minutes until Jay would be home. I knitted through it all. And that maybe makes knitting sounds like a dark place, but it wasn't. It was like pouring all my love and hopes through my fingers into items that I could give to the people I love the most.
This year I learned how much love I have to give. It's a LOT of love. You can have a baby and still love your dog the same amount. You can have a baby and still love your husband the same amount. You can still love your friends, your cats, your mom. In fact, having Molly showed me that I can love all the things I loved even MORE than before, because watching them with Molly makes my heart expand like a balloon. Watching Finn turn into a "brother", Jay turn into a dad, my mom become a Nana, my sister become an aunt... it's like having front row seats to the best show in the world, where all your most favourite people are the performers. And it's real.
I am not huge on making New Years goals. I like to fly by the seat of my pants. But every year of my life seems to improve and expand in awesome and unexpected ways, so I am pretty excited to see what comes!