The closer Rowan gets to his first birthday, the more reflective I become. The year has gone by faster than I thought possible. It’s definitely bittersweet—the cliché about each stage being more fun than the last is true (so far), but I’m already nostalgic for the newborn days (not enough to get knocked up again, though).
When your baby is born, you gain a whole new identity. Being a parent becomes a defining part of who you are. The “mom” part of me didn’t edge out who I was before Rowan; it just supplemented my personality.
That’s not to say I didn’t make sacrifices. Like any parent, I made plenty. Here’s what I’ve lost in the last year*:
- 1,100 hours of sleep
- 30 pounds of baby weight
- A paycheck
- A lot of down time
- Some spontaneity
It’s amazing what lack of sleep and a screaming, clinging newborn can do to your sanity. Even more incredible is how differently you see the world when you get a good night’s rest.
More importantly, though, is all that I’ve gained*:
- 1 hundred bear hugs
- 1 thousand baby kisses
- 1 million belly laughs
- 2 bra cup sizes
- Countless memories
- So much patience
I prepared myself for these changes going into parenthood, both good and bad. I wholeheartedly welcomed them (well, except the diminished sleep). But experiencing them firsthand has been so much better than I ever thought possible. The losses don’t seem as great (again, not counting the sleep aspect), and the gains mean so much more.
*These figures are approximate.