Monday, January 9, 2012

dear julie; babies don't keep

A special little lady in my life just found out that she was expecting shortly before Christmas. Could I express my excitement for her in words? Probably not. But that might tell you a little bit about how overjoyed I am for her. She is wonderful. Her husband is wonderful. And together they're going to make a wonderful little baby (I vote, girl... and I've never been wrong thus far lol).

The other day I was talking to her and she asked me if I could give her some advice on Motherhood. So. this post is dedicated to my beautiful friend, Julie Tippie :)... (let's see if i can manage to get through this without crying. ha. probably not.)

This is such a broad topic. Where do I start? Well. I've gotta start somewhere. So lets start with:

Dear Julie,

Babies don't keep. Families are forever - that's a wonderful thing. But in the eternities, your babies won't be babies anymore - they'll be big kids with their own eternal companions. This is the only time in your life that you'll get to see them as babies, toddlers, kids and teenagers. Cherish it. Cherish it all;
the sticky fingers,
the slobbery kisses,
the 'getting into absolutely everything that they shouldn't be getting into'.
Even cherish the moments at 4 am when you feel like you might die of tiredness while you are trying to soothe a sobbing baby.

Learn to laugh when you walk into the kitchen and there is a bag of flour dumped on the floor - in fact, in might be wise to just jump right on in there for a good flour fight. Those are the memories that will mean something... those are the memories that will be cherished.

I guess that doesn't mean that you don't have to dicipline your baby (maybe you could leave that job to dad ;). Remember that you're a Mom before everything else - even a best friend. You might not get to be your baby's best friend until they grow up. Sometimes you'll have to take things away and sometimes you'll have to make rules that little baby won't like so much. Maybe they will even say that they don't 'like you' anymore because of it. Remember that in the long run, they'll be thankful you set them boundaries.

Lots of people will tell you their opinions on lots of different things: how to put baby to sleep, what to feed baby, how to feed baby, what car seat to buy, what blankets to use, when to potty train, when NOT to potty train, to spank or not to spank, to let cry or not to let cry, to co sleep or not to co sleep, to use time out or to not use time out.

All of these opinions are wonderful and people are giving them to you because they honestly care. Decide what works for you, and discard the rest. That doesn't mean you have to be rude - always accept opinions graciously and with a smile. But don't stress over the small things. It's likely that your baby will not be mentally impaired based on whether or not you fed them green grapes or red grapes. You are the Momma. And you are a wonderful Momma at that. This is your baby. And you are entitled to knowing what your baby's needs are - that's your Momma inspiration and no one elses. Try not to internalize too many crazy opinions. Decide what works for you and block out the rest.

Don't ever forget to take some 'mommy time'. In order for you to be the best mom that you can be, you need to work on yourself too. Find something that you love to do - whether it's running or painting or singing or dancing or reading - and do it every day. You will be a better mom for it.

Make sure to take time out for mr. tippie :) he needs love too. Sometimes mama's get so caught up in their little babies that they forget about daddy dearest (i wouldn't know from personal experience but i'm sure it happens hahaha). Work on your relationship... go on dates... write him love letters... go to the temple together. Little baby might cry when you leave them with a baby sitter (you've got a friend named 'megan' who's alright with babies - AND free of charge ;)... remember when you hear those little cries that your baby is not going to grow up to be a crazy person just because you left them for a night on a date. Relax. Enjoy your husband. Love your husband.

Last but not least... when your whole little body is achy and tired... and you're sitting in a chaotic room amongst a screaming inconsolable baby... and you think to yourself:

"What. the (insert word of choice here) am I doing? How on earth can I measure up to this task? Am I even making any difference at all?"

I want you to remember this: you are making a difference. You are making a bigger difference than anything you could ever think of imagining right now. One day I'm sure that all of us Momma's will realize just how much of a difference we made... and it will be an overwhelming thing. Imagine your greatest 'worldly dream'... mine would probably be becoming a concert pianist or something of the sort; something that you feel would bring you recognition from the world. Whatever feelings of recognition that you will feel from accomplishing your greatest 'worldly dream' will pale in comparison to the sense of accomplishment you will feel from Motherhood. I can promise you that.

It's ok to make mistakes. That's what we're here to do. Don't beat yourself up and tear yourself down. Remember Who's work you're doing. You're a wonderful Momma, ms. julie (hav and i have come to this conclusion from his time at day care ;). And I love you for it.



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