Around the world in 80 days

the first 80 days of motherhoodMy baby is 80 days old today.

It’s been an incredible journey already.

There are so many things I want to remember about this time that are difficult to preserve, even to describe about his mannerisms and personality. I feel such delicious joy when he runs his bare foot up and down my forearm while he nurses, or when he squeals with delight when I make faces at him, or when he mutters a little “hoooo!” in his sleep, the way he did just now, as though he just accomplished some very tiny but physically demanding achievement.

Each day is a little bittersweet because I know it’s the only day I’ll ever have with him exactly as he is. As exciting as it is to see him hold his head up, or cautiously reach out to pet the cat for the first time, or start to sprout a tooth, each of these is one more sign that he’s growing before my very eyes at a rate my heart can’t keep up with. Add this ache to the many, many things I didn’t understand about parenthood before I became a mom.

When I was pregnant, I expected motherhood to feel like being dropped into a new life. But even white-knuckling my way through the first few weeks, I never felt the identity crisis. I am still myself, and motherhood has given me newfound confidence to accept my whole self, from my mediocre housekeeping skills and my postpartum pudge to my ability to be both extremely laid back and really driven toward particular goals. Instead of feeling as though I’m occupying a stranger’s skin, I have never felt more comfortable in my own skin.

Motherhood has given me a clarity of purpose even as I work harder, sleep less and improvise more than I ever have.

While it is both delightful and devastating to watch my baby utterly transform every day, I must acknowledge that he isn’t the only one.

 

Around the world in 80 days

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