I knew when I had a baby, so many things would change. I anticipated a loss of sleep, difficulty with breastfeeding, a general disorientation about my role after assuming the title of “mom.” Amazingly, none of these things have been true for me. My husband and I lucked out with a baby who loves to sleep and started sleeping through the night when she was about four weeks old. Breastfeeding came easily to us (although I do get stressed about my supply periodically – mainly about having enough to freeze – and pumping at work can really get old). And I’ve found that this new mom hat fits right on top of all the other hats I already wore (wife, sister, daughter, friend, employee, Pure Barre teacher, blogger, and more) without requiring much adjustment.
What has changed since Maggie was born is my perspective on certain aspects of the world. Having this tiny new human in my life – and watching her take in the brand-new-to-her world around her – has helped me take notice of a few things, too.
Here are five lessons my newborn has taught me so far:
1. Every day is a new adventure
Maggie wakes up smiling every single day, and it’s astonishing. When I go to her crib to pick her up, her entire little face lights up when she sees me, and it’s the absolute best feeling in the entire world. She’s genuinely excited to start each day, and watching her have such a positive outlook from the moment she opens her eyes every morning has helped to remind me of what an adventure each day – even the most average-seeming Wednesday – truly is.
2. Smile at strangers
I’ve never minded having conversations while standing in line or on an airplane or anything, but I do have a tendency to go into “get it done” mode and just kind of tune out the things and people around me. When you go places with a baby, though, it’s pretty impossible to avoid interruption. And you know what? That’s okay. Thanks to Maggie and her sweet little smile, I’ve had countless lovely interactions with strangers while out and about, and as a result I’ve felt far less rushed and frantic about errands in general.
3. Learn something new every day
There’s something different about Maggie every single day, because she’s always taking in information and discovering new skills and abilities she has. There’s a lot to be learned from that sponge-like curiosity, and in watching her I find myself striving to see the world through a different lens and soak up new information whenever and wherever I can, too.
4. You have more family than you might realize
I knew Kevin and I had great friends, but seeing their outpouring of love and support for us once we had a baby has been incredible. Our girl is so very loved by so many people – a reminder of how much my husband and I are loved, too.
5. It’s okay to slow down
If I’m not careful, I find myself overcommitting to things and running in a million directions. Not only can that behavior leave me exhausted (both mentally and physically), it also makes me miss out on things around me because I’m moving so fast. Thanks to Maggie, I do many things slower and more intentionally these days, and it’s so good for me. Being as present as I can and trying to soak in Maggie’s babyhood as much as possible means pumping the brakes, and it’s so very worth it.