2009 has officially come and gone and I have to say that apart from the birth of our daughter that I am thrilled for it to be over. It just seemed to be a tough year for everyone that I know in some way or other and I think that we are all looking forward to not only this next year but also the next decade and are hopeful of what it will bring.
One of the things that I realized this year when asked what my new years resolution was is that it didn't focus on myself. Yes, there are things that I want to work on in the new year such as continuing to lose the extra baby weight (I can get into my pre-pregnancy jeans (woo hoo!) I just can't sit down in them), working out more, eating healthier and deleting the "toxic" personalities from my life but there were also those that I didn't expect such as:
Meet other first time Moms (or those with young children)
Have playdates for my daughter so she begins to make friends
Spend more time appreciating the little things in life that my daughter is so fascinated by
Trust my instincts as a Mom more
One of the things that I have found it very tough to do since being home is to meet other first time Moms or even stay at home Moms and have found myself having to seek out those resources. Thank God for my girlfriend who recommended my MOPS group or I might just have actually lost my mind come mid-September of 09. It is an amazing resource of women with kids of all ages who are able to really learn from each other, share "war" stories and also socialize without the kiddos and even our husbands on occasion - therefore we really get time away :-)
Along with this, our daughter has now reached her 7 month milestone and I am realizing how important it is for her to begin to interact with other little ones of her age. We joined a couples with kids group in our area and have met a couple with a little girl who is about 3 weeks older than ours. We met up with them today at Borders for coffee and playtime and it was a hoot just to watch the girls interact with each other. It took our daughter a little bit of time to warm up to the situation as she tends to be a bit more like me and check out things before she participates but in the end, they seemed to be getting along with each other and I think had naptime not ensued that they would have been perfectly happy to giggle at each other for the better part of the afternoon. These are the sorts of things that she needs more of to develop her own social skills but it is also great for all of us (even the Dads) as since the girls are so close in age we are able to share a lot of similar experiences going on in our lives right now.
This is how I have begun to notice how important it is to really appreciate the little things in life that this time last year, I know I would have taken for granted since I would not have been sitting down on the floor playing as much as I do now. The wonder that I see in my daughter's eyes as she picks up a toy for the first time or in watching the shadows move across the carpet or how one can be entertained merely by sitting across from another and smiling and giggling makes me see how much we miss as we get older. Our lives are so fast that we never really stop, look around and actually take it all in...something I truly hope I am able to do more of.
Trusting my instincts as a new Mom is one that I grappled with at the beginning when I thought I needed to be reading all the books, going off of what the pediatrician said verbatim and comparing my child to everyone else's. Now, I still do sometimes compare my daughter's milestones to those of others who I know or what I have read but I don't stress out over it like I once did since there are some areas where she has been ahead of the curve and others where she has been a bit behind but they say that in the end we all get there and if it takes a little bit longer not to worry.
I have begun to take on the mindset that the best person to tell me when my daughter is ready to eat new foods (i.e. move up to the next level), begin crawling, walking etc is my daughter and that she does do things in her own time. She has never been a child who will "do tricks on command" and reminds me of that quite frequently when I want her to do something at that particular moment as she looks at me as if to say "Mommy, that isn't happening and the more you want it to the less likely it will". She is definitely teaching me a thing or two about patience...something anyone who knows me will tell you I lack.
Over the past few days, I have heard it mentioned on more than one occasion by one person or another that they are wishing the holidays weren't over as it means no more time off work and that they are counting the days until the next day off or their vacation. This time last year, I was in their shoes and I remember feeling exactly the same way but due to one thing and another I am not in that position at this particular time and for the first time in many years, I am looking forward to attempting to keep the resolutions that I have made. I am sure that some will take more work than others and I will stumble and fall in some areas but if I believe (as I do with my daughter) that in time I will get there....then hopefully by this time next year, I will be able to say that I have successfully accomplished some of those goals and kept my resolutions.
On a side note though, I do have one more personal resolution - carve out more one on one time with the girlfriends. It is great to get together with the kids and husbands etc but I am learning (especially this past year) how important that relationship with other women is for us as Moms and in general...something I know I have taken for granted and I intend not to any further. It is amazing how just sitting down for a couple of hours over a good cup of tea and talking about anything can be cleansing for the soul...something I was reminded of yesterday as I truly believe that it benefits every aspect of our lives and makes us better and stronger women and in turn..Moms.