Things I’ve Learned Since Becoming a Parent…

So Bailey is 5 months now….which is confusing by the way haha because people in the real world just go by the 20th of the month (or the day they were born) and count months that way. But I have an app that tracks  and helps me know what developmental things are coming up for her etc. Well it has a tracker from the day she was born, and on Sunday she was 20 weeks old from birth, which is 5 months. So I have been going off of that so far. I guess because the control freak in me has to be exact…..buuuuuut the 20th of every month is easier to remember haha. Oh well. So in the time that I’ve had my Bailey Bug, I feel like I have learned enough things to fill a book! But I mainly just want to word vomit the things that come to mind 🙂

My heart will never beat the same again. I knew love. I knew I loved Adam more than anything ever (still do 😉 ) but I didn’t know the dimension love had until we created a child together and brought her into this world. The capacity my heart had to double the love. Not split the love like I thought would happen–double it. Loving both Adam and Bailey with my whole heart in different ways. I read a quote that said, “Once you become a parent, your heart now beats on the outside of your body.” I didnt understand that until I looked into the eyes of my little girl. My heart will never beat the same.

Because of this, I can no longer read anything that will tug at the heartstrings because it has anything to do with babies or children. Period. They were sad before, but now they affect my emotional health. I have my own daily nightmares (daymares) of everything that could possibly hurt Bailey or go wrong. It actually stresses me out. I am already a cautious person who worries alot….but man. Bailey is doomed to a life of bubble-wrap forever.

I’m learning to prioritize. Gone is the Cassie who must have things perfect when going to bed. Now I clean when I can and learn it’s okay for laundry to wait til tomorrow. That a soaking dish in the sink isn’t the end of the world. I would much rather capture smiles and giggles in my memory more than a clean kitchen. In figuring out this new skill…I have also learned that when I do clean or do chores (which usually occurs only at naptimes) I can do it efficiently! Today for instance, Bailey took her afternoon nap, which was barely an hour. The minute I laid her down I started cleaning and was able to successfully clean both bathrooms, the kitchen, pick up the living room, fold some laundry and put it away, and start a new load before she woke up. Whew. Time has new meaning now haha.

Since I have had to rewire things in my head, like prioritizing cleaning and daily activities and such, I am learning patience. I feel this is never really done being learned. I learn more aspects of it and continue trying to improve while it is being tested. Bailey makes the schedules. She needs my undivided attention. It can be really tough sometimes when she is up at 7am, and I am running on few hours of sleep! It tests my patience. But while I am tested, I am also blessed with a greater capacity to learn it. Plus I have an amazing husband who can tell when I am running on fumes and will jump in so I can get a nap or a bath and reboot myself.

Accepting this help is also something I have had to learn since becoming a Mommy. Despite what I think…I cant do it all. I simply cant. No matter how badly I want to, or how determined and stubborn I am to think that I can be super mom and never have hard times. Well I do. I have hard moments. I have moments where I am so sleep deprived that I want to cry, and I have. This in no way affects my love for Bailey by any means…but my mind is telling me to ACCEPT HELP! I finally started asking Adam in the morning to take her for a while so I can get some sleep, or let him cook dinner because I am in the thick of bedtime routines. He also helps me with bedtime routines when he can. I appreciate it so much. I am so grateful he is so hands on. I realize him being in graduate school limits the ability he has to always be available, but when he is available, he makes sure to use it full of family time. 🙂

Adam’s help isnt the only help that is vital, I also need to rely on my Father in Heaven and Savior. I think I have said a thousand prayers since Bailey has been born because I just love her so much and I know that I am not perfect. I need divine guidance for this perfect child that has been entrusted to me. I would not have survived without His help. God is more prevalent in my life. He is more at the forefront. Not because I didn’t believe in His power before, but because now His power and presence in my home is needed more than ever. I need His power for US now instead of just ME. But it is something I am always working on. I will always need to have more faith, because rarely are we going to be put in situations that are exactly the same. Im gunna need some help! This life is meant to have experiences. She is going to have to fall down and pick herself up in her life. I will always be her cheerleader…but I cant fight her battles for her. I have to rely on faith that whatever happens, she will do the best she can. (Of course if anyone creates a device where I can make her never have pain ever in her life….I’ll take two please! haha). I think one of the most impactful things I have learned is God’s love for us. We are His children. Having a child of my own, I now realize how strong and powerful that love it. It puts things in a new perspective for me and gives me comfort.

I have learned that being a mom includes celebrating and laughing over things that someone else would bug their eyes out over. For example, this last week Bailey had the hugest blowout ever. I mean poop. Everywhere. I could barely get her clothes off without it getting in her hair or armpits. It was leaking out of every corner of her diaper and down her legs and up her back. After like 5 wipes I gave up and put her in the bath and cleaned her up. I couldnt stop laughing about it. I was laughing because of the sheer amount of poop that such a tiny girl can produce. I was laughing because Adam and I were both gagging over the smell and seeing eachother gag kept making us go into a fit of giggles. I was laughing because I was celebrating and so happy that she had a bowel movement because it had been almost a week. And I was laughing because the entire time Bailey was looking at Adam and I like WE were the crazy ones! Bailey, covered in poop, was looking at us with a funny face. I lost it. That was so flippin funny. It’s in those moments that you have to laugh. You have to. Because what is the alternative? Freaking out? That solves nothing. Laughing relieves the initial “Oh Shiz” reaction haha. Thankfully Adam and I have the same kind of humor, so we laugh quite a bit.

And last but not least (at least for this post…otherwise it is going to be more of a novel haha) Ive also learned that there’s no perfect way to parent. I was clipping baileys nails a couple months ago and I clipped her thumb. It bled a lot and she had the saddest pain cry. And I bawled. And felt terrible. For days. I have learned that we are all trying our best and accidents or bad days can still happen. In fact, they will happen. My mom told me that there will be bad days, but every day is a new day with a fresh start. I cant let myself spiral into feeling like the worst mommy in the whole world, because that doesnt help anything. Wise words. I am very quick in convincing myself that I am a terrible mom and that Bailey is mad at me and that there’s no coming back from it. But that is the adversary working on me. Bailey needs me to dust myself off and continue every day to be a better mommy than the day before. I will never stop learning how to be a parent. Most days I am sure it will be 2 steps forward 1 step back.
My life is very different than it was pre-parent days. At times it can sure feel like it was easier. I cant remember what it was like to go to the store and the process take less than 15 minutes to just get ready to go to the car. I dont think Ive slept longer than 4 hours in a row since my third trimester. There’s no way I can even begin to fit into my pre preggo jeans….but there’s nothing in that life that can even come close to comparing that to the happiness being a parent brings now.  And the fun in watching and growing together as a family. And being a family. Adam and I were celebrating our 3 year anniversary this last July with a picnic in the park with just the 3 of us. As we were surrounded by soft green grass, sunshine, colorful flowers, and eachother, he said something that stuck with me:

“Family is what makes this world a beautiful place.”

Couldnt have said it better myself.

bailey5months photo 1-3 photo 1 photo 1 copy photo 2photo 2 photo 3 photo 5 IMG_1092 IMG_1100 IMG_1102 mombailey photo 4e

These are our Bits O’ Bertoch.

Cassie Bertoch

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