Things I have learned as a parent so far… I am sure I have learned much more than this, but this is what I can recall at the moment.
1. It is very hard to raise a baby so far away from family support. The only reason I know this is because I was fortunate enough to have my mom come and stay for two weeks. The extra support (especially right at the beginning) was greatly appreciated. We are learning that even though we don't have family in the area, we have several friends who have stepped up and offered to help us out with child care since Tom and I are both back to work/school. They are even letting us pay them with dinners. For this we are extremely grateful.
2. Don’t jump to tend the babies needs at the first sound they make. My mom taught me this. Due to learning this lesson, Tom and I have enjoyed several more hours of sleep. (Example: Grayson started fussing at 4:00 am one morning. Tom got up to check on him, decided to use the restroom first, came back and Grayson was fast asleep. He slept until almost 7 am. What a great sleeper he is =).
3. It is extremely difficult to see your child in pain. The cry that lets you know there is pain is unbearable. There have been a couple of times where I have cried right along with Grayson because I just didn’t know what to do. It kind of made me feel like a bad parent because I couldn’t figure out what the problem was. I’m trying to get over that feeling, and just trying to reassure myself that I am doing the best that I can with what I have…including an aunt that lives many miles away from me, but she has been able to talk me through a couple of situations.
4. Being a parent is kind of hard. Totally worth it, but very hard. Tom went to Boston for a few days for a conference, which left me with Grayson by myself. I don't know how single parents do it, but it is an extremely difficult thing to do. I am grateful for the team effort that Tom and I have. It make things a lot easier.
5. It is important for me to not feel overwhelmed with housework and my things to do list. To help solve this problem I have come up with a plan that includes doing laundry three days a week, cleaning the kitchen one day, cleaning the bedrooms another day etc...It is taking me a little while to get used to doing things this way, and I have been at it for about three weeks. I haven't been able to stick to doing everything as planned, but I feel that I have been able to stay on top of things better. It is just kind of amazing how priorities change.
6. I never thought I would be able to love someone else so much. Grayson is really a sweetheart. My heart just melts when he smiles and coo’s, laughs in his sleep, and makes all of the sweet noises. I just love him.
Last but not least, I am grateful that things don't happen when I think they should happen. I am grateful to a loving Heavenly Father who knows far more what I need and when they need to happen. Grayson came 3 weeks early. By him coming three weeks early, I have been able to get an extra 18 days home with him. This includes the 3 days we had off for Thanksgiving week, ten days for Christmas vacation, 3 days at the beginning of January when Tom went to a conference, 2 snow days, and Martin Luther King day. I have also been able to ease back in to a five day work week. My first week back I worked 2 days, this is when Tom went to his conference in Boston. My second week back I worked 3 days. We had 2 snow days. My 3rd week back which is this week, I will work 4 days, and next week, I will do five days. I don't think I could have planned it any better.
To end this post, I will leave you with a picture of my sweet 8 week old son...He isn't very happy in this picture, but he sure is darn cute still...