Wednesday, November 28, 2012


There are a lot of things people don't tell you when you have a baby. You understand the obvious; your table for 2 is now a table for 3, you are never going to sleep again, and Friday night takes on a whole new meaning. A few things that Google doesn't tell you is that taking a shower is now a luxury (hell, if you even have time to loofah your ENTIRE body then you're having a good day), you will wear jeans from 4 season's ago while your infant child is wearing the latest trend from Baby Gap, "Nap when they nap" is a phrase that will send you into a wild tailspin of emotions and you might even headbutt the person who spewed said these insightful words. The biggest, hardest, most mind blowing thing to understand after you have a baby is how it will change your marriage or relationship. Did I say change? I actually mean test, destroy, F with, and basically have you contemplating a quick stop at your attorney's office on your way home from Target. No one tells you this.

I had a quick maternity leave, a whole 6 weeks. And every day of those 6 weeks I was on the phone with someone asking, "Is this normal?", "Are you sure this is okay?" And by THIS, I mean wanting to strangle the living daylights out of BW. The lack of sleep was just pure insanity, and the power struggle was frightening. I will not sugarcoat the first few weeks of Olivia's life. We struggled. We argued. We cried. We slammed doors. I couldn't believe what was unraveling. Not even the best Mothers in the world should have to do this alone. This is hands down a two person job. But at one point, I believed that doing it alone might have been easier. It might have been less stressful. There would be no right or wrong; there would be no arguments. However, as I live each day without him by my side, with no one to challenge me, and no one to argue with, I've been blessed with a little perspective.

When he insisted on consoling her when she was teething, it was because he'd never see her first tooth. When he told me he wanted to take her out for the day despite my uneasiness, it was because it would be over a year before he could do it again. When he laid her on her belly right after she ate, it was because he'd never see her crawl. When he woke her up late at night after drill weekend, it's because he'd never again be able to hold her without waking her. When he sat for endless hours googling 'nonsense', it's because for the next year I'd be the one googling. When he insisted the Science Channel was good for her, it was because he'd never get to see her first dance to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. When he strapped her to his chest to play video games, its because he knew I needed a break. When he worked late, it was so Olivia could wear those Gap jeans. When he argued that her newborn legs could hold her up, it was because he'd never see her first steps. When he insisted on untwisting her car seat harness even when we were running late, it's because it was his chance to keep her safe. When he held her too tight while in his uniform, it was because that will be her closest memory. When he spoke too loud during bath time, it was because she needs to remember his voice. When he told me to trust him, it was because he knew what he was doing.

Today,as I listened to a woman complain to her friend about how her husband had to work on Thanksgiving, I looked over at Olivia. She was standing. She was standing all by herself. Not holding on to anything; not leaning her little belly to maintain her balance. As these women bla bla bla complain about their husband's absence I look over at my little girl achieving a milestone; this is something that can't be microwaved, it can't be put in the fridge, and can't be served as leftovers. These are the things my husband is missing. I can't put these things on hold, and we don't get do-overs. There is ONE first step, there is ONE first word, and there is ONE first birthday. Be thankful that your husband was home at all that day. Because you know what? Mine was not here yesterday, today, or tomorrow.

For every 50 Thanksgivings, Christmases, Birthdays and New Years, there is a celebration that only comes around once. Tomorrow we celebrate our first wedding anniversary, 8000 miles apart.

1 comment:

  1. Happy Anniversary, girl. I've been both looking forward to and dreading our first anniversary next month in a way that only an army wife can lol I can't imagine doing this with kids, so I really respect you! Keep your head up! We're 120 days down this morning!!!