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Lessons from Miriam

How can a seven week old, like Miriam, teach a 32 year old, like me?

In, oh, so many ways!

All those things the experienced parents told me about are true.  Of course, my daughter's beautiful and delightful and perfect.  I can stare at her for extended periods of time and be content simply with her lying on top of me as she sleeps.  Miriam wakes once or twice a night, gets fussy only when I consume too much chocolate or in the evenings when over-stimulation from the day catches up with her, and has truly rockstar-worthy hair.  She's a gift.  As a wise second-time parent advised, I realize she's the gifted one and not I because of how easily she eats and sleeps.  I give thanks now since any future children may not prove so easy.

In addition to all the things they told me, there are a few tips I've picked up over the past six weeks.
  1. If someone offers me a place to nurse in private, I take it.  Once, I tried nursing in the middle of a party.  The minute I covered Miriam with my "nursing apron,"folks quickly drifted away from us.  Point taken.
  2. It's important to be able to do Baby Math.  Every time I feed Miriam, the clock restarts and I calculate 2.5 to 3 hours as the next appointed feeding time.  This forces me to estimate what else I can get done during the interval.  HOWEVER, unforeseen obstacles may arise such as baby needing to be held and thus, Tip #3.
  3. Becoming proficient at tasks with only one hand frees the other hand up to overcome the unforeseen obstacle in Tip #2.
  4. Learning how to use a breast pump early can help avoid baby's fit of rage if mommy's gone longer than expected (Like that time I went out with a girlfriend and got home a little too late.  Sorry, Miriam and John.).
  5. Explosive poops, hemorrhoids, spit up, baby fussiness -- all opportunities to put the world on hold and focus on the truly important things in life.
  6. Washing poop-covered clothes with other laundry is ok.  It all gets clean.
  7. Don't worry, moms, the real you will return.  The split personality that emerges as uncontrollable hormones rage through your body are only temporary.
As I sit here typing with Miriam sleeping on my lap, I'll agree with all those experienced parents -- motherhood really is a great adventure!

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