I’m about four weeks shy of my due date with my second child, and we’ve slowly but surely been pulling the nursery together for his arrival. Last night I went into his room to see what final details needed to be put in order before his debut. My heart grew a little heavy when I opened his closet door to see a solitary item of clothing hanging—a hand-me-down bathrobe from his sister. When I think back to this time before my daughter was born, I can recall this very closet overflowing with clothes—new clothes in all sizes and for all occasions.
Don’t get me wrong—I have stocked up on some boy onesies that are neatly folded away in his dresser drawers. But comparatively, my son is starting out with way less in the clothing department than my daughter did. I guess that’s just how it goes.
I’m hoping though that what I lack in attire for my baby boy I more than make up for in motherly experience having done this child birth thing once already. For any of you who’ve read my blog from its early days, you may recall a post I wrote on “what I know for sure,” which is also the title of Oprah’s column on the last page of each issue of her magazine. At that time in 2009, I was writing what I knew for sure about pregnancy up to that point. Today, I write what I know for sure about parenting now two years in.
What I know for sure…
- The sleep deprivation of having a newborn is like nothing you’ve ever experienced before, but it too will pass.
- No matter what advice veteran working moms send your way, it’s extraordinarily difficult to go back to work leaving your (in my case) 12-week-old baby in the care of another.
- No matter what advice veteran stay-at-home moms send your way, going back to work (however it is that you choose to do so) is beneficial to you, your spouse and your child in myriad ways (and not solely financial).
- There’s nothing like having your own mom there to help during your first days home from the hospital (thank you MK)!
- The famous quote by Elizabeth Stone couldn’t be more dead on: “Having a child is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”
- The words “I love you” have never held more meaning than when said out of the blue by a curly-headed toddler giving your leg a giant bear hug.
- Breastfeeding is hard. Breastfeeding is rewarding. A lot of people have very strong opinions on the topic. Listen to their opinions and those of others you respect. But ultimately, make the decision that is best for you and your child.
- The best is yet to come!