One year. That is how long it took to change my life forever.
I have spent the last year of my life on maternity leave with my first
born child, a beautiful baby girl. In
the span of one year I went from being a childless Masters student, to an
anxious expectant mother, to an exhausted but joy-filled mommy. My focus
changed from studying for my Masters degree to changing dirty diapers, from
yoga to breastfeeding, and from snuggles with my new husband to snuggles with
As I reflect on the past year I am filled with so many emotions.
Wonder: At how it is possible that a year has gone by since my daughter
came into my life.
Sadness: That the end of this era is over.
Anxiey: At the thought of having responsibilities outside of caring for
Fear: That I will lose the special bond my daughter and I have.
Guilt: For not being able to spend all day every day with my child.
Amusement: That my parents will be changing the majority of my
daughter’s diapers now.
Irritation: That I have to wear real pants every day.
Relief: For no longer earning a maternity leave salary.
Pride: That my daughter is a thriving, independent, stubborn, and
charismatic 1 year old.
Gratitude: For the year I got to spend with my girlie. It is forever
imprinted on my heart.
Standing on the precipice of returning to work and with my heart filled
to bursting with all of these emotions, I write this letter to my daughter.
To My (Sweet, Perfect, Cuddly, Funny, Delicious) Baby Girl
For the innumerable lessons you have taught and continue to teach me
For our many late nights together, you staring intently into my eyes.
For the quiet, early mornings when we would see the sun come up.
For the slightly louder, fussy times when you let me know exactly what
For the times you would fall asleep in my arms and I couldn't bring
myself to move you for hours.
For being patient with me as we struggled in the beginning.
For making me laugh more than anyone else ever has.
For making me cry more than anyone else ever has.
For the messy moments. And there were many.
For the impromptu giggles; they always brighten my day.
For the spontaneous hugs; they ground me more than anything.
For releasing my inner child; she's been in hiding for a long time.
For the stretch marks; they have made me into a warrior.
For challenging me in ways that I did not expect.
For teaching me the true meaning of "unconditional
For the tough moments that became teachable moments. They helped me grow
For opening my heart in ways I could not have imagined possible.
For the privilege of watching you grow. And learn. And flourish. And
For making us a family.
For choosing me.
And so I embark on the next part of this parenting journey. There are
still many unknowns, and there are sure to be many more bumps in the road.
Despite this, I know that I can handle any of the challenges that I am about to
face as a parent, because I am entering this next phase of my life hand-in-hand
with my greatest teacher. My daughter.