As a new parent, I have spent the last 10.5 months excited for and documenting all of Jack’s “firsts”. His first smile, first time in a swimming pool, the first time he rolled, crawled, and took a few steps toward me. These are the things I daydreamed about when I was pregnant with him. With each first, I feel a sense of bittersweet pride, watching my sweet boy grow, develop, and explore, but also a little sad and frantic that it’s all happening so fast.
These are the fun firsts. There are iPhone photos to commemorate these moments, they are shared with grandparents and bragged about with friends.
Then, there are the not so fun firsts, and we experienced one of them big time this weekend. For the first time, Jack got sick, more than the stuffy nose and a slight cough sickness that he’s had before. I’m talking not sleeping well, not eating well, no smiles, no energy, and lots of tears.
I knew it was only a matter of time until he got sick, and I know it could have been so much worse. I thank God for a baby who will be back to a healthy, happy boy in a few more days, but my goodness does it hurt to see your baby in pain.
To top it off, we were all supposed to travel out of town to celebrate my step sister’s engagement. Jack and I had to stay home while Ryan joined my family for the trip. Single moms and moms raising kids without their partners for whatever reason, you have my utmost respect. This is a first that is hard to go through on your own (even if it was for only slightly over 24 hours).
We spent the weekend playing with Max, going out for walks, and snuggling a lot. When daddy got home, we took naps and Jack started getting some of his energy back, so we practiced walking in new shoes in the backyard. That’s a first he has yet to achieve on his own!
I realize how important it was that I spent last week focusing on self-care. I went into the weekend refreshed in so many ways, so I was able to be present for Jack when he really needed me. In the spirit of self-care, I want to focus on the positives in a challenging situation.
Like I said, I am thankful that Jack is already on the mend, and he is generally a very healthy baby. I am thankful that I was able to be here for him and comfort him as much as I could. I am thankful for being able to breastfeed him, something I hope has helped keep him from getting sick this long. Finally, I am thankful for my wonderful husband who made a long drive to celebrate with my family, something he didn’t have to do, but something that meant so much to us.
While we look forward to many new fun and exciting firsts ahead of our boy, I also anticipate just as many hard, challenging, frustrating, scary firsts. So moms, let’s support each other through the not so fun firsts, because whether we are going through them with our partner, family, friends, or on our own, they are tough.