Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Parenting Rites of Passage

There are moments in life that make you step back and think, I just went through a rite of passage. Growing up, it's things like getting a phone in your room, getting to stay up an hour later, then getting a license, having your first heartbreak, an acceptance letter to college and so on.

As a parent, these rites of passage still continue. There's several of them and they keep going forever into grandparenthood. Here are some of the few that I've experienced so far, including the one that happened this weekend.

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1. Having a baby
Doesn't matter how you brought this baby into the world, whether it's from hours and hours of pushing, having them cut from your abdomen via a c-section, or from traveling and filling out endless paperwork to make them yours. The point is that they're yours. You fought for them, you prayed for them, you went into this thing filled with fear, excitement, and most of all love.

2. The first all-nighter
Some people get babies who sleep through the night (I've only known this joy for the last 5 months) and others get babies who are up every few hours, or your baby is sick, or whatever the reason. The first few times you're up all night long feeding them, rocking them, singing lullabies, etc. I remember the nights when I wanted to cry (and often I did) where I would think to myself that these are the nights I'll remember and how much I would want them back when they were gone and how I would miss how little she was at that moment in time.

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3. The blowout
It's disgusting and smelly and you don't know where to start with clean up. Or how to take off their onesies or if you should just cut it off and toss it away. Just so you know, you take it off from the top down, thank you Pinterest, although it was too late when I learned this. When this blow out happens, and it's all up their back, and dripping, and smelly, you've just gone through a rite of passage. Welcome.

4. Their first...
There are lots of firsts for children- their first crawl, step, word, kiss, etc They're all amazing experiences. They fill you with joy, tears, pride and it's so fulfilling and gives you a little pat on the back that something you're doing is right. All of the teaching, helping, love, and support you showered on them is working! Woohoo!

5. The sickness
Ellie has had very few illnesses (thanks heavens); a little cold, HFM with only three spots, and a few fevers (mostly from teething), but this weekend was the first real sickness. It was disgusting, smelly, and I don't want to get too much TMI, but Matt and I were up in the middle of the night cleaning her up and her bed. Once we got her back to sleep between us (so her room could air out) we looked at each other and high fived. Dead serious. It was a total rite of passage, I knew it would be coming one day and this weekend was it. We nursed her back to health and took it on together as a team.

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Being a parent is sometimes an uphill battle, but it's so much fun. All of the hard times and the happy times make for such memories and good stories to retell later. I've loved every moment of this journey and the rites of passage I've experienced. I love the support that motherhood brings to us, that we're all in it together, although some women judge instead of love, but tut-tut to them because they're missing out! It's a job you can't call in sick to, you come out bruised and your heart bursts over and over for a number of different reasons, but it has to be the most fulfilling thing I've ever done. 

What are some of your most memorable rites of parental passage? What was hardest or easiest for you?

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