Raising Babies and Chasing Dreams
My baby turned one on Monday.
How is that even possible? I remember the day we brought her home from the hospital, carrying her against my chest as I walked into the dining room, nursing her on the living couch and getting to know her while my wonderful husband and newly minted dad ran out and bought us Chick-Fil-A.
How was that a year ago already?
As I prepared for her first birthday party the last few weeks, I reflected on the past year. Not just on her, though of course I spent plenty of time wrapped up in Mommy Moments, but on my life since I left a full time job to become a stay-at-home mom. The vision in my head of how life would be. The goals I’d had. I have an amazing life- the sweetest baby, the most amazing husband, a beautiful house. And I’ve achieved some great things personally, running the Pittsburgh Half Marathon at 4 1/2 months post-partum and then the notoriously hard Hatfield McCoy Marathon at 6 months pp.
This post isn’t about my daughter. Because I love her and my relationship with her. It’s not about my husband, because we are a solid, happy couple. It’s about myself and my own inner person.
I feel as if I’ve lost direction and ambition in my own self. Like I’m simply floating through life. And to be honest, this has always been the case to one extent or another since college. I always say, “I’m going to do this! I want to do that! I’m going to start Monday- I swear!” And I let all those goals go by the wayside, out of guilty or laziness or fear of failing. Last year, once I knew that I’d be staying home, I renewed my blog and decided that I was going to write regularly. And workout like a badass.
Clearly, that’s not what happened. I didn’t realize how much free time I would not have. I knew Riley would be my priority and my attention, but how unpredictable naps would be (she was NOT a good napper), how guilty I would feel leaving for a run or taking my eyes away from her, and how in turn I would be so physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted- that was all a surprise to me. I felt like I had to spend every single second with my attention fully on Riley, even when family and friends told me that wasn’t the case, and that I needed me time so I wouldn’t lose myself.
As I was watching in amazement at my baby and all she’s become in the last 12 months, and after months of trying to figure out what would make me feel happy and whole as an individual, I decided that, “okay, I am going to give this blog one last shot. One more year. And if I can’t keep up, that’s it, it’s over.” And it’s not just the blog. I really do have plans and goals for Riley’s second year and for my personal 2017.
I am not striving for perfection, I am striving for happiness and balance in my life. I am taking more steps this time. I ordered a new (working!) laptop, that came on Riley’s birthday, I bought a 2017 planner, and a great big, fat notebook for the book I’ve been putting off writing. Dave and I are staining and painting a desk to put in the guest room/treadmill room so I have a place to write instead of the couch. I am a mom and wife, first and foremost. But I am an athlete, a blogger, and a writer, too. I know the next year will bring more excitement and challenges in my family life and I will have to work to keep a balance, but that is my real, solid goal.
And because I can’t NOT post another picture of my sweet peach…. Happy, happy 1st birthday, my little adventurer! I am excited to see what the next year has in store for us.