Its different for every parent, the moments that really make you realize how much your life has changed since you added a little one.
As my daughter grows, I find myself reminiscing on the last four months, amazed at how much and yet how little time has passed.
The irony of parenthood is that everything is fast and slow. She's so little yet so big, so young yet so old, so fragile yet so strong. It seems like she was just born yet been in our lives forever.
So here are my favorite "mommy moments." As if there were any doubt, these are the things that make me realize, yes, I'm totally a parent:
While trimming and filing my daughter's finger and toe nails, a near weekly ritual, I glanced down at my own feet and realized I was still sporting the same polish from my last pedicure -- two weeks before she was born.
On a related note, having removed the months-old polish and baring naked toes for a week or so, I wanted to wear a pair of peep-toe shoes. Time being a valuable resource, I put on the shoes and painted only the visible nails. This, I thought, at least gave me the illusion of being "put together."
As is probably obvious from the last item, I regularly spend more time getting her ready for the day and more money on her clothes than I do for myself. I get more excited about baby sales than just about anything else (and I should be forced to delete the Zulily app from my phone lest I'm forced to take out another mortgage on the house).
Going to the local cloth diaper store is a major outing -- and it's nearly impossible to get out of there without purchasing at least one thing that isn't on my list.
When I do shop for new clothes for myself, I always test out the stretchiness of shirt tops to gauge whether or not it's breastfeeding-friendly. My wardrobe is full of stretch and clips and completely revolves around ease of access to my daughter's sole food source.
I am fairly certain I have not had a single conversation since she was born in which her name did not, at some point, come up. Even at work.
My family is no longer so very concerned with visiting me or me visiting them, so long as the baby comes along. It's no longer, "So, when are you coming home to visit?" It's, "So when are you bringing the baby to visit?"
There are days when our television doesn't get turned on. At all.
I am pretty much always rushed, tired, eating lunch on the way to the babysitter's house, trying to "catch up" on laundry and trying to figure out how to squeeze bigger cleaning projects in between her naps. And I love every single minute of it. Sometimes I wonder what I did with all that "free" time I used to have.
However, I have not, as of press time, licked my finger and wiped something off of her face. Give it time.
Katie McCarthy, firstname.lastname@example.org or 706-571-8515.