Rainbow Puppy is a year old today.
He is just now starting to sleep through the night. It's been a hard year. I'm glad I kept blogging and writing. I don't think I really learned anything over the year because I was mostly a sleep-deprived zombie (I did make tremendous progress on my ms after he was about 9 months and I started waking up a bit), but a few things seemed clear and naturally I thought I would share.
1. All I was able to do after the baby was born is play jigsaw puzzles. I finished my ms three months before he was born; I took more than a year to revise. I wanted to work on it, but my mind just wasn't there. (In addition to puzzles, playing Animal Crossing on Nintendo Wii was hugely helpful owing to its mindless properties.) I had to really learn to accept this and let it be. Not easy when you're type A. I resisted hard, but in the end, the need for sleep was greater than my need to write. (Happily, the tables have returned to their rightful order.)
2. Babies suck. That friend of yours who is all laid back and happy and blissed out and never asks you advice despite the fact that your kids are older, because she knows it all, it just comes naturally, and she's perfect? She's a rotten, putrid mess inside. Babies suck. They cry and they don't give you a moment's break. Yes, they're lovely and soft and smell good and love you, but it's also hard hard work really hard going. Really, hard work. And my baby was an early walker (9 months) and displays amazing raccoon and goat tendencies. He gets into everything and eats everything. Everything.
3. Making it easy to read in the dark while nursing was essential. Dude, I finished all books in the Game of Thrones series in the first 6 weeks of RP's life because I spent so much time in the nursing chair. As this was mostly in the dark, having a lighted e-reader was, and is, essential. Before I had kids, one of my biggest fears was that I wouldn't be able to read anymore. Ha! Ha! Last year I read more books than any other year according to Goodreads. Take that, RP!
4. Planning things in stages is the way to go. I did most of my freelance work and writing during his two glorious naps. I also often write blog posts in stages--for example, I began this last night and am finishing today because my mind is complete tapioca come 9 pm. My peak mental sharpness (if you can ever really call it that) is 10 am; after that it's a downhill slalom.
5. There are no big things. There are small things. Enjoy them. You know, 10 minute catnaps. Tickly giggles. Barking at each other. And wonderfully squishy baby thighs. These make it all worth it: