2011 has been a blur of a year (mostly due to sleep deprivation), but if I had to choose one word to describe my 2011, it would be transition. I haven’t lived that long, but with my limited knowledge… I am going to make the bold claim that there is no greater transition than that from single adulthood to parenthood.
The birth of my daughter on January 6th kicked off my 2011. It marked most of my highs but also many many lows. Seeing her grow and become a real, little person before my eyes was like witnessing a miracle. I love her more than she knows and more than even I can understand. Despite the beauty of birth and a baby… the sacrifices are real and exhausting. I had my share of breakdowns this year. I broke down when I felt I was doing too much and my husband not enough. I pulled the “it’s not fair” card when she wanted only me to feed her, rock her, hold her, love her. I looked at others and their “easy” babies and wished mine could stay up til 10pm without a fuss or sleep peacefully in her swing and carseat without a hissy fit. Tired didn’t even begin to describe it.
In February, my in-laws moved in. Transition, again. At first, this didn’t sit too well with me… especially with our limited space and the fact that we had just brought home a newborn. I’m a minimalist, and all of a sudden all this stuff was everywhere cluttering up my space. But my imagination made things out to be far worse than they really were. The reality of it was that having them live with us was a huge blessing. I was grateful for help with the baby. We were able to go out on date nights (just the two of us!) and hangout with friends (without the baby) more often than most. His parents were quiet, considerate, thoughtful, and non-imposing. I got to eat homemade Korean food every morning, noon, and evening! I saw my husband’s prayer warrior mother kneeling before our God every night in the quiet of the garage… and I felt safe. I knew there was this layer of protection over us that was not quite there before, and it gave me peace.
In 2011, my relationship with my own mom strengthened like never before. I thought I understood her as a person when I entered my 20s, but motherhood shifted my perspective on her yet again. I saw her love for me with truer eyes. I understood her sacrifices with even more clarity. The last my resentment towards her washed away as I finally saw her heart. I see me in her and her in me. It took me becoming a mother for me to finally understand why she made the choices she did…
Spring and summer came and went. My baby turned 7-months, and I went back to work full-time. Transition again. I found a job relatively quickly after being out of work for nearly 2 years – I couldn’t believe it. At times I was skeptical my MBA would do me any good, but this made it all worth it. This job is everything I wanted and more. It offered a short commute and gives me a healthy work/life balance so I can still be the mom I want to be.
The holidays were spectacular. We were a family of three now, and our daughter found everything delightful! Pumpkins, Costumes, Candy, Christmas Trees, Wagon Rides, Christmas Lights. I saw things through new and different eyes.
We close 2011 with one last transition. We moved – to a bigger, more comfortable place in the same city. This is a place we now call our “forever home”. Noelle will grow up here, make friends here, feel a sense of belonging here. I grew up in the same city all my life from preschool to high school. My childhood friendships have stayed with me well into adulthood. My hope is that she will get the same opportunity.
This was a year of transition not only because our lives changed, but our mindsets too. Every want we have is not for us, but for her. Our lives – what we work for, what we give up, what we desire… a lot of what we do is for her. Not because we have to, but because we want to.
2011 – The Year of Transition.