Wednesday, December 2, 2009
I can't begin to describe the many things that I am thankful for these days. There is so much in life to complain about that it oftentimes overshadows any amount of good that happens to us. Since Parker's arrival, my life has totally changed. Some things needed to change, and I expected those changes. But, some things changed that I never really knew needed work. Had I not gotten pregnant with Parker, I would still be working at a job that I knew I needed to get out of. As a psychologist, I have so many open doors for work...and I got into the habit of working in an environment that was making me very cynical and made me believe that people in the world are mostly bad and out to deceive you. The sad thing is, I was ok with believing that...and that's not ok. Parker's early arrival created lots of difficulties with parenting including learning how to bond with a baby in the NICU and breastfeeding difficulties that latest well into Parker's 4th month of life. I also had to learn how to balance my love for a new baby, with my love and devotion to my "first baby," Layla Mae. I admit, I'm not always good at it and sometimes one wins out over the other. But, as I sit here reading people's blogs and message boards, I realize how incredibly lucky I am to be able to do things the way I want to. I'm totally convinced that I was able to succeed at breastfeeding Parker (9 months and 2 weeks and still going strong!) because I was able to stay at home with him. I'm also totally convinced that Parker has grown up so big and strong, from that tiny little preemie, because I am an "older" and more patient mom who knew what a very big deal raising a child was. I believe that I have succeeded in doing what you are "supposed" to do with new babies (breastfeeding, bonding, teaching, learning, playing, preparing meals, bathing, and most of all loving) because of the career I chose. Little did I know that my planning so long ago to go to grad school and take the road less travelled would allow me to do so much of what I do today. Sure, I incurred a lot of debt...a lot. But, I'm so lucky to be able to work for myself and make my own hours and make a good living doing it. I get the best of both worlds. I take care of my son and my dog all day. When night time rolls around, my husband gets his fill of the dog and the baby and helps take the pressure off of me for a little while. I go to work in the evening twice per week. I work on Saturday mornings. I still have time for my husband. I still have time for me...although I don't enjoy "me time" nearly as much as I did before I had Parker. My good friends are true friends. My entire family, although we may not see each other as often as we should, is a loving family that displays healthy competition and complete understanding when times are really tough. I wake up every day with a wonderful husband who gives me everything in the world that I need...and 100% of what I want. I live in a beautiful house that my husband and I created and built together. I have a nice car, a nice truck, and a crappy car that's good on gas...and I'm ok with all of that. I work with wonderful people. And at the end of every day I am so grateful to God for what I have. It's not easy every day...but, it's the world I so desperately needed and wanted...and I never even knew it. I lived my life in fear before, and now I live in gratitude.