Lessons Learned From Maternity Leave

A few weeks ago I wrote about the Ten Commandments of New Parenting where I talked about the various rules that now dictated my life.  As I near the end of my time home with Nora, it seemed only fitting to write about the things I've learned from being on maternity leave.

1. You can, in fact, function with only 2 hours of sleep per night: God bless our fussy, gassy, colicky baby...but this precious lamb has given us a run for our money in the evening, more than once.  And each morning, you wade through the exhaustion and learn to dig a little deeper and find hidden pockets of energy to live to see another day.

2. You can accomplish anything while holding a sleeping babe: Sleep training was no small task and there were times where I just threw in the towel and needed my dear child to take a freakin' nap, even if it meant it didn't happen in her crib.  However, life still continued to happen, so whether it was folding laundry, conference calls, reading, typing, even going to the bathroom, I learned to continue to do all the things while holding Nora, and feel like supermom because of it.  Achievement unlocked.

3. Bras are overrated: 'Nuff said.

4. Chic-fil-A starts serving lunch at 10:30am: This might be common knowledge to those who are frequent flyers at this fast food favorite, but this was new news to me.

5. Finding your people will help you stay grounded: Parenting, regardless of the age or the stage, is no stinkin' joke.  I've learned to lean on the wealth of knowledge lying in the lives of the women and men in the trenches with me.  They help me stay sane, remind me that every setback is only for a season, celebrate my milestones with me, and if anything else, offer a "You go Mama" when I'm about to lose my mind.

6. Poop stains: We had made it just past the 2-month mark when our little cherub had her first poopsplosion...while sitting on our couch. Lord, help me. What we realized after stripping her down and immediately throwing her clothes in the laundry, is that there is indeed a procedure that must take place in order to properly take care of said stain.  Soap and water just won't cut it.  We learned an important lesson that day with only minor clothing casualties. R.I.P. pink pants.

7. Cabin Fever is a real thing: Never in my life did I think that I would look forward to a trip to the grocery store or an evening family outing to Lowe's.  But having a newborn in the middle of winter and living in 1,000 sq/ft will make you appreciate any excuse to leave your house and interact with other human beings.

8. Right when you're on the brink of losing your mind, your child will do something adorable and all will be right in the world.

9. Mom Radar: I've been sleeping through my husband's alarm for at least a year, but the moment my child so much as sniffles, I immediately wake-up.  Sound sleep is no longer a thing.

10. Maternity Leave Rocks: Though not every day was a walk in the park, I have so enjoyed my slow, uneventful days at home with my Nora-girl.  Twelve weeks goes by way too fast.

For you other mamas out there, what are some of the things you learned from your time at home with your babies?