A few weeks ago I gave birth to a little girl. People told me that everything would change. I figured that, for the most part, these folks were right. While on maternity leave, I have had some time to think about the whole experience. Here are my thoughts right now.
1. I love this little person, and she can't even say "hello." My heart nearly exploded when I first saw her. She can't hug me or kiss me, she can't write "mommy" in shaky letters, and she can barely focus on my face, but I love her.
2. I have a new respect for my own parents. As I have become an adult, I have realized that my parents are people - not just parents. That's a weird realization, but it has helped me see them in a new - and more forgiving - light. Now that I am a parent, I appreciate all that they have done for me even more than I did before.
3. I still want to work. I love what I do, and even though I will be more anxious to come home at the end of the day, I can't imagine giving up my job.
4. I love my partner more and more each day. To watch him with our daughter, my soul swells with pride and happiness. It makes for some challenges for sure, but it also has brought us closer together.
5. I have a renewed commitment to the under-served and unheard. I want more than anything for my daughter to see the struggles that many people have, to appreciate how blessed we are, and to have empathy for those around us. I hope to be able to volunteer with her, travel with her, and teach her how to put the Golden Rule into practice.
I'm sure the next several years will be filled with more realizations and lessons. I only hope I can be a good example for her, someone she is proud of, and someone she wants to emulate.