February 17th Mama Blogger – Marni Zurowski
Marni lives in Regina Beach with her husband, Brennan, and their one-year-old daughter, Aubrey. She and her husband met through eHarmony and it didn’t take them long to decide they wanted to start a family. She is a stay-at-home-mom, working less than part-time as an assistant at her mother-in-law’s real estate brokerage, Cottage & Country Realty Ltd., where her husband is a REALTOR®. In her free time, she dabbles with photography, loves cooking, and always looks forward to enjoying a glass of wine with her husband once their daughter has gone to bed.
A Year of Change & Appreciation
It took me approximately one year to adjust to life as a mother. Until my daughter was placed in my arms, I really had no idea what I was about to adventure into. It was a hard year but it was also the best and most rewarding year of my life. I learned to appreciate three things more than ever; my husband, my patience and sleep.
It is extremely easy to place your relationship with your spouse in second place after you have a child. I went through major changes with my body but he was also experiencing a major life change that was easy to consider less important or not even recognize at all. All of your time as a new parent is focused on the new baby and after her needs were dealt with, I spent my time focused on my needs and my body. Even so, I was constantly craving my husband’s presence. When he wasn’t home I impatiently awaited his arrival and not just for help. I needed to be near him, to be held by him and sleep in the same bed as him in order to feel normal, but our “normal” flew out the window the second my water broke. Not only was my body healing, causing a lack of physical intimacy, but we now had someone more important than us around which required us to adjust our usual routine. We had to make a new normal and part of that new normal was changing as a couple. Fortunately, we grew deeper in love and my husband took on the role of father with ease, all while keeping our relationship a priority. More than ever before, I appreciated him for working hard at the office to provide for us and then coming home to help with the work load there with no complaints. His ability to lend a hand for any task at any time always goes a long way.
Emotions are at an all time high with a newborn so I am grateful that I was already a patient person before I joined the busy life of parenthood. As I adjusted to the “new normal” I could see the value of patience not only for my benefit but for my husbands and daughters as well. If I wasn’t happy, no one seemed to be. When I knew my frustrations reflected disappointment to my husband, I had to try harder because he truly does provide everything and more of what we need. Rather than upset myself or them over miniscule issues, I tried to either solve the problem or let it go. One of the best pieces of advice I was given was that I had to learn what battles to fight and which to let go of. I am still learning, and will be for many years to come, when to let my child have her way and when to put my foot down. I have also had to exercise patience when taking advice. There is always someone giving you their opinion, whether you ask for it or not, and I learnt what advice to take and what to throw in the trash.
A piece of advice that I am positive every new mother has heard is to sleep when the baby sleeps. I could be alone with this battle but this was surprisingly difficult for me to do the first few weeks. When she finally would sleep after hours of crying, I would want to do something to feel like I wasn’t just a milk supply or do something with my husband to make me feel like an adult, or more than that, a woman. Night would sneak up on me too quickly and I would sit in the dark living room, tears streaming down my face, rocking my daughter while desperately wishing I had taken that nap. Although the house was spotless from my power cleaning afternoon, I’d question if it was really worth the loss of precious sleep. In time, my hormones calmed down, my body healed and life with a child became normal. I always greet the opportunity for a nap with open arms but often stay up later than I probably should because I need some time for myself once she is down for the night. More often than I’d like, I regret my decision to stay up when she surprises me with a 3am wake up call but whenever my time for bed comes, I hit that pillow and am sleeping in seconds.
For the rest of my life I will be learning and changing as a mother. My old life can’t even be seen in the rearview mirror anymore and I am completely fine with that. I love my new role as a mother and appreciate the life my husband and I have created, even with all the mess. There will always be a new struggle and I hope I can learn to appreciate them as they come as I’ve learned to appreciate this ever changing first year as a mother.
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