I thought I'd carry that over here to do a little "High 5" of Motherhood...being just a few little tidbits I've learned over the past several years of I've had the privilege of being a mother. Here we go....
1. Not only take as many pictures you can of your children, but actually print them out.
I can't count how many times I wanted to give a gift to a relative or just change out pictures in frames at home, but hadn't ordered any current ones. There are deals all the time with various photograph hosts (Snapfish, Shutterfly, etc.) where you can get hundreds of prints for under $10.
2. When you find your children growing out of their clothes, it may be really hard to part with them, but do it.
Even if you plan to have more children, only keep the clothes that are sentimental (holiday, memorable, special occasion) or ones that are in excellent condition. Those spit up stains have a knack for reappearing once they've been in storage for a while. Trust me on this one....you'll thank me later, especially if you end up having a large family.
3. Nurse (or bottle-feed) your baby at bedtime if you can.
I know this is not recommended by pediatricians, but I think it's mainly discouraged if feeding is used as a sleep tool, which is not what I'm suggesting. With all four of my children, in whom I did my best to instill healthy and strict sleep practices (meaning they could put themselves to sleep at as early as 3 months), I always kept the bedtime feeding. This was (and is) precious time spent together. We look at each other and just have an "us" moment. I wouldn't give this up for anything and I will cherish it forever. It's times like this you can't ever get back.
4. Babywearing is a win for everyone!
There are so many babywearing products out there these days...obviously, it's beneficial to both momma and baby. You can read more about the emotional, psychological, and intellectual benefits here. My favorite is the Moby Wrap. It's one long piece of fabric wrapped around your body, and then you can wear your baby several different ways depending on their age, size, etc. I wish I had worn my older children more...even if it were just around the house.
5. When contemplating having a baby (or another child), there is never "the perfect time".
Deciding to have a baby should be a thoughtful and prayerful decision. However, if thinking the "right time" will come...I assure it most probably won't. There will always be a spouse needing to graduate first, a house to buy, money that needs to be saved, more "us" time that needs to be had. Our first child was born when my husband was in law school and we lived off student loans so that I could stay home. While living with my in-laws and my husband was studying for the bar exam (no job), we decided to try for another baby. I've never regretted our decisions. I don't tell this story to suggest going into debt to support a family or being cavalier about having babies....but to simply say that when a couple is emotionally and spiritually ready for children, they can always find external reasons to wait. I argue not to wait.