Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Holidays with a Baby

Ah, the holiday season. So full of fun and exciting activities! For me, the best part of the holidays is getting together with family. I do not have the privilege of living in the same state as my family, so I really look forward to the times we get to be together.

Now that life is returning back to normal, I’ve had some time to reflect on our experiences this year. A big thing that sticks out in my mind is that nothing is the same with a baby!

For example, flying without a baby is nothing like flying with a baby. Our daughter behaved beautifully on the plane, but my stress level was much higher because she was along. What if she cries and it bothers people? What if she poops and the guy sitting in the aisle is sleeping, making it necessary for me to wake him to get out to change her? Are her ears going to hurt because of takeoff and landing? Are people going to stare at me while I breastfeed her? What about all the germs circulating in the air?

My family is big into hiking and the outdoors. We usually go on at least a few outdoor excursions when I visit. This year, due to the cold weather, we stayed in. Other than church, we really didn’t leave the house. Why? Because there was a baby around!

Another BIG difference is trying to return to normal life now that we are home. Bedtime? Ha! Used to be a breeze, now it’s a struggle. Our daughter used to go to sleep within 5-10 minutes of being put down. Now she’s wide awake, talking, laughing, doing anything but sleeping. Of course, I can’t blame her for it – we were on a different time zone, she was meeting tons of new people, and we stayed up much later than normal.

I’ve come to the realization that, even though having a baby might bring a little more stress when we are out of our routine, the stress is SO worth it. I love visiting my family and I love that they got to meet our daughter. Is bedtime more stressful because we were in a different time zone for awhile and stayed up late? Yeah, but who cares? I’ll live. Were our activities different this year? Yep, but we still spent time together and talked, which is what matters most. Did our daughter’s cold result from the germs on the plane? Maybe, maybe not. Either way, she got over it, and her immune system is that much stronger now. Was this year’s holiday season the best one I’ve ever had because I got to share it with my child? Definitely!

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