As I was snuggling with my daughter Ginny this morning, it was still dark- the room was slightly chilly as we lay ‘cheek-to-cheek,’ but her miniature dough-like body radiates the most comforting, soft heat. Everything was still and quiet except her gentle sighs and sweet little noises- the birds weren’t even awake yet. It felt like it was just us- Ginny and me- and that’s all that mattered.

Though my brain was still stirring and not fully conscious yet, a string of images and thoughts flashed through me in a matter of seconds as I was overwhelmed by the incredible amount of love and beauty I felt from this sweet, squishy person in my arms. Kissing those soft, marshmallow cheeks and squeezing that Buddha belly, I think, ‘I get it mom and dad.’

*You can see pictures of my lovely family below: mom, dad, brothers, sister and I both pregnant, my daughter, my mom and me at my baptism, and even grandma made the cut!

13 Things I Learned About My Parents After Having a Baby

  1. I get why you insisted on me wearing a helmet, and I feel bad that my sister and I secretly took it off when we were out of sight.
  2. You were completely right- nothing good happens after midnight, and I’m sorry you stayed up all those nights waiting for me to get home.
  3. Now I get why I always had a curfew, even though I was embarrassed and mad about it at the time.
  4. I understand, mom, why you still get in those moods where you have to cuddle and hug me. I find myself telling my daughter that “I MADE you,” just like you tell me.
  5. I get it, dad, why you were so emotional during the time surrounding my wedding, but I’m thankful our bond is so close that you never lost me at all.
  6. I understand why dad shut down and mom put on a strong face when I had to get my thyroid nodule biopsied twice. My heart breaks if my baby gets a diaper rash.
  7. I appreciate that you never let me get my belly button pierced when ‘everyone was doing it’ in high school. I don’t like a scratch on my baby’s perfect skin.
  8. I get why you dropped off forgotten lunches, shin guards, and books, even though your friends said you coddled us.
  9. I realize how hard it must be to stand by and watch your kids make mistakes because you know we have to figure some things out for ourselves. I’m beginning to really understand and appreciate your strength.
  10. I understand why you could be strict and had rules; I appreciate it and realize that’s part of the reason we’ve always been best friends.
  11. I get why you liked me to sleep with my door slightly open- I sneak in my baby’s room every night for a kiss and to hear her breathing.
  12. I’m sorry for feeling embarrassed at your ‘pushiness’ and insistence in certain situations, but I see that you just wanted the best for me.
  13. I understand the real, purest, deepest meaning of I love you, and I’m overwhelmed that this is how you felt about me all of these years. Wow, I never really knew.

So yeah…I think I get it now mom and dad. I always felt your love but never really knew until now. What did you learn about your parents after having a baby?