Holy crap. I am so surprised I made it to three years of being a mom. I wasn't sure I was going to make it which is bizarre because there isn't a return policy on kids. You just somehow muddle through it and I think that is exactly what I did.
This year was a blurr. I took the most amount of pictures this year because I didn't want to forget all the small and big moments. I was so tired and so worried all the time. My focus was to keep this little human alive and to stay alive enough to keep this little human alive.
I went back to work after maternity leave and I hated it at first. I cried leaving her in the morning and "checked out" mentally around 2:00pm everyday because I was thinking about her. 4:00pm was the happiest time of the day because I got to leave to go pick her up. I didn't care if I was in a meeting or someone was halfway through their sentence, I got up and dashed out. My manager started to notice this and only scheduled meetings that involved me that ended by 3:30pm at the latest. He knew any later, I would not be there mentally anyways. (Thank goodness for him.)
My focus was to keep things organized and have a routine for everything. I felt it was essential I stayed on top of EVERYTHING. Some days I succeeded. Most days, I felt like I had failed at something that no one but me noticed wasn't done or was out of place.
Things kinda shifted a bit. Grace became more independent and vocal. I was also better at asking my partner for help. Leaving in the morning to go to work no longer sucked. I was ok leaving in the morning because I know she will be safe and will have a great day. I knew this because we started having conversations at night before bed. (Up until then, we still had conversations but it was more one sided.)
I started to get into a groove about things around the house and just general things that need to be done. Big surprises (like there are no eggs or milk in the house) rarely happens.
I started to cut myself some slack and ordered in food when I was too pooped to cook a balanced meal of a carb, protein, and veggie. I also resolved to understanding eating cereal for dinner once in a while is ok. I might get judged about this but I am also ok on that front too.
I started to evaluate my happiness a lot more. It started with evaluating purchases of whether or not an item brings me joy, then it turned to foods of whether or not consuming it will bring me joy, then it turned to whether a certain activity or interaction brings me joy. This is probably my biggest gain of the year. I now do things that bring me joy regardless of how that activity might sound to others. (For example, I love weeding my garden and lawn.)
I foresee continuing some of the things I've already started with routines and evaluating happiness. But I also know the tiger mom in me is starting to ROAR already. So far, I have already called and learned Gracie can start Chinese school next year; she starts kindergarten in 2019; and I have looked at elementary schools in our area and know how they rank. Hopefully, I won't go too overboard with giving her extra homework to prep for school. No guarantees. ROAR.