The Hard Part of Parenthood

"You did good," said Dr. T at our 12 month check-up. 

I could feel the tears swelling in my eyes. When you spend at least three times a month {minimum} at your pediatrician's office, you often question if you're doing anything right. Those three words, that simple phrase, it meant so much. It was the reassurance I needed as we entered a new chapter.

A year ago, I presumed we'd have ear issues but never the chronic case we've endured. I spent most of last month yelling at doctors and nurses to help my child and to care about our family. I made it known I was there to take care of my child despite anything else. And that's just what I did last month. Hell that's what I've done all year. 

Every day has been an uphill battle. Jack's chronic ear infections and congestion have hit us hard. Multiple doctors are at a loss, blaming illnesses on his age and offering no solution. That's why I'm here though, to stand up for him.

When I imagined our first year with J, I only thought about the laughs we'd share, the places we'd go and the things we'd do. It never crossed my mind that we might be that 5 percent of kids who can't shake the sickies {ear infections} even when following doctors orders. It never crossed my mind that my PPD would come and go or that that I'd have a rare and severe outbreak of psoriasis. 

The hardships, they came at us this year and at times they certainly pulled us down.

We put on brave faces {and sometimes silly faces}, day after day.

The first year of parenthood has come to an end and I've found the only thing to be a complete constant is B.

The man always told me he wanted to be a parent and boy has he stepped up. I had no doubts, but to see it actually come to be is heartwarming. Despite my many weekly trips with J to the doctor solo, B was always working hard and there to listen when I needed to vent. 

Many days I look back and know I should have been stronger for B, but you cannot change the past. Through it all, I am so thankful to have such a wonderful partner. He's proven to be the rock of our family. We certainly wouldn't have made it through this year without his strength.

This first year of parenthood has been trying to say the least. Moving forward to our second year, I hope to be more patient, kind-worded and laid-back. Toddlerhood reared its ugly little head for the first time this weekend as we attempted to eat out Friday night. Ha! We won't be doing that again any time soon...

Lord knows, this year is going to be an adventure but if we can make it through infancy together I'm confident we make it through this as well. Plus, a little wine to calm the nerves never hurt anybody.

photos from a beautiful spring day March 10, 2012