But its pull is too strong. It's too tempting to look back at how my life is different than it was last year. Furthermore, it's like a keepsake ornament. Something to look at in future years and reflect on.
I found out I was pregnant last December 30th, right before leaving for my friends birthday party. I took the test very offhanded, assuming I wasn't, and that the result would be my greenlight to consume alcohol. I was so shocked by the result that I didn't believe it. I figured it was wrong. I was so convinced it was wrong that I almost ordered a fancy-schmancy cocktail, but decided against it. When I got home and told dh, I took two more tests. Both were positive. I no longer thought it was fake. So, needless to say, it was an alcohol free New Years, whilst trying to hide my status. Which was a total waste of effort because my friends figured it out. But anyway.
This has been the year of the baby. I was so clueless about having a child. About what I could eat during pregnancy. What I needed to buy for a baby. How labor should go. How to parent a newborn. I was obsessed. I read, read, read. Books. Message boards. Bathroom stalls. Anything that might clue me in. As a result my research suffered, because the only thing I was truly concerned with was ths wee one on the way.
To think that's how my year began, and how it ended was a totally happy, healthy child, and true parenting confidence. Sure, we have our bad days. But all in all I feel great about how she is doing, and thus I feel great about how we are doing. And I finally can let my brain rest from all the parenting books (they're still being read, just not 24/7) and focus on research. So when I return to school I will finally be able to focus. Furthermore, knowing she's in daycare means no more wasting time for me. Procrastinating when you could be spending time with your baby just won't cut it. There's no excuse.
So I hope next year at this time we are looking back with satisfaction on our ability to lead fulfilling careers and have a happy, healthy child. I know it will be stressful to try to do both, but happy parents makes happy children (at least, in part).