The payoff has arrived

I grew up next door to a boy one year older than me. His parents hosted my baby shower, a co-ed barbecue that he attended with his wife and their one-year old son. At the shower, my childhood friend, now a dad and a recent business school graduate, spoke these words of wisdom to me and Ryan: First three months, no ROI.

It is true.

There is not a lot of return on your investment in a baby in the first couple of months. You endure physical pain, hormonal intensity, and a fair amount of overtime, weekends and holidays included. Finally, after a couple of months, the tiny paychecks start to trickle in. Baby smiles. Plumper cheeks to kiss. Eye contact.

Yes! This is what I signed up for!

And from where I sit now, I am rolling in the dough. I am drawing a full salary with these two walking and talking kids, who make the most mundane of tasks an adventure. Sometimes, a laugh riot.

Truths that were unveiled to me yesterday:

Brushing your teeth is more fun when you place a towel over your head to block your vision.

Placing coins in a parking meter is a thrill.

Getting your own spoon out of the drawer is cause for boastful announcements. “I can reach it myself!”

Kicking one’s small legs to the beat of Moves Like Jagger as we drive through the dark, sudsy tunnel of the carwash is a 3-minute party.

Being allowed to bring your two favorite books to preschool is no small delight.


Though the whining and bickering — still daily — can bring me down, it feels really good to think about all the dull things I do on a regular basis and how much more I enjoy them through the eyes of Julian and Scarlett. That joy is the return on my investment.

As part of a series sponsored by Hallmark, we’ll be posting monthly about the idea that beyond birthdays, Valentine’s day, and Christmas, everyday life is a special occasion, worth recording and reflecting on. Like it? Here’s another take from DesignHerMomma.

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RookieMoms.com co-founder Whitney lives with her husband, son, and daughter in the San Francisco Bay Area where she writes about parenting, crafts, and activities that moms can do with babies in tow. She and Heather also publish 510Families.com, a site for East Bay parents and are the authors of The Rookie Mom's Handbook and Stuff Every Mom Should Know.