I absolutely can. not. believe that my little girl just turned ONE. My mom always told me that as you get older, time really begins to fly, but I would have to say this has been the fastest year yet.
Being a Mom is Hard Y’all.
At the end of every day, you feel so accomplished that you survived and just want to sit back with a glass of wine, yet you stare at that precious soul on the baby monitor wanting to pick them up and say you love to them one more time. I have never felt so many mixed emotions and that is all thanks to becoming a mommy.
I thought I would share the top 5 things I have learned in this first year, for all of you first time moms, like myself, who feel like you are doing it all wrong. Or maybe you are on round four or five, but this kid is just throwing you for a loop and you need to feel normal. (Does that even exist anymore?)
Smile and Walk Away.
My friends who already had babies warned me about the unsolicited advice I would receive, but nothing really prepares you for it. The hardest part is that 90+% of that advice is coming from loved ones with the best of intentions who just don’t consider what you are already feeling. EVERYONE and I repeat EVERYONE parents differently. Some of us may do one thing the same and the next thing completely opposite, and THAT’S OKAY! Friends and family, however, all have something to say about how you are feeding, how to get your baby to sleep, how to get rid of gas, how to travel, how to change a diaper, how to get rid of diaper rash, how to hold your baby… Do I need to keep going? Seriously, there are opinions about every aspect of parenting.
I have learned that people really do have the best of intentions, but it gets to a point where you need to smile, nod, and walk away. You need to follow your mama instincts, and when you need advice or need to vent, find someone who you can confide in and go to them.
There is No “Normal.”
The great thing about the human race is we are all very uniquely different, and that starts immediately. I soon realized that babies do things “around” the same time, but holding your baby to certain standards is just going to drive you crazy. This is coming from a mom whose baby didn’t really begin to crawl until 10 months and is NOWHERE near walking at a year. Believe me, I read so many books, articles, and blogs on when babies should crawl, and of course, I was worried. But it was yet another reminder that these babies aren’t on a time frame and are going to do things when they are good and ready. This experience caused me to limit my reading of numerous books all the way though, because I personally can not handle the information overload. It causes me to worry even more and second guess my decisions even more than I already do.
Your Baby is Not a Robot
One of the hardest things about motherhood is you are always worrying about your child and how they are developing. There are so many things they are “expected” to due by certain times but when it boils down to it that just isn’t always going to happen. The milestones are so vague and each little one is going to hit them when they are ready. I have really learned to not stress over these as much throughout the year and to just let my girl be little. Also babies are going to have hard days. They are going to have bad naps. There are going to be days when they don’t eat as much as they did the day before. All of that is okay. They are mini humans and don’t we all have funky days?
If You are Staying at Home, Get a Routine Going
I am so grateful that I’ve been able to stay home with our baby girl, but I will be the first to admit that just winging each day is going to make it hard for you and your baby. I try every Monday morning to sit with my coffee and plan out our week as well as inside and outside activities, time alone and with people, errand running and play dates. Beyond that, I have a schedule for our days that include morning walks and ‘pack n play’ play time in a separate room for independent time with plenty of toys and open windows. This allows me great time for cleaning and getting dinner together. I would recommend having a routine even if you don’t stay home. Structure helps immensely.
ENJOY this Time. It Goes Way Too Fast.
These sweet little babies grow up SO FAST. I am in shock that a year has passed. SO much happens in this first year and I have days that I have a harsh reminder to sit back and enjoy each second. I followed a story of a fellow friend of a friend as they discovered their unborn son was diagnosed with Trisomy 18, and they were told he would not be compatible with life. This sweet little boy lived 15 days and I now know, without a shadow of a doubt, that they soaked in every single second with him, which really convicted me to do the same with my daughter. Yes, my baby is healthy, but we are not promised tomorrow, and as scary as that is, it really puts a perspective on the precious time we have with our babies.
This all being said, I have made it to the one year mark, which comes with yet another wave of emotions, but so much excitement of what is to come. I predict more challenges, but also much more fun!