As my baby girl’s birthday is right around the corner, I’ve been thinking a lot about how much I’ve learned. One year seems like a long time, but let me tell you – it flew by. Without further ado, here are 15 things I learned in my first year of motherhood:
1. You are now able to stomach really gross things! For example: baby poop on your fingers, baby vomit in your hair, and baby snot on your shoulder. it’s disgusting, but you can handle it. Good job.
2. Post partum hair loss is no joke. At first, you’re crying as you watch all your hair go down the sink. Then, you’re crying because all the baby hairs sprouting make you look like Einstein.
3. It really does take a village. Having family nearby is such an incredible blessing. Not only do you get free babysitting, but you have a whole network of people to share incredible moments with.
4. Parent classes are amazing. Corny and cheesy to the max for sure, but also such a huge wealth of knowledge for first time parents. Also a great way to make new friends – I will be forever thankful for the friends I made in my new mom classes.
5. You will adjust to the sleep deprivation. Seasoned moms love to scare expecting moms with this one, but don’t sweat it. You’re gonna be tired, yes – but there are so many other things that will trump your exhaustion that you won’t even notice. It won’t last forever Mama, I promise.
6. Food is an incredible distraction technique. Baby having a fit? Give her a snack. Baby bored? Give her a snack. Baby wants attention while your trying to cook dinner? Give her a snack. Snacks snacks snacks.
7. You’re gonna feel guilty about a lot of shit. Ignore that voice in your head who berates you for letting the baby watch TV for a few minutes, or giving in to her night time cries, or forgetting to brush her 4 teeth. You are a great Mama – never forget that!
8. I am not the perfect parent. There are things I don’t know, things I don’t do, and things I suck at. But – between me and my hubby, we make a really good team. We do what works for us, and our daughter is happy and healthy.
9. Becoming a parent changes you. That doesn’t mean you “lose yourself,” it just means you’re different now. Your priorities are different, your hands seem to be sticky a lot, and you’re really good at cutting food into fun shapes. Your heart now walks (or crawls) around outside of your body, and your universe is centered around this tiny little human.
10. Breastfeeding isn’t easy. It hurts, it’s consuming, and it can be very disappointing. Don’t force yourself to do it if it’s coming at a cost to your mental well being, and don’t let others trick you into believing breast is always best. FED is always best. I was formula fed, and just look at how amazing I turned out!
11. Baby development is absolutely incredible. Seeing my girl develop over the last year has been mind blowing. We all get excited for the big milestones (rolling, crawling, standing, walking), but it was the little milestones that rocked me. Watching my baby track sound and movement, seeing her recognize people, and watching her do things to get specific reactions from people – seriously guys, it’s incredible.
12. Amazon is a TRAP! I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve fallen into the oh-this-is-so-cute-and-it’s-on-sale-and-she-really-needs-this-bendy-spoon trap. It’s bad, guys. Amazon knows my weakness for baby things.
13. Some babies just don’t sleep through the night. While some of us are blessed to have babies who magically start sleeping 10 hours a night by 4 months, others don’t (right here!!). My advice – let go of that pipe dream. It’ll happen when your baby is ready. In the meantime, let yourself adjust to your babies sleep needs. Once you take the stress and expectation out of the mix, things might just start improving.
14. It’s really easy to get down on yourself when you start comparing your parenting (and your child) to other families. I know it’s tough with social media, but try to remember that you know your child best, and nobody is more qualified than you to make decisions for them.
15. There are a bunch of different kinds of love – the first love, the true love, the long-lost love. But my favorite kind by far is the love we feel for our children. It is the biggest, strongest, most powerful thing I have ever felt (and I was fully awake when I got my wisdom teeth removed).