10 Things I Learned My First Year of Motherhood
If you're reading on the day its published, this would be DJs actual first birthday (give or take some days, I feel like he was always going to come early, I just didn't expect 16 weeks early) This year has been one of the hardest, faith testing, amazing, beautiful, years to date. Looking back at our first "year" together, its amazing how much can fit into a year and how much we've grown together. In honor of that, I wanted to share some things I've learned and discovered on this journey.
Every journey/baby is different
If I cant stress this enough. Everyones path to motherhood is different and specific to each woman, and when baby comes, its the same thing. Family and friends would give me advice and wise words and although it was greatly appreciated, everything that worked for them didn't work for us. What works for me and DJ may not work for someone else. Do your research and decide for yourself what is the best route for you and baby.
Isnt this a given? I never thought I would find myself trying to reason with a one year old. Or continuing to spoon feed carrots into the same mouth that's spiting them right back at me. Ortrying to put a diaper on a cute little booty that's too busy crawling away to sit still for a minute. I mean, the list can go on and on but I've definitely learned to take most things in stride. I think its baby logic to just repeatedly tap dance on mamas nerves for sport anyway lol.
Babies are resilient
Contrary to new mama belief, you cant break your baby. Once we got through the NICU I thought that was the end of my worries, wrong. I had regular newborn baby worries now! How much do I feed him? Is he too hot? Too cold? Was that a burp or a fart? He sleeps too much, should I call the doctor? Hes been awake all day, should I call the doctor? I was a ball of mess. It took me awhile to get into my own groove and routine with him, but once we learned each other, it got easier. Trust your mama instincts, relax and know that baby will tell you what they need. Of course if you're just not sure then definitely ask for help or medical advice; but I've learned to take a deep breath and relax.
I can learn as I go
I used to feel like I had to know EVERYTHING about EVERYTHING when it came to caring for a baby. And honestly, had I kept that up I would be stressed to the max. I've learned that every situation wont be cookie cutter and sometimes I have to improvise. DJ wont judge me if I mess up a little (or a lot...who am I kidding?) or if I don't get it right the first time. In his eyes I'm the best mama (I'm inferring by how obsessed with me he is lol) and we're both going to figure this out together.
Time flies by
It feels like I looked up and this tiny micropreemie baby has grown overnight into a healthy, 20 something pound, trying to walk toddler. I cant believe how fast time goes by when you're a mom, one moment I find myself wishing he'd be more independent to the next moment wishing he could stay little forever.
Organization is key
Im still working on this one, I can proudly say I've forgotten to restock my diaper bag only once...okay twice. The fact that this tiny person adds at least an extra hour of pack and prep before leaving the house, has definteiyl made me more organized. The notes in my iPhone are extensive with check lists but it gets the job done.
The hard times pass
This idea was elusive to me: in the beginning when he was up every two to three hours to eat. When we finally got a sleep pattern and sleep regression came a week later. His first cold. All these situations made me feel like there wasn't a light at the end of the tunnel. Yet every time I felt I was at my limit, I realized I could go just a little bit further. A little bit longer. Then he would do something cute or meet a milestone and all those hard times were nonexistent.
Happy mama, happy baby
Self care is something I talk about and try to exercise all the time. As a mom we can get caught up in taking care of everyone else that we neglect ourselves. Asking for a break doesn't equal you being a bad mother, I had to recognize that. When I've taken the time to care for myself, it makes those tough parenting days easier to handle. Whether its reading a book, grabbing your favorite drink or snack, or traveling down every aisle in Target aimlessly (my personal favorite) try to get in some one on one time with yourself, it makes all the difference.
Mother love is unlike anything in the world
Its true, a mothers love isn't like anything Ive known. I never knew I could love someone so much. I'm obsessed with everything about my little babe. Just when I think the love for him has reached capacity, my heart makes room for more every day. I'm his biggest cheerleader, his best friend, his refuge. I cant get enough of him #cheesyIknow
Cherish the moments
As trying as motherhood can be, I wouldn't trade it for the world. I remind myself that he will only be this little once and to enjoy each stage he goes through. I try capture the moments and document them when I can so I can have something to look back on, and actively be present in our quality time together. These are moments that I wont get back and I want to enjoy them.
Happy would-be birthday Tootie! Love you more than any word in any language <3