12 things I've learned in my first year of motherhood
I can't believe that my boy is a year old. Sometimes I wish I could pause time and just be in this season for a little bit longer. There are moments in each day where I can't believe this precious boy was once that little newborn that would just sleep and eat. Watching him grow and learn this past year has been amazing and I can't wait to see what he learns in the years to come. Being a mom has been challenging, humbling, and also completing. Looking back on this first year of motherhood I know that I have grown and learned a lot as well. From the middle of the night feedings and the exhaustion that follows to laughing at myself because I had no idea what I was doing- it has been the best year. To any moms out there that are about to start your first year of motherhood or are maybe in the midst of it right now, grab some coffee and take notes if you wish. I hope that these 12 things I have learned can help you also.
1. I've done almost everything I said that I would never do
Before I became a parent, I remember naming off all of the things that I would never do as a mom. "I will never let my child watch TV. I will never give my kids something they want just because they are crying." The list was pretty long and I have probably done everything on it. Give yourself a break every once and a while- you are doing a great job even if you let your kid have your keys to stop him from crying in the middle of the grocery store.
2. To always expect the unexpected
Parenthood never goes how you planned, from putting your kid to bed at 10pm one night to a blow out diaper on your "quick trip" to target when you didn't bring your diaper bag.
3. To take the picture
99% of the pictures on my phone are of my child - and they are mostly duplicates, but I don't care. Let your spouse take photos of you even if you don't like the way you look in that moment. I know that one day I will be so happy I have these photos- even the ones where makeup and a shower are obviously lacking.
4. I have become a multi-tasking professional
I didn't know I was capable of holding a bottle and feeding my baby, while talking on the phone and making dinner at the same time. There will be times when you don't seem to have enough hands and other times you are completely mind blown at what you just accomplished.
5.The hours before bedtime (4pm-7:30pm) are the s.l.o.w.e.s.t.
Literally, slower then a long car ride. Especially if the day has already been dragging on, these hours are the worst. Not ashamed to admit we have gone window shopping just to make these hours go by faster.
6. You should always carry baby wipes. Always.
Just trust me on this one- you will never be in a situation and think "I wish I left my wipes at home."
7. I am not perfect
I don't always know what I am doing. Some days I put Carter to sleep and think about how I could have been a better mom to him and my list is longer then I wish it was. I simply try my best everyday to be a better mom then I was yesterday. Sometimes the house is a mess and I am too tired to clean it. Go easy on yourself, you are the perfect mother for your children.
8. I can get a lot done in two hours
I have figured out that I move a lot faster now then I did before. I can do laundry, clean, and work while my son takes his nap. I have also accepted that some days there will never be enough hours in the day to check everything off my to do list.
9. It might seem impossible (especially in the beginning)- but you have to make time for yourself
Even if this means waking up 30 minutes before the baby so you can shower and get ready, do it. I have found that getting up and ready changes my mood for the entire day. Plan a night out with friends, get your nails done, etc. Just remember to care for yourself also because this often gets forgotten when you are caring for your baby.
10. Don't compare
It is hard to not compare yourself to other moms, but it is so so important. Nobody is perfect and the best way to be fully content in your life, is to stop comparing it to others. A quote I love is, "stop comparing your behind the scenes to somebody else's highlight reel." That perfect family you see on Instagram, has their behind the scenes moments also.
11. Enjoy the milestones I was constantly looking forward to the next milestone. I couldn't wait for him to laugh, crawl, talk, walk, have a personality, etc... I was always looking one step ahead instead of savoring the moment that we were in. Enjoy every stage- even the newborn aka exhaustion stage.
12. The months and years go by so fast
When your child wants to play, play. When they want to snuggle, snuggle. You will miss the baby snuggles, the sweet giggles, and even the the hours spent playing the same game over and over. You will miss these moments so enjoy them. The days may seem long mama, but I promise the years are so short. Hold onto every moment.