They say your life will change when you have a baby, and while you may brush that off before you have a baby, for real, your life changes after you have a baby, IN THE BEST WAY POSSIBLE!
My baby is turning one today. It seems surreal. 365 days ago, I gave birth and welcomed baby Benedikt, and he forever changed our lives. The above picture was taken right after his birth!
Motherhood is the best, the hardest, and the most real thing I’ve ever experienced. When Ben was born, I felt this overwhelming love and sense of belonging, like I was meant to be his mom.
Every baby is different, every parent is different. I love hearing from other parents, and I never pass judgement, as long as you’re trying and loving your kid, you’re doing awesome!
When Ben was 6 months old, I shared 16 thoughts about the first 6 months with a baby, I’m sharing even more thoughts on motherhood:
- Don’t compare yourself to other parents. What you’re doing for your baby is unique and special and perfect.
- You will not believe how fast your baby grows! It seriously feels like just yesterday he couldn’t really do anything besides lay there. Now, Ben walks really fast everywhere!
- Don’t shame other parents. Even if what you’re doing is THE BEST THING IN THE WORLD and omg anyone doing something different is doing it wrong, do not share those thoughts out loud, especially to other parents. You have opinions about breast feeding vs. formula feeding? Keep that under wraps! You have thoughts on which xyz is the best? Keep that s$#t to yourself!
- Mom guilt sucks. Try to be kind to yourself as much as you can
- Some days it feels like you’re chasing naps, just know tomorrow is another day and naps are sometimes meant to be skipped
- Baby smiles heal all sadness and worry
- It’s ok to cry. Mom or dads, it’s totally ok to be overwhelmed by emotions. I know at the beginning I cried when things were scary, but things got better. I cried the first time I dropped Ben off at day care, and when he got sick, and that time I laughed so hard at his goofy giggles. It’s ok to have a little cry.
- Don’t misinterpret or read too much into small things. I will never forget this: I went to pick up Ben at daycare and he walked/ran over to me right when I came in, he was so excited to see me. He wanted me to pick him up and snuggle, then two seconds later he wanted to get down, and he walked back over to the teacher. On the one hand I was happy that he liked the teacher, on the other hand it broke my heart that he left me to go walk over to the teacher. I cried/texted my mother after bedtime, and she said “I think you’re misinterpreting his behavior. It is not a rejection of you. It is what kids do when they want to continue to play where they are at. They like to repeat what they have just done. It does not have a value judgement against you, it is just them going with their “flow”. I’ve seen how he responds to you, and he loves you most and you will always be his mom.”
- Always listen to your mother (and father)
- Routines are a beautiful thing. We have a bedtime routine where we feed Ben dinner at 6, give him a bath and read him a story and then bedtime. He’s in bed by 7, and I think he really loves his routine. I also really stick to a routine, I get home from work and spend uninterrupted time with him-i.e., I put down my phone and don’t do anything except spend time with him, because I know after 7 I’ll get a chance to do whatever. That’s just our routine, I know other parents who do it differently, do whatever works for your family for bedtime!
- Take care of yourself. Take a moment to shower, heck, even put on makeup once in a while, whatever makes you feel good about yourself.
- There is no such thing as ‘too many photos’ – stop and capture that funny moment, it’s so much fun to look through photos after-the-fact, and I’ve never ever regretted taking a million photos.
- Baby wipes are the worlds best stain remover. I keep baby wipes in my car, in my purse, anytime I leave the house, chances are I’m no more than 1 foot away from a baby wipe. If I notice a baby stain or any kind of stain on my clothes, a baby wipe takes it right out.
- It’s ok to have your own life, it doesn’t make you less of a mom. Yes, your baby is your world, but please don’t lose yourself. Read a book that’s not a baby book, go out to dinner/drinks with a friend or go on a date night with your partner!
- Never feel bad about giving your baby one last kiss before leaving, it’s totally ok to be 2 minutes late
- Being a parent is way more time consuming, and way more rewarding than I ever expected, it’s all consuming and so many feelings and emotions are involved
I cannot wait to see what the future of motherhood brings, and I hope my baby knows how much he is loved!
What are some of the things you’ve learned from being a parent? I’d love to know in the comments below