What I learned in my baby’s first year
Well, we did it, we survived the first year of having a baby!
Six months of colic, seven months of waking up(once if we were lucky) during the night and eight months of me pumping everyday. It was every emotion rolled into one, literally. But, (and here comes the cliché phrase) I would do it over a hundred times for that little boy!
Parenthood was a new adventure for my husband and I. We had a vague idea of what we thought we were in for. But, our lives will never again be what we imagined they would be. That’s the great part though! We are stuck in this amazing adventure of watching this tiny person we created turn into a independent grown up. It’s still mind blowing to me that he was small enough to fit in my belly just over a year ago.
This past year was definitely a year of growth for our family. We grew our family not only by our son but we had to grow our relationship and grow as individuals and parents. Growth is never a pretty process for me and I don’t think is should be. Growth is the process of being pushed out of our comfort zone and forced to adapt to a new way. Needless to say, there were a lot of ugly cries this year, a lot of fights, and a lot of little moments I wished I could have lived in forever.
There are so many things I learned that nobody warned me about, despite the countless bits of advice that I got pre-baby. There’s no way I could possibly write this post to be as beautify taxing as our year was, but here is what I learned nonetheless.
For starters, the adjustment is never over.
Never. As soon as you get adjusted to one routine that amazing little squirt decides they’ll switch it up on you. So, for all of you set in your ways and on a schedule…have fun with that. It’s not the end of the world, thank goodness, but I did get accustomed to changing my routine very often. On top of that, you’d think after a month or two of having this new human living with you, you would be used to it, right? Nope, Six months down the road I’m in tears one night because I miss having my time to get things done and relax. But, the mom job is never ending. The only thing I can say to that is it does get better. Slowly, but it does. You just keep adjusting.
Good-bye control freak!
On that same note, another thing you must come to terms with is you can’t control…well…most of it. Your baby is going to be fussy or calm. Your baby will sleep through the night when they are ready. If they are hungry they are hungry, even if they just had a six ounce bottle. Just take a breath (in, out) and let it go. I’m just a bit of a control freak and this was harder than imaginable for me. I know they are babies and I know they do what they do. But there are way more times that I imagined that I just don’t have any control. Like, at all. I do a little better now, and as my son understands more it gets a lot easier.
You will be one of those weirdo parents, I promise.
As we start changing our mindset on all these mommy(or daddy) things somethings else changes. Slowly, without really noticing, we start getting excited about these extremely weird things. Most of the time they are things that any one else could really care less about, although they will always act like they do out of support. Your baby can drink a 4 ounce bottle now! Yay! Or maybe, they made this really cute silly face that was the highlight of your day. Back in the real world it was probably just gas. One of the first questions I ask when I get home for work…did he poop today?. Yes parenthood turns you into a weirdo. No matter what you think will happen, if you love your child you will become one of us weirdos. Enjoy!
Then time speeds up!
Speaking of weird things, I swear there is some shift in your head that makes time speed up crazy fast once you have a child. I mean I know people always say “time flies” but seriously?! What? It’s my baby’s birthday? Where did that first year go? It all goes by way too fast so take in what you can as much as you can!
Not every day is going to be your day.
As much as we wish our mama’s boy would choose us as the favorite parent every day, it won’t happen. Not every day is going to be your day. Even though you pump 6 times a day, spend hours making homemade baby food, get up with him every night and even change all the poopy diapers because daddy wants to gag every time. Your child will spend all afternoon saying “daddy, daddy, daddy”. Really? Not every day is your day. Period.
Those “daddy instincts” are real too.
While we’re talking about “daddy days” I feel the need to add that there are “daddy instincts” too. Yep, no one talks about them. Us women use “mother’s instinct” as an excuse a lot but we really aren’t the only ones. I didn’t give my husband that benefit when we had our son and I should have. Now, I will admit I don’t know if every man has them but mine sure did. If it were not for him knowing that our son needed to cry it out for a couple of nights(you can read that whole story here) then I don’t know if we would be sleeping through the night still. I used to try to controll as much as I could when leaving the baby with my husband but I’ve come to terms with the daddy instincts he has and know they will be just fine.
Oh those emotions though!
I saved the best for last! Parenthood will turn your emotions into a walking contradiction. Fun! You will want to spend all the time you can with that baby, but desperately want time to yourself. You will want him to hurry up and sleep through the night, then you will miss rocking him back to sleep during. As comfortable as you sleep with him in his own room but you will miss him laying next to you with your arm tingling numb as he slept like a rock. You get where I’m going with this? You can basically take every scenario and your mind goes in either direction. It is beautifully exhausting. Especially when you haven’t had but a few hours of sleep and don’t know what to think as it is.
But we love it all and wouldn’t change a thing.
Whatever the day or the emotion or the fight, enjoy it and remember it because these moments don’t last long at all. Parenting is the most rewarding job there is, even if the pay won’t buy you anything and the dress code makes you look like a hot mess. Just give each day your best shot. I can guarantee there won’t be a day that goes by that little one won’t make you smile at least once. And that, that is totally worth every hard thing that happens. Whether you are reading this while preparing for a baby or reminiscing back on your first year, I hope you enjoyed. Be sure to let me in on what you learned as well.