On July 31, 2019, I gave birth to the most precious little boy I've ever met. He definitely changed my life for the better and sometimes, I was put in uncomfortable positions, but I made the best of it all. I learned so many things and I am still continuing the learning process of motherhood. If you've already surpassed the one year stage, kudos to you! Here's what I learned from the first year of motherhood.
Everyday won't be easy. It really doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that, but adjusting to a baby was pretty difficult. Sleep went out the window, my peace went out the door and my mental health went up and down. The more you learn and the more patience you have, you will conquer the rough days. There were times I was unprepared, or even caught off guard. Thank God for keeping me sane and allowing me to understand, as well as work with my child.
People will tell you anything. "Well my child did this and they came out fine" or "You're spoiling him too much" were the most annoying things I constantly heard. You cannot spoil a baby... babies need love, attention and care because they've entered a new place where they can't red or understand any directions. Imagine it's your first day of school. You don't know anyone and you're not easy to make conversation with. You want someone to guide you and you want to make friends who you can become comfortable with and have a great relationship with.
Make time for yourself. Mannnn... I don't care what anyone says. Even when your child is sleep, it's almost impossible for you to sleep. You have to fit in your kid's time and your "me time". Whether it was during my son's naps or when he was asleep at night, I put in work, stayed on my phone, meditated, sat in the tub or whatever else I wanted to do because when he woke up, it was no longer about me.
Sacrificing is pretty easy. When my friends got together, I couldn't go majority of the time because you know how it can be getting a baby ready to come out of the house. I had to sacrifice having fun so many times because I knew my baby was my priority. Yes his grandparents of both sides were great and supportive caregivers, as well as his father, but I'd sometimes feel terrible going out without my child while someone else was watching him. (Refer to #3: MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF) Don't feel guilty for getting a little peace sometimes. I'm still waiting on a vacation... after COVID of course.
Every baby is different. Some way, somehow every baby is different. Some advice I was given didn't or couldn't be applied to my child. There were things I read on the internet that I couldn't use with my son because he was just... different. Just like how things work differently for different people, the same goes for babies. Your baby might drink Similac, but my baby drinks Nutramigen. Your baby can wear certain diapers, other babies can't wear but one particular diaper. You'll gradually learn why your baby is different throughout the course of motherhood.
Be patient. Seriously, you need to be really slow to anger. Everything your child does might not sit right with you. Some days your baby might mess with your favorite curtains, or they might pull down and eventually break something (baby proof the house please). Realize that your baby is literally just that... a baby! Find tactics that'll help you to calm down and work with your baby. One strategy I use it timeout (corny right?) if my son does something that I've said no to and pulled him away from at least twice, he gets a moment in his play pen with no toys. After about two or three minutes, he's free again. If he does the same thing again, he's put into the play pen for a few minutes, and I'll allow him a toy or two. Most of the time, my strategy works. The play pen allows only so much room and freedom. Some days your child won't go to sleep when you want them too. Create a plan to help get your child on a schedule such as a bath with baby lavender sleeping products, at tummy rub and warm milk with a little oatmeal (I'd suggest about six months for the oatmeal) and light music. Don't expect your baby to start crawling, walking, talking or even feeding themselves at a certain month. Again... EVERY BABY IS DIFFERENT.
Congratulations to myself on my first year and congratulations to you on being a great mother!
If you'd like to check out how it all started from the beginning, click "My Biggest Challenge".