What I’ve Learned

As my daughter approaches her first birthday, I have started thinking about motherhood and all of the things it has taught me. I knew before I had her that I would learn new things about myself and life in general, but some of the thing I learned really surprised me. I thought before I gave birth that I was completely prepared to have a child. Little did I know, that giving birth is the easy part! Raising a child is damn hard work and can be completely overwhelming at times.

This past year has been an absolute blur. It had a funny habit of standing completely still and moving at the speed of light..all at the same time!

In the past year, I’ve learned that…

  • Projective vomit is a real (and disgusting) thing.
  • Five hours of uninterrupted sleep is heavenly.
  • Poop can be explosive and can travel distances.
  • Having a baby sleep in your arms can make everything in the world seem right.
  • Lack of sleep can make anyone go a little crazy.
  • It’s okay to ask for help and it doesn’t make anyone any less of a parent for needing it.
  • It’s perfectly normal to check on your baby as they nap to make sure they are still breathing.
  • Hair, makeup, clothing and appearance don’t matter very much during the first few months of your child’s life.
  • I will sacrifice anything for myself to make sure my daughter has everything she needs. Even if it means that I have to go weeks or months on end with barely any sleep.
  • A lot of people think they are experts on babies. Trust your instincts and do what you think is best for the situation.
  • Colic is normal and happens to nearly every baby.
  • There is no such thing as taking too many pictures.
  • I can do more in the three hours than I used to be able to do in an entire day.
  • Grandparents are amazing. You learn to love your own parents in new ways as they become a part of your child’s life.
  • Giving birth is really not that scary. Call me crazy, but I enjoyed the experience.
  • No matter how many books you read, nothing can prepare you for having a child, other than having a child.
  • Babies put EVERYTHING in their mouth. It doesn’t matter if it’s food, lint, shoes or doggie treats. It all goes directly to the mouth.
  • Toys are a waste of money. My daughter’s favorite ‘toy’ is an empty Pepsi bottle. She will chase it around like a little puppy dog for hours.
  • Chaos is normal. Messy is normal. My inner neat freak had to come to terms with this and accept it. Because nothing is ever organized anymore.
  • It only takes a few days after giving birth to get over the grossness of poopy diapers.
  • The bathroom can become your sanctuary and escape, even if it’s only for ten minutes at a time.
  • But once your child starts walking, forget it. The bathroom becomes public domain and you will pee, poop and shower with an audience.
  • The car can become your best friend when you have a baby who won’t sleep. You’ll burn through a tank of gas in hopes that your little one will finally pass out.
  • You will become a multi-tasker extraordinaire once you become a parent. If you thought you were good at it pre-child, you’ll surprise yourself and see that you were actually just mediocre.
  • It’s okay to cry. Sometimes we get overwhelmed, tired, frustrated and second guess ourselves. Crying does not make you a bad parent.
  • Breastfeeding is great, but you aren’t a failure if it doesn’t work for you.
  • No matter how hard it is or how bad of a day you had, watching your baby sleep will fill your heart with so much love.
  • There is not a contest for losing baby weight. It doesn’t matter if it takes 2 months, a year, two years or if it never happens. You are more than your body.
  • Take time for yourself now and then, it’s okay to have a few hours baby-free.
  • You’ll love more fiercely, deeply, strongly and passionately than you ever thought possible. The first time you look at your baby, you’ll believe in love at first sight. Being a parent is a gift and one that you’ll treasure every single day. It’s not always easy, but it’s ALWAYS worth it!
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3 thoughts on “What I’ve Learned

  1. Nailed it!!! You are so right about it all. With my first I tried so hard to be that strong super mom who could do it all and I failed miserably. I don’t have issues asking for help but I always waited until I was a mental mess on the floor. Same when my second came along. I had this idea that it would be easier becaise my son could help but hell no….he was a one man wrecking crew and like a cyclone of hyperactivity. To make matters worse I was posted away from all my family and friends and had no one while my spouse was away training in another city. I finally had a mental snap and had to move back to NS. Raising children is the hardest most mentally and physically challenging task and though it’s overwhelming and down right hateful at times it is worth it. Children have a special ability to melt your heart and bring a smile in the worst of worst times.
    Awesome post….love it!!!

    Like

  2. Yes, yes, yes! Loved reading this! I especially loved:

    “You’ll love more fiercely, deeply, strongly and passionately than you ever thought possible. The first time you look at your baby, you’ll believe in love at first sight. Being a parent is a gift and one that you’ll treasure every single day. It’s not always easy, but it’s ALWAYS worth it!”

    It’s so true. You shared such beautiful wisdom and insight. I’m happy that another sweet mom like you learned some of these life lessons and shared them with me and the rest of this blogging community! 🙂

    Like

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