We are nearly 14-months in to this parenting thing, and there is so much to be learned in that first year. They say your baby grows faster in the first year than any other year, and I would venture to say the same is true for Mom and Dad.
Currently, I’m learning what it means to be a full-time working mother. It has been a good change for us, but definitely a major one! And I’ve definitely let this little corner of the interwebs sit still while I figure it out. Hopefully I’ll see you again soon, but in the meantime, in no particular order, here are some things I learned in my first year of motherhood:
- Things will rarely go how you expect. It doesn’t matter how much you read or how much you try to prepare… expect the unexpected.
- Even so — read the books, check out the articles, but stop before they make you crazy. Education is a good thing. Going crazy is not.
- Don’t try to clip your newborn’s nails early on Sunday morning when the doctor’s office isn’t open.
- Hang in there. Be consistent. It will pay off. If you’ve followed my blog at all, you know I’m a big believer in Babywise and consistency and scheduling and all that jazz. My sweet girl was not a textbook, fall-right-into-it Babywise baby, but we hung in there, and now we are really seeing the fruits of that.
- Always remember why you are doing what you are doing. I have a tendency to forget that and to get really hung up on what I need to be doing. But the what is worth very little without the why. Why are you setting the boundaries your are setting? Why are you going to keep a consistent wake-up time (or insert-your-own-strategy here)? Why are you breastfeeding or not breastfeeding? When you know your whys, your whats are a lot easier to follow-through with. I say this as someone who is working on this very thing. ;-)
- If you feel like something just isn’t quite right, you’re probably right. The biggest one I can point to in my first year is Cora’s early-on dairy allergy. The doctors weren’t very concerned because she was putting on weight just fine, but I knew something just wasn’t right, and I pursued it.
- You will almost forget what life was like before. I sometimes remember things that happened “before,” and I wonder, who babysat Cora while we did that? Then I realize she wasn’t even a twinkle in our eyes at that point.
- You will get really good at changing diapers.
- Your home will start to take on an apocalyptic quality — chores left in various states of progress, cabinets open, laundry half folded, rice burning on the stovetop… Try to embrace it. It’s only temporary.
- You will doubt yourself a hundred times over — some days all before breakfast. Don’t forget you are only a branch, and He is the vine (John 15:4). Cast your cares on Him, for He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). He leads the mother sheep with their young (Isaiah 40:11).