Lesson’s Learned

IMG_442750567320161__E7A2190F-F06A-4C62-BCBB-D03371CA00EBIMG_5349IMG_6213IMG_8111ally smashcake-37

Going into motherhood I had these visions and expectations of how my journey would be and then I was rudely awaken, with reality. You always can look back at any situation after the fact and see what you would have done differently and also understand why that situation went the way it did. As we approach Alyson’s first birthday and being a year into motherhood, I am going to share what motherhood in these last twelve-months have taught me.

  1. Never be afraid to say no or how you really feel. You are new at this and need to get into a groove of your own. If you are feeling overwhelmed or envisioned a situation to be a different way, then go for it. You never get these moments back, so stand firm. Do not be afraid to say no, just because you are afraid to hurt someone’s feeling. If they are a mother, they will understand and if they are not, honestly too bad. As long as you, your baby and significant other are on the same page, that is what matters.
  2. Stop comparing yourself to every other mother out there. We can all get caught up in the comparison game and I feel like I did more so after I became a mom. How do they have healthy home cooked meals each day? How do they always have a clean house? How did they lose all that baby weight? The list could go on and on. At the end of the day you are doing your best job and that is all that matters to your child. There are days where Alyson had a health breakfast, lunch and dinner and then there are days where she is in her pj’s from the night before at bed time and ate French fries and mac and cheese for lunch and dinner.
  3. Stop comparing your baby to all the other babies your child’s age. This one is hard and caused a lot of mom guilt. I find myself doing this way too often and end up worrying that something is wrong or that I am failing as a mother. The truth is that every child develops at a different rate. A child at five months could be achieving goals a nine month old would do and a nine month old could achieve goals that an eight-teen month old would do. So many days I find myself wondering why other babies are doing this and that and why Alyson is not, but you know what, she is happy, healthy and growing perfectly for her age. She is going to grow up a beautiful , strong, independent and smart woman.
  4. You will quickly learn who is in your “tribe” is , as I like to call mine. It will be your team of people who will be there to help at midnight when you have no idea what to do , your sick and need to rest, you have a question about what to feed your baby and how often. I do not know everything about being a mom and I would not want to pretend that I do. There are so many people behind the scenes that help keep me from losing my mind. Keep them close and cherish them. They probably get annoyed with how often I thank them, but without them I would be lost.
  5. You think you know what love is, but you have no idea. I knew I loved Alyson from before I knew she was actually going to be Alyson. I bonded and felt every kick and punch from her for months and months. From the first time you hear the heart- beat , to that first kick, you fall more and more in love with this baby you have growing inside you. Once you hold your baby for the first time , see their first smile, hear their first little laugh, those sweet moments will break your heart in the best way possible. It is so sweet and amazing to see everyone around you love your child, just as much as you love them.
  6. You will have this magical idea of your baby sleeping all night long, and they will crush your dreams . Alyson was a rough sleeper from birth to around two months. Once she turned two months she started sleeping through the night and our bed time routine was a walk in the park. Then she hit eight months, and learned how to pull herself up and was a rock star at crawling. I always told myself I would never co-sleep, and then you will be so sleep deprived that you will do anything for more than five minutes of sleep. Thankfully she is getting better about her sleeping habits and we are down to just an hour of cuddle time in the morning [ momma cherishes her shut -eye ]. It is honestly one of my favorite parts of the day, getting to wake up with this cute little smile looking at me. It makes it impossible to start the day off on a bad foot, even after no sleep.
  7. Always trust your mom-gut. I had experience being around children before but nothing can compare or prepare you, to having your very own child. If you feel that something may be wrong with you or the baby, never be afraid to speak up or push the doctors. We know our bodies and our babies best, as we are with them more than the doctors are. Never be afraid to switch doctors either, again, we all get those gut feelings of right or wrong and during this important new time, you should feel supported by your team of doctors.
  8. Never stop taking pictures. One thing I regret is deciding not to have pictures of me and Alyson taken in the hospital. I had tons of pictures of her and her dad in the hospital but I did not feel confident in myself [ I had just given birth , so who does], but looking back I wish I would have. You do not have to post every picture to social media or put it on your fridge but when your children are old they will cherish those pictures, more than we could imagine. They really do grow so incredibly fast, so I love getting to look back through her pictures and see how much she has changed and how her sweet personality is shining through [ or sass depending on the day].
  9. Your life has now forever changed. There is no such thing as a quick trip to the store, keeping the house clean or being on time but it will be the best time of your life. Everyone journey to becoming a parent is different. For some it is easier than others and becoming parents have different meanings. Being a mom is something I have dreamed of since I was a little girl and getting to live life looking through her eyes, is the best gift I have ever been given.
  10. Be proud of your body. This is something that I struggled with prior to becoming pregnant and then you add all those extra fun hormones and it really can be a blast to go shopping [ said no eight- month pregnant lady ever]. I may not look like I did prior to Alyson but you know that’s okay. I am doing my best to eat healthy and work out when I can but I carried and gave birth to a tiny person, it will never be the same. I have stretch marks on my hips, my hips are wider than before and my stomach is not flat no matter how much I try. I am super proud of my body for everything that it was able to do and should be thanking it , instead of putting it down.
  11. Make time for yourself.  I am working on a post all about different ways you can include a few minutes to yourself without kids. Sometimes I am not able to take a long time to myself but just by spending a few minutes getting to do my hair or make up, or putting on jeans instead of sweatpants, they can really be a mood booster.
  12. At the end of the day, I still have no clue what I am doing sometimes or I wonder if she ate enough that day. Somedays I am tired and get frustrated because she does not want to nap or she wants to be held and I need to work or do dishes or laundry. I have learned that I may not be the perfect mom all the time but I am the best mom for Alyson. God created me to be her mother and He created her to be my daughter. Together we are on the greatest adventure of our lives and there will days we stumble and fall but thankfully she will have no idea I am winging it until she is much older. I know that I have many more first coming up through the years, well forever but I know that I will look back to this post and remember all those sweet moments I had with my baby girl.

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