My God, it’s here….. my son is a year old. I kept a human alive for a WHOLE year [I live for the applause applause applause I live for the applause plause]. If you’re not clapping for me please do so. This year has been the single most incredible year of my life. It has changed me to my core and I have found an entirely new purpose to exist…to breathe. I never dreamt that I could love this much. That little boy has my whole heart for my whole life.
I wanted to share some of the things I’ve learned this year as a new mother.
1) Ask for help and accept it when it’s given. I had heard this but it wasn’t until day 2 that I realized I was going to need some help. I’d been sleeping terribly in a hospital bed from Tuesday-Saturday. By Sunday I was not only emotionally drained but absolutely physically exhausted and needed sleep. Over the course of those next couple weeks I accepted the offers my mom made for staying with us and the meals my mother in law made. Don’t be too proud to accept help. I welcomed it.
Also, sometimes it’s hard to talk to a close friend or family member when you’re down or confused, especially in the first couple month. I had two ladies, Lisa and Ashley who saved me one day while I questioned if motherhood was for me. Of course this was early on but it was so much easier to share the feelings I had to see if they were “normal”. They passed no judgment and were so patient and considerate while we hacked out the realities of being a first time mother. I looked at things completely different from that day forward.
2) I received the best advice from Grant’s sister Steph, “When things get rough just remind yourself to get through this next hour or this next afternoon, etc.” Roman was by NO MEANS a terror. He was an angel but in the beginning we were dealing with a reaction to the formula and he had gas so we would have crying spells. It didn’t last too long but there were times that advice kept me completely sane. She said that we would look back and look at the times we were stressed or the times we were completely clueless and laugh and we do. It’s such a small time period in the scheme of things.
3) I literally thank God every day for my son several times a day. I can’t get enough of him and I know I am blessed to have such an incredibly beautiful and healthy child. Other parents aren’t that lucky and I want God to know that I am fully present and aware of the gift I have been given.
4) Enjoy every moment. If there is one thing I can say that I did it was taking full advantage of every opportunity to hold him and look at him and soak up every ounce of my baby. Once he knew he could move he hasn’t slowed down much so the only time I really get to hold him is before I put him down to sleep. When you look at your sleeping child you become fully convinced that both God and angels exist. There is nothing like looking into the face of your sleeping baby. PERIOD.
5) Don’t worry what other people think. I sleep trained my baby and he slept (and still sleeps) in a sack. People thought I was crazy and I knew they did. I didn’t give a flying $%&! He started sleeping through the night in his crib at 8 weeks old, has woke us up 3 times since the first night he started sleeping through the night and all I had to do was plug him and he went right back to sleep. My son naps like a hibernating bear several times during the day and he’s incredibly happy, strong an full of energy. I never lost sleep over my baby and I firmly believe it was the routine that we kept with him. I will write more about the sleep training (I used the book The Baby Whisperer) in another post and my infamous SACK!
6) Trust your gut… if something doesn’t feel right follow your instinct. I didn’t think I had a motherly instinct but it turns out I do. Not exactly sure when God gifts that to you but it’s there and you will feel so proud of yourself when you realize you have it.
7) If you’re lucky enough to still have parents around who can enjoy your child then be prepared for a special warm ooey gooey feeling when you watch your parents interact with their grandchild. For me it’s like mixing pride with accomplishment, and then topping it with a big thick layer of love. My parents and my in laws are absolutely AMAZING and Roman has no idea how blessed he is.
8) You see this all of the time but it’s true, make sure you date your significant other through the whole process, go on weekend trips and leave the baby with someone. Don’t feel guilty about enjoying time together and getting away. You’re entrusting your little one with someone and they are going to enjoy your little baby just as much as your little baby will enjoy them and they won’t miss you, so go spend time together.
9) Traveling with a baby is a bitch. The loading, unloading, bag 1, bag 2, spare bag 3, etc. It’s all so exhausting. I never hesitate to ask someone to come watch him for me when I need to go run errands. Aint nobody got time for all that shit so if you can find someone to watch your baby DO IT. Obviously I take Roman with me to but when I need to get in and out several times I ask for help. Don’t feel like you have to drag them all over the town just to get errands done. You don’t have time for that!
10) I’ve learned that my style has changed. It was like I woke up one day and decided I wanted to dress a little more conservative. Not all of the time of course but it just seemed like I had entered a stage where I wanted to dress a little classier to match the way I felt about being a mother. It’s funny I didn’t choose to do this because I had BECOME a mother I did it because it felt right and I am very happy with this decision. You only have to push a child out of your vagina (or have them removed via C section for all of you troopers out there) to know that you grow up pretty quick. I feel more mature and I want to express that in the fashion choices I make. But like I said not ALLLLL the time. We all want to look sexy every once in awhile.
11) Hand in hand with style is the retirement of long necklaces. Unfortunately due to the inquisitive nature of a baby and their obsession with pulling, yanking, eating, slobbering and breaking things I have laid my long necklaces to rest, at least when he is with me. Not only does he love them but they get caught on everything, it’s just a hassle.
12) Please find the time to rearrange all cabinets and refrigerator spaces. Anything on the ground level should be made of plastic, cloth, obviously things that won’t poison them, choke them or break. Especially the fridge. A good rule of thumb is the 3 bottom shelves are fair game. My son is obsessed with the fridge.
13) Babies are ninjas… I don’t know what level quite yet but they’re really freaking fast. Like nimble sticky fingers that can grasp anything when you least expect it. They are also stealthy in tight spaces. Be on the lookout because they see all and hear all and they will attack in a moment’s notice or hurt themselves and you feel like a failure.
14) They have perfected the art of pooping so that it doesn’t just fill their diaper it runs up their back even when they’re sitting straight up and down. Sometimes, if they’re feeling really gutsy they pee THROUGH their diaper and their pants but somehow the onsie in between those two layer isn’t wet at all. I demand myth busters step in here and explain this shit. It’s some voodoo if I’ve ever seen it.
15) I will leave you with this, I’ve learned that babies aren’t so bad 😉 I spent years questioning and even deciding not to have a child at all. If I would have known just how much it would change me and just how absolutely incredible being a part was I would have done it sooner. People will tell you just like I am but there is and never will be any job more mind blowing, fulfilling, and surprising than being a parent.
Good Luck new or expecting parents, may the baby Gods be ever in your favor.
Happy Birthday baby boy you are my little prince. Thank you for rescuing my soul and showing me all the good in this world.
Carpe the Hell Out of Your Diem